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Nuveen, a TIAA Company

PRI reporting framework 2020

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SG 18. Innovative features of approach to RI

18.1. Indicate whether any specific features of your approach to responsible investment are particularly innovative.

18.2. Describe any specific features of your approach to responsible investment that you believe are particularly innovative.

Technology enabled solutions are central to our responsible investing efforts and expanding our innovative capabilities is a top priority.

With the launch of our custom-built RI Data Platform in 2018, we are able to put ESG/sustainability data directly in the hands of investment teams and are driving the creation of proprietary ratings and analytics. Our commitment is to providing actionable data:

  • Nuveen assigns proprietary ESG ratings and scores to corporate and municipal fixed income issuers and is expanding coverage to sovereign and structured issuers in 2020
  • All fixed income portfolio managers have access to proprietary ESG ratings in their portfolio management systems
  • All corporate fixed income portfolio managers serving the TIAA General Account review ESG performance quarterly
  • Nuveen is one of the first managers to develop internal ESG ratings for private markets
  • ESG rationale is increasingly being captured in analyst notes and company tear sheets
  • Public equities teams began developing proprietary ESG ratings in 2019 and continue to expand this effort in 2020
  • Our real estate portfolio establishes fund-level sustainability targets in line with achieving a competitive ranking in GRESB, the ESG benchmark for real assets
  • With our farmland in Brazil we undertake annual KPI driven ESG audits to monitor and enhance sustainability

In order to evaluate the financial implications of climate risk and other environmental factors in our portfolios, Nuveen is:

  • Sourcing next-generation climate risk data which models value at risk (VaR) of an investment under various future macroeconomic and climate change scenarios
  • Partnering with vendor, The Climate Service, to co-create VaR methodologies for real estate, real assets and fixed income
  • Using aerial spectral imagery in California to optimize water and nitrogen use among our tree nut operators
  • Using satellite imaging of Brazilian farmland to confirm land ownership and assess environmental issues. We look at historical use of land, cultivation patterns, transformation or development and indigenous population presence

Nuveen is a pioneer in impact measurement. In 2019, we significantly enhanced impact reporting, began expanding datasets to measure impact, and elevated industry leadership position and shaped standards through high-profile international initiatives and thought leadership.