WITH SANDY LABAUGH, SENIOR DIRECTOR, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, NATURAL RESOURCES & INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS
TIAA-CREF began investing in timberland in 1998, before many other companies were even aware of the value of sustainable production.
In addition to increasing the long-term value of the investments, responsible stewardship of our timberlands provides additional benefits for future generations.
For example, we recently acquired a 142,000-acre forest between the Clatsop State Forest and the Oregon coast. Along with the Campbell Group, we launched initiatives for the improvement of water quality and enhancement of fish breeding habitats in that area.
We’ve also supported the restoration of the Circle Creek stream by state and federal fish and wildlife authorities and the Necanicum Watershed Council. Restoration included:
A second phase of the restoration project — cooperating with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board — involved building five “fish-friendly” crossings and removing a road.
Other examples of our involvement in environmental improvement activities for timberlands are:
At each location, we applied our policy of ensuring sustainable, responsible investments.
To ensure the sustainability of our timberland investments, TIAA-CREF places strong emphasis on environmental stewardship and works only with managers or partners who are in alignment with this philosophy.
Almost all of our timber investments are third-party certified or are in the process of being certified under sustainable forestry management programs, like the Forestry Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. These groups make sure forests are managed to the highest social and environmental standards.
We often partner with universities to support forest research, working to advance knowledge of forest-management and tree-improvement programs.
Our investment focus has been to achieve attractive, risk-adjusted returns, while building a global portfolio of high-quality, sustainably managed timberlands that can be held over the long term.
The environmental equation is attractive—a forest is like a wood factory, using solar energy to produce wood. The energy needed to produce timber is more economical than steel, concrete or plastic, for example.
The investment opportunity is also attractive as global growth generates increasing demand for timber products.
TIAA-CREF now manages a forestry portfolio of over $1.3 billion, and growing—with the investments covering 840,000 acres across 23 states in the U.S., and seven other countries.
But while a timberland investment provides a broad range of revenue opportunities, it can also help society advance to a more sustainable economy. Timberlands help reduce CO2 emissions, provide sources of renewable energy for cleaner burning biomass facilities, and are potential sites for wind farms.
TIAA’s Timberland investments are just one of many investments of TIAA’s General Account, an account solely owned by TIAA that is not available to individual investors and whose performance is not directly allocated to any specific contract or obligation. TIAA’s General Account invests in a broad range of diversified investments to support TIAA’s contractual guarantees and business operations.
Past performance is not indicative of future results. The material is for informational purposes only and should not be regarded as a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell any product or service to which this information may relate. Certain products and services may not be available to all entities or persons.
© 2012 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund, New York, NY 10017
Past performance is not indicative of future results. The information on this website should not be regarded as a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell any product or service to which this information may relate. Certain products and services may not be available to all entities or persons.
TIAA-CREF Asset Management provides investment advice and portfolio management services for the TIAA-CREF group of companies through our investment advisers including Teachers Advisors, Inc., a registered investment adviser and wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA). TIAA® personnel in its investment management area provide investment advice and portfolio management services through the following entities: Teachers Advisors, Inc., TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC, and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association® (TIAA®). TIAA, TIAA-CREF, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, and TIAA-CREF Asset Management are registered trademarks of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association.