January 25, 2022

Positive Impact Created by Nuveen Green Bonds in 2020

In 2017, Portico made a $25 million social impact first investment in Nuveen Asset Management’s Green Bond strategy through its social purpose funds. Every year since, Portico has reported back to its members evidence of positive environmental impact.

This year’s summary of impact is part of the return on investment for members who, in 2020, were invested in the ELCA Social Purpose Bond Fund and/or in the ELCA Social Purpose Balanced Funds prior to October 2020, and/or in the Portico social purpose target date funds starting in October 2020*.

“Just as we report financial performance,” said Erin Ripperger, Portico’s senior socially responsible investment analyst, “we make sure members invested in these social purpose funds can read about and celebrate the positive impact their savings are helping to create.”

Nuveen green bonds are designed to deliver solid returns while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preserving natural resources. A green bond is like a regular bond with one key difference — the money raised by the issuer is earmarked to finance environment-friendly assets and business activities.

2020 Impact Related to Renewable Energy & Climate Change

Thanks to Portico and other participating investors, Nuveen was able to create the following positive impact in 2020 by investing in:

  • New, expanding, or existing renewable energy projects (including solar, wind, and small-scale hydroelectric)
  • Smart grid and other projects designed to make power generation and transmission systems more efficient
  • Energy efficiency projects resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions
CO2 Emission Avoided 197.8 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions
Equivalent to the annual emissions from 49 coal-fired power plants.

Saved 173.2 million megawatt-hours of energy
Equivalent to energy used by 22,297 homes for a year

Added 4,757 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity
Equivalent to the output of 1,586 large wind turbines

Generated 195.0 million megawatt-hours annualized of renewable energy
Equivalent to powering 16.6 million homes for one year


2020 Impact Related to Natural Resources

Thanks to Portico and other participating investors, Nuveen was able to create the following positive impact in 2020 related to natural resources by investing in:

  • 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 and waste management projects

Constructed 2 LEED** -certified buildings.

Conserved 238,866 acres of land
Equivalent to 149,291 city blocks

Diverted 429,000 metric tons of waste from landfills

Supported 184,385 people with clean water and wastewater projects

Delivered 30 million gallons of water per day

Saved 132.2 billion gallons of water
Equivalent to filling 200,181 Olympic-size swimming pools


Plan members wanting to learn more about social impact first investing can find information on myPortico: Retirement Center > Social Purpose Funds.

For more information about all funds managed by Portico Benefit Services, please see Portico’s Investment Fund Descriptions.

* The ELCA social purpose balanced funds were replaced by Portico social purpose target date funds (TDFs) in October 2020. Because these target date funds were created from Portico’s existing investment pools, all social purpose TDF investors remain participants in this Nuveen green bond investment.

** Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system.

Information regarding ELCA funds should not be considered as advice or as a recommendation to hold, purchase, or sell those financial products and does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation, or needs.

Members should carefully consider the target asset allocations, investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of any fund before investing in it. All funds, including the Portico funds, are subject to risk and uncertainty. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Funds managed by Portico Benefit Services, including the Portico funds and ELCA Participating Annuity Investment Fund, are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, any other government agency, or the ELCA. Fund assets are invested in multiple sectors of the market. Sectors, like funds, may perform below expectations and lose money over short or extended periods.

Target date funds are designed for members expecting to retire around the year indicated in each fund’s name. When choosing a fund, members should consider whether they anticipate retiring significantly earlier or later than age 65, and select the target date fund that aligns with their expected retirement age. There are many considerations relevant to fund selection; members should choose the fund that best meets their individual circumstances and investment goals. Each fund’s asset allocation strategy becomes increasingly more conservative as it approaches the target date and beyond. Each fund’s investment risk changes over time as its asset allocation changes. The investment process used by the investment managers and the target asset allocation of the funds may change at any time, without notice.

Neither Portico Benefit Services nor the funds it manages are subject to registration, regulation, or reporting under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, or state securities laws. Members, therefore, will not be afforded the protections of those laws and related regulations.