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Impact investing

Impact report: Natural resources

Field of Trees

Amount invested: $1.6 Billion

SDG alignment

Natural resources 
LEED certified buildings 50 buildings2  
Land conserved 2.8 million hectares More than the land area of Vermont3
Land restored or sustainably managed 1.5 million hectares More than the land area of Connecticut3
Waste diverted from landfills 19.6 million metric tons  
People benefited from clean water and wastewater projects 61.0 million  
Water delivered 3.4 billion gallons/day  
Wastewater treated 7.9 billion gallons/day  
Water saved 96.9 billion gallons The volume of 146,725 Olympic-size swimming pools4
Water treated 59.1 billion gallons  
Water treated 2.0 billion gallons/day  


Republic of Seychelles
  • Sector
    High yield, sovereign blue bond
  • Mission
    Seychelles, an island nation off the coast of East Africa, issued the world’s first sovereign “blue” bond — a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects. The bond, which raised US$15 million, is the result of a unique collaboration between a sovereign nation, the World Bank and the private sector.

    Seychelles is a small open economy (US$1.5 billion GDP) dependent on tourism. As such, it is vulnerable to developments such as economic downturns in countries that supply tourists; natural disasters; and changes in local climatic conditions and ocean temperature. A key challenge is increasing the country’s long-term resilience to climate change without weakening economic growth.
  • Use of proceeds
    Proceeds from the bond will support:
    • Expansion of marine protected areas
    • Improved governance of priority fisheries
    • Development of the blue economy in Seychelles
  • Measurable impact
    Since the launch of the Blue bond in 2018, the bond proceeds have financed eight projects that enable local communities to contribute to sustainable marine conservation and fisheries. The projects include protecting 30% of Seychelles' marine environment zoned for conservation or sustainable-use by March 2020, strengthening governance and management for marine protection and expanding scientific research on specific ecosystems to recommend the best solution for ecological preservation.
Washington State Economic Development Finance Authority
  • Sector
    Investment grade, tax-exempt municipal bond
  • Mission
    Straw is a waste product of wheat and seed alfalfa farming. Some farmers burn the straw, resulting in significant CO2 emissions, or till it back into the soil, which may degrade the soil for future harvests. To reduce such harmful impacts, a new plant will use a proprietary process to convert wheat straw and seed alfalfa straw into pulp for the paper industry and a co-product for agricultural and industrial applications.
  • Use of proceeds
    Proceeds from this issue will finance the construction, equipping and operation of an agricultural waste-topulp conversion plant.

    Independent engineering analysis4 has concluded that:
    • the plant is capable of producing pulp suitable for use as an economically attractive alternative to purchased market wood pulp
    • the pulping process has significantly lower environmental impacts compared to conventional methods
    • the quality of the pulp and co-product has been verified by third-party testing and mill trials with potential customers
    • wheat straw pulping projects of similar scale in China and India have proven effective
  • Measurable impact 
    At full capacity, the facility is expected to convert approximately 230,000 air-dry short tons (ADST) of straw into approximately 150,000 ADST of pulp, and approximately 95,000 ADST of co-product, on an annual basis.5
  • In 2019, the project commissioned a life cycle and carbon footprint analysis, determining that the facility reduced 133,000 CO2 emissions per year.6

Elephants Roaming 
Nuveen is helping to address the deforestation problem occurring each year

Natural resources

Impact objectives
• Conserve natural resources and habitats, reduce deforestation

• Sequester carbon and reduce emissions

• Reduce waste, water usage, and pollution

• Improve sanitation and access to clean water

• Support sustainable food production

• Sustain rural livelihoods
Project type
• Land conservation and sustainable forestry, fishing, and agriculture

• Certified green buildings

• Remediation and redevelopment of polluted or contaminated sites

• Improvement of clean drinking water supplies and/or sewer systems infrastructure, waste management projects
Contact us
Our offices
London skyline
201 Bishopsgate, London, United Kingdom
1 Reporting methodology The Nuveen Responsible Investing team developed this report to provide an indication of the aggregate social and environmental impact created by the projects and organizations financed in part by the Strategy. Given the difficulty of attributing impact in proportion to the size of the Strategy's share of each bond issuance (which ranges from 0.015% to 100%), the data reflect total impact generated by the project, program, or issuer rather than the Strategy's share alone.The report represents bonds that are classified under the Strategy's proprietary impact framework and for which relevant data are available. All impact data are sourced from publicly available issuer disclosures at the bond or project level when possible, or the program or issuer level if not. Metrics selected for each impact theme reflect the information most commonly reported by issuers, and each metric includes data from between 2 and 46 issuers. In cases where the Strategy has a large position in a certain issuer, we prioritize selecting metrics reported by that issuer. 
2 LEED certified buildings by level: 24 platinum, 8 gold, 17 silver and 1 certified (undisclosed level). 
5 Preliminary Limited Offering Memorandum, Supplement No. 1, Washington EDFA Environmental Facilities Revenue Bonds, Series 2016A , 30 Nov 2016

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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