|(Facilitator: Make TIAA-CREF Ethical )|
DO YOU WANT TIAA-CREF TO BE MORE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE IN ITS INVESTING?
The nation's largest pension fund, TIAA-CREF, a retirement fund mainly for educators, prides itself on being responsive to shareholders and a "concerned investor" with regard to social responsibility. The reality is that TIAA-CREF holds shares in some of the most controversial and notoriously unethical corporations, including Altria/Philip Morris, responsible for Marlboro-the #1 cigarette brand among youth; Nike and Wal-Mart, widely condemned for their use of sweatshop labor-- and other bad practices for the latter company regarding domestic labor, sprawl, and effects on local economies; Costco, for its warehouse in Cuernavaca, Mexico, which severely damages an archeological site and abuses human rights; Chevron, for supporting the repressive government in Burma. And Coke for human rights and environmental abuses overseasâ€”and advertising to children in the U.S. TIAA-CREF has now sold all its World Bank bonds, which have resulted in harm to many Third World citizens, but it needs to assert that it will not buy any new ones. Such investment by TIAA-CREF violates certain principles in their Policy Statement on Corporate Governanceâ€”and is inconsistent with their advertising tagline of â€œâ€¦ investing for the greater good.â€
A coalition of groups urges the pension system to influence these companies to change these practices or to divest of shares in these corporations involved in human rights violations, and public health and environmental degradation, and instead invest in socially responsible ventures. We have done lobbying and taken direct actions to promote more social responsibility within TIAA-CREF. Because of the size and prominence of TIAA-CREF, if they make the changes we desire, it can lead other large institutional investors to do the same.
** The US Campaign for Burma â€¢ Corporate Accountability International (formerly Infact) â€¢ World Bank Bonds Boycott â€¢ Press for Change â€¢ Social Choice for Social Change â€¢ Canadian Committee To Combat Crimes Against Humanity (CCCCH) â€¢ Citizens Coalition (Frente Civico) â€¢ Educating for Justice â€¢ National Community Reinvestment Coalition â€¢ National Congress for Community Economic Development â€¢ Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc. â€¢ Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood â€¢ Sprawl-Busters**
Geographical Scope: National
Added on 02-08-2006
Updated on 02-08-2006