TIAA-CREF announced a partnership with Good Energies, a clean energy/clean tech investment firm, to make VC investments in energy efficient and green building technology. TIAA-CREF’s Global Social and Community Investing Department will invest $50 million in companies and technologies alongside Good Energies’ venture capital arm. As part of the partnership, TIAA-CREF has invested $4.5 million in Ice Energy, of Windsor Colo., which produces cost efficient, energy saving cooling systems. TIAA-CREF is a New York financial services firm with $410 billion in combined assets under management.
TIAA-CREF and Good Energies, a global clean energy/clean tech investment firm, today announced a partnership between the firms to make venture capital investments together in the areas of energy efficiency and green building technology. The first of these investments is a $4.5 million private equity investment by TIAA-CREF in Ice Energy, which produces cost efficient, energy saving cooling systems.
This investment launches a relationship between TIAA-CREF and Good Energies, called the Green Building Technology Partnership (GBTP, the Partnership), in which TIAA-CREF’s Global Social and Community Investing Department will invest a total of $50 million in companies and technologies alongside Good Energies’ venture capital investments. These investments seek to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and the target size for each TIAA-CREF investment is $2 million to $8 million. This Partnership combines the energy efficiency and green building venture capital investment expertise of Good Energies with the commercial real estate and social investing experience of TIAA-CREF.
“Improving our stewardship of the environment is important as it contributes to both the bottom line and the greater social good,” said Scott Budde, managing director and head of TIAA-CREF’s Global Social and Community Investing Department. “We hear from our clients that the environment is a top concern to them; this partnership is an excellent opportunity to achieve both positive environmental benefits and competitive returns. Working with Good Energies, we are looking at additional investments, including in ones related to energy efficiency, smart grid and lighting technologies.”
Ice Energy delivers efficient, cost-effective cooling systems for commercial real estate. By storing inexpensive, off-peak power overnight for daytime use, Ice Energy’s equipment shifts up to 95 percent of a building’s daytime power demand to off-peak power, bypassing daytime grid constraints and higher-priced peak power. Furthermore, power sourced overnight is more likely to be “clean,” derived from nuclear or hydroelectric plants, rather than from coal-fired plants, which make up most daytime, on-demand energy. Ice Energy’s technology has been successfully deployed by over 24 utilities, and is well-suited to retail, industrial and data center buildings that require heavy use of daytime air conditioning.
TIAA-CREF’s Global Real Estate and Global Social & Community Investments teams will work with the portfolio companies in which TIAA-CREF invests to implement their technologies across its $18.5 billion combined portfolios of commercial real estate investments. Cherie Santos-Wuest, director in TIAA-CREF’s Global Social & Community Investments will manage the GBTP portfolio.
TIAA-CREF, recognized by the EPA with the 2010 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence award, is currently working toward a goal of reducing the energy intensity of its commercial real estate portfolio by 15 percent by 2011, with progress to date of nearly 10 percent. Energy use represents about 30 percent of the typical office building’s costs and is a property’s single largest operating expense. Within its Global Social & Community Investing area, TIAA-CREF’s Corporate Social Real Estate program invests in affordable and workforce housing, and transit –oriented commercial development.
“Improving the energy efficiency of our real estate holdings is important for both our investors and the environment,” said Tom Garbutt, managing director and head of TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate. “This partnership is a natural extension of our existing efforts to improve the environmental efficiency of our portfolio and we believe this collaboration can create additional reductions in energy in our real estate portfolio.”
“We are excited about creating a new category of partnership with TIAA-CREF,” said Bernard Brenninkmeyer of Good Energies. “This type of joint venture not only improves the likelihood that our related technology investments will succeed, but also has the potential to dramatically reduce the environmental footprint of the U.S. and global economies. We believe that innovative technologies such as Ice Energy will result in a significant reduction of energy use in commercial buildings in Europe and the U.S.”
Greg Kats, also of Good Energies and author of the recent book “Greening Our Built World,” adds that “these types of energy efficiency and green building technologies are generally very cost effective and, by cutting operating expenses, enhance building profitability and value.”
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org) is a national financial services organization with $410 billion in combined assets under management (as of 6/30/10) and provides retirement services to the nonprofit and government fields.
TIAA-CREF, through its Global Social & Community Investments group, seeks opportunities for community and impact investing that delivers a combination of competitive returns and positive social impact through focused investment programs, including global microfinance, community bank deposits, corporate social real estate and green building technology.
The TIAA-CREF Global Social and Community Investments Program discussed above is not funded through any investment product nor does it contribute to the performance of any investment product. The sole funding source for the investments in the Green Building Technology Investment Partnership are assets in the TIAA General Account. The TIAA General Account is an insurance company account and does not present an investment return, and is not available to investors.
About Good Energies
Good Energies is a leading global clean energy/cleantech investment firm and is a member of COFRA Group, a privately owned group of companies. Good Energies is active in the interrelated business areas solar energy, wind energy, load management and green buildings. The company invests across all life cycles of a company and pursues a long-term investment approach.
Good Energies is guided by the 3-P-principle (3-Ps): people-planet-profit; being an investment firm it also aims to accelerate a clean energy transition and strives to alleviate poverty by improving access to affordable renewable energy. Good Energies operates globally and is headquartered in Zug/Switzerland. The current market capitalization of its portfolio is approximately three billion Euros.
About Ice Energy
Ice Energy is the leading provider of distributed energy storage and smart grid solutions for optimizing energy system efficiency. Founded in 2003, the company is dedicated to transforming energy system efficiency and improving grid reliability through the development of advanced technology solutions that promote the efficient use of energy resources, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and enable the transition to a cleaner, smarter, more sustainable power grid. Ice Energy is headquartered in Windsor, Colorado, with offices in Lake Forest and Sacramento, California.
TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., distribute securities products.
©2010 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund, New York, NY 10017
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