500 signatures reached
TIAA-CREF indeed let us choose fossil-free!
TIAA-CREF said yes! They now will allow U.S. academicians a choice of whether or not to invest in fossil fuel and greenhouse gas intensive industries through this fund: https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/Social_Choice_Low_Carbon_Equity_Fund_Q_A.pdf
We have to our benefits departments to offer it to us, though.... One more step, team! Please go ask...
Why is this important?
This is why it mattered:
As teachers and investors interested in TIAA-CREF's Social Choice fund, we want you to offer us a low carbon option in your Social Choice fund, or eliminate fossil fuel-intensive investments from it. We look forward to learning more about investing in this more socially and environmentally sustainable choice.
We recognize that most industries rely somewhat on fossil fuels, but we also recognize that certain industries play particularly large roles in promoting climate change, the most critical global challenge to environmental, social, and financial sustainability. Social Choice's $1.8 billion fund states that it invests "in companies that are strong stewards of the environment", but has considerable (and readily eliminable) holdings in companies specializing in oil, gas, and coal extracting, transporting, and combusting like Duke Energy, Enbridge, Hess, Kinder Morgan, and Marathon Oil.
How it will be delivered
Via email & USPS; we also had a very productive in-person meeting at TIAA-CREF headquarters in New York City in April 2014 to discuss these ideas and how TIAA-CREF might act on them. And they did: https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/Social_Choice_Low_Carbon_Equity_Fund_Q_A.pdf