As part of our ongoing commitment to RI, in 2017 we took concrete steps to more closely align our firm’s environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) integration and engagement efforts by creating an integrated Responsible Investing group. This new organization includes the RI team that was previously embedded in TIAA Investments, and the Stewardship and Corporate Governance team.
Strengthening the mutually reinforcing links between integration and engagement means that going forward, RI responsibilities and initiatives are now being delivered by a combined Global Responsible Investment team configured to better provide specialized subject matter expertise that can leveraged for both cross-functional and asset class specific needs. The team will have a broader mandate to deliver across Nuveen, continue support of TIAA, and collaborate with investment affiliates on their respective RI journeys.
The RI team assists our investment teams in Nuveen's largest affiliate, TIAA Investments, to more systematically capture and build ESG convictions, and will inform our engagement efforts. We believe that the team's overall effectiveness and market impact will be enhanced through these efforts. In 2018, the RI team will expand internal collaboration with investment partners to better inform our engagement work, including priority themes and proxy voting. In Q1 2018, we conducted an internal ESG survey with our Global Equities colleagues to facilitate direct feedback from our investment teams on ESG integration and engagement needs and interests.
Among our innovations in responsible investment is the development of a proprietary impact framework, for identifying and classifying publicly traded fixed income securities that seek competitive risk-adjusted returns alongside direct and measurable environmental or social outcomes. The framework was first developed in 2007 and subsequently updated in 2012. The framework targets investment opportunities along four broad themes: Affordable Housing, Community and Economic Development, Renewable Energy and Climate Change, and Natural Resources. In 2017, we published our inaugural impact report for the Social Choice Fixed Income strategy that identifies and measures impact themes for the portfolio (https://www.nuveen.com/Home/Documents/Default.aspx?fileId=73430).
Among our other innovations is the TIAA General Account Social Impact Investment Program. The Social Impact Investment Program is a commitment our company has to directing capital towards high-quality investment opportunities that create measurable social outcomes along three focus areas: Affordable Housing, Inclusive Finance, and Community and Economic Development. Each of these areas focuses on market-based solutions to address social needs, quality investment opportunities that reflect a good balance between financial and social return, and an opportunity for TIAA to play a leadership role by investing in them. Tracing its roots to the mid-1980s, the program has $1.1 billion in total commitments as of 12/31/2017. For more information on aspects of the program, please refer to the PRI Inclusive Finance module.