TIAA: Stop investing in deforestation!

TIAA: Stop investing in deforestation!

TIAA has millions of dollars invested in some of the world’s worst palm oil companies. And these investments are directly helping devastate communities, destroy tropical forests and wipe out the orangutans who depend on those forests. 

Over 14,000 clients signed our petition asking TIAA to go deforestation and land grab free and now we want to drive our message home by flooding their phone lines! 

Call TIAA and ask it divests from deforestation, now!
Here is an example of how a conversation could start (or you can just wing it!):

    Hi my name is [your name], I’m a client with [university/organization] and I’m calling today to thank you for meeting with our TIAA Get Out of Forests and Farmland coalition and to ask TIAA to stop funding deforestation and land grabbing.


    • As someone who works in public service and is depending on TIAA to save for my retirement, I don’t want my life savings to be earned at the expense of the rainforest, our climate or communities’ livelihoods. 

    • Investing in land grabbing and deforestation is irresponsible, destructive and financially risky. We must save our pensions by saving our planet! 

    • Deforestation, climate change and human rights violations are not an investment in our future and shouldn’t fund my retirement. 

    • Thinking investing responsibly and factoring in environmental, social and governmental risks is not profitable is antiquated thinking. Many index funds and mutual funds are screened for environmental and social risks that perform just as well or better than conventional funds. For example, an analysis by MSCI, a financial data provider, found that a global fossil fuel-free index earned an average of 13% per year since 2010, better than the 11.8% annual return earned a by conventional index.


    I call on TIAA to respond in writing to the recent demands made by our coalition; to explain why TIAA won’t engage with the palm oil companies it owns or screen them out from their index funds; and why TIAA refuses to comply with best practices in farmland investment by disclosing the exact locations, production methods, and other detailed information about its farms.

    Thank you for your time. 


    • Be friendly and polite - the person picking up the phone will find it hard to ignore you if you are polite. 
    • Don’t feel like you have to answer any specific questions if you don’t feel comfortable.


      What if they ask who asked me to call? 

      Tell the person that you’re a member of a global organization called SumOfUs, which runs campaigns to keep corporations accountable. If you are a Friends of the Earth supporter, mention it. Tell them you’re calling as someone who is concerned about TIAA ongoing investments in deforestation and land-grab.

      Do I have to be an expert to call TIAA and express my concerns?

      No! TIAA cares what clients think and you don't have to be an expert to let it know you're concerned. 

      What if the person asks me a question I can’t answer? 

      It’s ok to say you don’t know. Or you might want to say that you will research the answer and contact them back with more information. 

      What if I’m not connected? 

      The line may be busy - sorry about that. Please try calling again during office hours (8am-5pm EST)