In the course of conversations around intentionally designed endowments, the topic of sustainable and low-carbon investment options for faculty and staff retirement often arises.
TIAA-CREF now offers a low-carbon retirement fund, the Low Carbon Social Choice Fund.
Here is an email template you can use to send in reaching out to your Human Resources director:
I learned recently that TIAA-CREF, the $866 billion academicians’ pension fund, now has a Low Carbon Social Choice Fund available for investment. However, I noticed that it is not yet offered by our school, even though this can happen easily via a request to TIAA-CREF from our HR/benefits department.
Administrators at the University of Utah (UU) have successfully added this option, and like-minded others at U.S. campuses are following that lead. I’m eager to see this sustainable retirement option available for employees here, too, as it will make a big difference to our campus community, the security of our investments, and the integrity of our institution. To put it in perspective, the UU endowment is roughly $1 billion while the individual retirement accounts total about $3 billion. This is a huge opportunity.
Many of our professors, and multiple foci in our institution are taking meaningful action around decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions and carbon risk exposure; now that TIAA-CREF provides a retirement alternative that does not violate those principles and better protects our future against carbon risk, we ask that you give us the opportunity to choose it.
If you have questions, feel free to email Erica Frank, MD, MPH at EFrank@NextGenU.org; I look forward to hearing from you soon.