The Principal and the Environment
Civic, community and environmental grants are an important component of our overall giving. In 2011, The Principal donated more than $693,000 in grants to support the following organizations:
- Blank Park Zoo Foundation
- Des Moines Bicycle Collective
- Environmental Law & Policy Center
- Friends of the Des Moines Botanical Center
- Iowa Environmental Council
- The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
- The Iowa Parks Foundation
- Iowa Rivers Revival
- Keep Iowa Beautiful
- The Nature Conservancy
- Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines
- World Food Prize
We are also a sponsor of Des Moines B-CycleTM, a new bicycle sharing program that emphasizes fitness, eco-friendly transportation and a new way to travel in and around downtown. More than 1,000 users took advantage of the program from March-August 2011. The Principal added a public B-Cycle station to its corporate campus in May 2012.
Throughout 2011, The Principal donated a total of $10.87 million through its charitable giving program, which, in addition to supporting civic, community and environmental organizations, helps support non-profit organizations focusing on health and human services, education and arts and culture.
For more than 50 years, The Principal has embraced an annual United Way campaign, informing employees of the great contributions United Way makes to their lives and the lives of their families and friends. In 2011, 63 percent of our employees came together with our retirees and agents to donate over $2.75 million, all of which was matched dollar-for-dollar for a total of $5.5 million by the Principal Financial Group Foundation to nearly 250 local United Ways. Our contributions contributed to the United Way of Central Iowa raising an all-time record $25.1 million.
The Principal also matches employee contributions to qualified K-12 schools (up to $500 annually) and eligible colleges and universities (up to $3,000 annually).
The Principal Volunteer Network, our company-wide volunteer group, promotes a variety of volunteer activities to help the environment. Examples include participation in the Adopt-a-Highway program, Trees Forever, Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity, which is committed to building homes using sustainable practices. And the annual Earth Day Trash Bash, which involves cleaning up trash along the banks of the Des Moines River, is a popular volunteer event with employees.
The Principal grants all employees eight hours of Volunteer Time Off per year to volunteer in their local community – for non-profit organizations, including schools and places of worship. In 2011, about 5,000 employees logged more than 33,000 hours of Volunteer Time Off.
In an effort to support non-profit organizations and reduce the amount of materials sent to landfills, The Principal regularly donates furniture, office supplies, equipment and other items.
The Principal Riverwalk
The Principal Riverwalk, a community improvement project along the banks of the Des Moines River, ties together many amenities that emphasize and preserve the natural habitat in Des Moines. Working closely with the State Department of Natural Resources, the project encourages outdoor recreation through pedestrian and bicycle paths, parks and plazas. The space features more than 240 new trees and landscaping made of native plantings. The final elements of the Riverwalk will be completed in 2012.