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 were named to CDP S&P 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index.
    • In 2013 The Principal earned a spot on the CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index for our commitment to improving the environment. The index highlights S&P 500 companies committed to improving their impact on the environment. 
    • We earned a score of 95 out of 100 for disclosure and were included in the A band for climate performance.
  • 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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