CDP Climate Leader Awards

The Principal named a 2014 CDP climate leader

The Principal Financial Group is one of only 34 S&P 500 companies to be named to the 2014 CDP Climate Performance Leader Index (CPLI), and one of 63 companies to be named to the CDP Climate Disclosure Leader Index (CDLI).

These annual indices by environmental non-profit CDP spotlight companies for their actions to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the business risks of climate change.

Climate Leaders share the following characteristics, according to the CDP:

  • Executive-level and board attention to climate change
  • Monetary incentives in place to reduce emissions
  • Climate change embedded into risk management process and strategy
  • Accountability by formal targets
  • Confidence over direct and indirect emissions footprint via verification/assurance
  • Decrease in emissions attributed to their corporate efforts
  • Dollar and CO2e savings from emissions efforts
  • Strategic advantage provided or enhanced by climate change efforts

The CPLI showcases companies that receive the highest band of “A” for their climate performance assessment, and the companies in the top 10 percent for disclosure scores are awarded a position on the CDLI.

“Our company’s core value of integrity drives our commitment to being an industry leader in sustainability. It’s important to us because we know it’s important to our shareholders, our customers, our employees and the communities where we operate,” says Larry Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO.

Sustainable renovations

The Principal is undergoing a $400 million, multi-year renovation of its 2+ million square foot campus in Des Moines, Iowa.

New Skywalk

LED lighting shown in the newest skywalk on campus.

A major component of our commitment to the environment includes working sustainability into all components of our corporate campus renovations.

Jed Fisk, vice president–corporate real estate and aviation, says, "We've set ambitious goals to reduce our carbon footprint, and we continue on a path to exceed these goals. Our campus renovations are a large component of this. We've committed to recycling more than 90 percent of demolition waste, and our HVAC and lighting changes will really contribute to energy savings. We're proving that we're truly committed to being a responsible corporate citizen."

Along with the recycling goal Fisk mentioned, our environmentally friendly renovations involve plans to reduce both indoor and outdoor water use and conserve energy. One highlight of our energy conservation strategies involves using LED lighting throughout the entire campus, including in the skywalks between buildings.

Learn more

Find out more in the CDP S&P 500 Climate Change Report 2014 (PDF), which presents new analysis linking S&P 500 industry leaders with financial outperformance.

Read the press release.

And, see more about our environmental efforts below.

How we care about the environment

Environment Overview

The Principal takes its responsibility to support our natural environment seriously. Our concern for the environment is an extension of our core value of Integrity.

While we've pursued sustainable efforts for years, The Principal formalized its commitment in 2008 by establishing a sustainability committee consisting of cross-functional team members whose purpose is to advocate for environmental responsibility throughout the organization.

Here are just a few examples of how we're setting the standard for environmental leadership:

  • We built one of the first LEED® certified buildings in Des Moines.
    • The Principal Child Development Center earned Gold LEED certification in 2009. And not only is it a Gold LEED certified building, but it incorporates environmentally friendly practices into the learning curriculum, ensuring the children attending the center understand the importance of conservation and the environment.
    • We are also currently pursuing LEED-Existing Building certification for 801 Grand, one of our commercial properties that is the tallest building in Iowa.
  • We were the first to sponsor a carbon-neutral Champions Tour golf tournament.
    • In 2011, The Principal Charity Classic became the first tournament on the Champions tour to be carbon-neutral — with our Shoot for Zero initiative.
  • We participate in Natural Capitalization programs in Des Moines, the CDP and the Business Roundtable's S.E.E. Change initiatives.
    • These voluntary programs encourage companies to share sustainable solutions and provide the opportunity to disclose greenhouse gas emissions, water management and climate change strategies.
  • We're featured in Business Roundtable's 2014 Sustainability Report — Create, Grow, Sustain: Celebrating Success
    • Page 115 features Larry Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO, highlighting our sustainability efforts.
  • Our sustainability efforts are also featured in EcoCore, a publication by Des Moines' Downtown Community Alliance.
  • We’re actively working to reduce our CO2e emissions.
    • During 2012, The Principal decreased absolute CO2e emissions by an estimated 5,620.51 metric tonnes — representing a nearly 8 percent reduction of all direct greenhouse gas emissions and GHG emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam.

Featured Environmental Awards & Recognition

In recognition of our environmental efforts, the Principal Financial Group and our Principal Real Estate Investors division have earned the following:

  • 2011 — Winner of Environmental Impact Awards/large business category — Greater Des Moines Partnership award.
    • The Principal was recognized for its major sustainability efforts including energy efficiency programs, waste prevention and recycling measures.
  • 2013 — Principal Real Estate Investors named No. 2 among Greenest Real Estate Companies in the United States by Commercial Property Executive.
    • The real estate publication’s annual ranking puts Principal Real Estate Investors in a class of companies forging the path for a sustainable future.
  • 2013 — Principal Real Estate Investors received a top ranking from the 2013 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey.
    • The Principal Green Property Fund ranked No. 1 among its respective peer group based on the environmental and social performance of the fund's property portfolio.
  • 2013 — Pat Halter, CEO of Principal Real Estate Investors, received an honorable mention for Sustainability Executive of the Year by Commercial Property Executive magazine.
    • The award is based on "creativity and unique contributions to the commercial real estate industry in the past year, as well as transactions, strategies and initiatives at the company and property level."

We’d like to thank our customers, shareholders and employees, for their support of our efforts and the choices they’ve made that are better for the environment.

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