Environmental Leadership

How we're setting the standard for environmental leadership

The Principal has made the following commitments through CDP’s Road to Paris 2015 project, which is bringing together companies that want to demonstrate leadership in addressing climate change in the hope that this will help deliver an ambitious international agreement at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21).

  • Committed to provide climate change information in mainstream corporate reports using the CDSB Climate Change Reporting Framework.
    • Financial markets currently lack comprehensive and comparable climate-related data in annual and other mainstream corporate reports, and this information is crucial toward ensuring the efficient allocation of capital needed for strong and sustainable economic growth. 
  • Committed to setting emissions reduction targets that are aligned with climate science. These targets will help achieve the reductions necessary to stay within a global 2°C temperature increase from pre-industrial levels.
    •  By setting and working toward these targets, The Principal will significantly reduce its emissions, while also driving innovation and raising its ambition on climate issues to the level needed to transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy. 

Advocate and take action

Here are some of the other ways we advocate — and take action — for environmental responsibility across the organization.

  • 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 Group certification for our downtown campus.
  • 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 2016 Sustainability Report — Create, Grow, Sustain: 2016, People and Technology at Work
    • Page 99 features Dan Houston, 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.
    • By the end of 2014, we achieved over a 13 percent reduction in carbon emissions compared to our 2011 baseline.

  • We're saving energy.
    • By the end of 2014, we reduced our energy consumption by nearly 10 percent compared to our 2011 baseline, resulting in more than $1.5 million in cumulative cost savings

  • We’re continuing our campus renovations with sustainability as a top priority.
    • Recycling. To date, we’ve recycled more than 90 percent of the materials removed – metals, carpet, drywall, furniture, etc.
    • Energy. The first building to be renovated was designed to an ENERGY STAR Design score of 94.
    • LEED. Our headquarters building was designed to achieve LEED New Construction.

  • We’ve boosted our recycling efforts and strengthened internal communications.
    • Our enhanced recycling program includes new containers, better signage, more effective communications and improved processes for greater consistency and increased landfill diversion across our campus
    • We currently divert more than 70 percent of ongoing waste from landfills.
    • We’ve created a cross-functional employee Green Team to address environmental and sustainability efforts at a grass roots level.
Supporting our environment

Principal takes its responsibility to support our natural environment seriously, it is our mission to reduce our company’s overall environmental impact.