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April 14, 2021

Principal Financial Group® releases corporate responsibility commitments

Principal Financial Group® released today multi-year corporate responsibility commitments focused on employee empowerment, financial inclusion, and sustainability as part of its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy and issued through its 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.

“Principal® was founded to put financial security within reach of more people,” said Dan Houston, chairman, president, and CEO of Principal. “Today, living our purpose by doing the right thing for people, businesses, and communities is more important than ever. These clearly defined commitments help ensure customers, employees, and shareholders understand our dedication to taking action, making progress, and driving outcomes for a more inclusive and sustainable world.”

Committing to a better future

As a global leader in retirement, insurance, and investments, Principal is closely tracking social, environmental, and demographic changes that include longer lifespans, income and wealth inequalities, environmental challenges, and opportunities to expand global access to the financial system across all segments of the population. The company’s forward-looking purpose commitments support these areas in measurable and impactful ways.

The company’s commitments are:

Access the power of its people by creating and supporting a work environment of integrity, respect, community, and trust. Principal commits to:

  • Annually achieving a score of 80% or above in its proprietary Inclusion Index that measures sentiments of its 17,000 global employees related to culture and empowerment.
  • Regular diversity and pay equity analysis to ensure that employees gain a fair and equitable wage and thrive in their careers.
  • Continue to hire and advance leaders of diverse backgrounds as the company works to increase problem-solving capabilities, foster innovation, and drive business growth.

Advance inclusive products, services, and communities to meet more individuals and businesses where they are in their financial journey. Principal commits to:

  • Doubling the number of diverse small to mid-size businesses it supports through product access, micro-finance, community development, and financial education over the next five years.
  • Aligning responsible investment practices with seven UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2022.
  • The Principal Financial Group Foundation, Inc. (Principal® Foundation) is poised to invest $30 million over the next two years to help meet basic needs, develop pathways toward economic mobility, and support financial empowerment and development, focusing on entrepreneurs, small businesses, and diverse populations.

Embed sustainable practices in how Principal goes to market and serves customers around the world. Principal commits to:

  • Reducing U.S. carbon emissions by 40% by 2035 and with intent to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Supporting diverse entrepreneurs through intentional supplier diversity strategies and best practices.

2020 CSR highlights

The Principal ESG Task Force, comprised of leaders from across the business, meets monthly to chart the Company’s course and help ensure alignment with internal goals and third-party standards. As highlighted in this year’s CSR report, this has led to:

  • A 40% reduction in greenhouse gases over the last 10 years.
  • $25 million in combined funding from Principal and the Principal® Foundation for COVID-19 relief for individuals and businesses.
  • A+ rating in the Strategy and Governance Module by United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
  • Granted Leadership status for environmental stewardship for the eighth consecutive year from the CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.
  • Joined the United Nations Global Compact at the Participant level in 2021.

“We are fully committed to helping more people feel financially secure, while creating new opportunities for generations to come through long-term, responsible actions,” Houston said. “I’m proud of what our team has accomplished and look forward to continuing this work to build a more sustainable and secure future for more people and businesses around the globe.”

The full 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report and commitment goals are available online—Principal 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Report (PDF). To stay updated on how Principal is executing against its ESG strategy, visit principal.com/sustainability.

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