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Chicago, United States
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The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) appears to have had somewhat mixed engagement on sustainable finance policy, along with its asset management arm Nuveen. TIAA has called for global action to tackle climate change, supporting efforts to keep global temperature rise to 1.5C, and has called for government regulation on sustainable finance.

TIAA generally appears to support regulated corporate ESG disclosure. In a 2020 consultation on the EU’s Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy, Nuveen supported requiring companies to disclose ESG data in order to improve investor decision-making. In an interview with CNBC in 2021, Nuveen’s CEO Jose Minaya stated support for regulatory action to drive consistent disclosure standards. In a 2021 letter to the SEC, TIAA called for mandatory climate risk disclosure requirements informed by TCFD guidelines. However, TIAA took a mixed position toward the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rules in 2022, advocating for increased ambition in Scope 3 disclosure requirements but opposing certain qualitative risk management and assessment disclosure requirements.

TIAA has outlined mixed positions with regard to policies on a taxonomy and ESG standards. In comments on the European Commission’s consultation on the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy in 2020, Nuveen supported the EU’s taxonomy to provide clarity for issuers but cautioned that stringent requirements might deter companies from making incremental progress. In those same comments Nuveen suggested that creating an ESG benchmark would be ineffective and “would require the EU to ‘pick a winner’ among ESG research and ratings providers” which would be “inappropriate.” In a 2020 consultation, Nuveen advocated for additional flexibility in the Technical Expert Group’s proposed EU Green Bond Standard, cautioning that inflexible requirements would limit issuance. In 2022, TIAA opposed the SEC’s proposed extension of the Names Rule to ESG-branded funds, stating a preference for enhancing disclosures for these kinds of funds to combat greenwashing. In its comments on the SEC’s accompanying “Enhanced Disclosures” rule, TIAA did not support the proposed ‘Integration Funds’ category, writing that it was “overly broad.”

TIAA has taken a mixed position on incorporating ESG factors into investor duties. In Nuveen’s 2020 engagement report, it described engaging with regulators on the Japanese Stewardship Code, supporting incorporation of sustainability in investment decision-making. In 2020 TIAA opposed Department of Labor rules that sought to limit ESG investing and rollback shareholder rights, and opposed an SEC proposed rule that limited shareholder rights. In 2021, TIAA supported a Department of Labor proposal that reversed the 2020 rules limiting ESG investing, but took a more cautious approach when commenting on additional steps the Department could take to protect pensions and life savings from climate-related financial risk. Additionally, in 2022, TIAA outlined several concerns with the SEC’s proposed ESG disclosure rule for investors, not supporting quantitative disclosure requirements around proxy voting and engagement and portfolio Scope 3 emissions.

In a 2021 response to the New York Department of Financial Services proposed guidance for insurers on managing financial risks from climate change, TIAA supported the need for regulations that incorporate climate change into risk management.

TIAA lacks a sustainable finance policy webpage but, in its 2020 Responsible Investing report, Nuveen summarizes its engagement with and positions on sustainable finance policies around the world. In the same report, Nuveen lists some industry association memberships but omits others.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.