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ESG & impact fixed income strategy impact report

Our approach to impact investing: direct and measurable

Public fixed income markets offer vast opportunities to finance positive outcomes, whether it’s clean energy alternatives like wind and solar power, protecting oceans and marine wildlife or financing affordable housing.

We believe our approach to impact is what differentiates us the most from other managers of responsible investing assets: We seek to deliver and quantify environmental and social benefits while outperforming well-known bond market benchmarks.

Nuveen’s fixed income and responsible investing teams proactively created clearly defined impact standards. The essence of these standards was the requirement that our impact investments be “direct and measurable.” Our criteria exceed the high standards set in voluntary industry guidelines such as the Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles.1

  • Direct: This refers to the explicitly stated use of the bond’s proceeds. The capital raised must fund specific projects or initiatives that deliver a clearly defined environmental or social benefit, including pure-play issuers. Typically, general purpose debt does not meet this standard, whether it is issued by a corporation, government or municipality.
  • Measurable: On at least an annual basis, the issuer must be able and willing to disclose key performance indicators (KPIs) through impact reporting for the project or initiative. Such disclosure enables us to:
    • assess both the financial and impact efficacy of the capital expenditure
    • inform our ongoing evaluation of the investment’s potential risk
    • provide transparency to our clients about specific impact outcomes
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Read the impact investing in public fixed income markets whitepaper

Contact us
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Dimitrios N. Stathopoulos
Head of Americas Institutional Advisory Services
1 The Green Bond Principles establish voluntary metrics for project categories that include renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable water and wastewater projects, among others. The Social Bond Principles create similar voluntary metrics for project categories that include affordable housing, job creation, food security, access to essential services and socioeconomic advancement and empowerment, among others.

A word on risk 
Because ESG criteria exclude some securities, investments in ESG-focused products may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as products that do not use such criteria. Investment products in general may be subject to market and other risk factors. 

The investment advisory services, strategies and expertise of TIAA Investments, a division of Nuveen, are provided by Teachers Advisors, LLC and TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC. Securities offered through Nuveen Securities, LLC.
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