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We believe in the greater good.

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Living our core values.

In 1917, we helped lead the first fundraising initiative for the United Way of Central Iowa. We’ve always been committed to building a better tomorrow. In 2020, the Principal® team was responsible for $5 million in donations and 22,000 volunteer hours. As our business has evolved, so has our commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. We’re dedicated to continuous improvement as a more disciplined, impactful, transparent, and accountable partner for global progress.

Steady progress toward ESG goals

2020 heightened attention to social inequality as people rallied and raised their voices to be better heard. The term “social distancing” also made it into popular vocabulary. Our philanthropic and social efforts were responsive to current tensions and division while acknowledging that, in many ways, our lives are increasingly interconnected. We assisted groups hit particularly hard by COVID-19, made important strides in our commitment to becoming a more inclusive organization, and took steps to predict and mitigate macro-level risks like global climate change.

These highlights of our accomplishments indicate what you’ll find later this year in our full ESG report:

We offered more than $25 million in combined COVID-19 relief.

Relief to individuals and small to mid-sized businesses

Business owners and individuals in greatest need were the focus of our philanthropic efforts. Principal and the Principal® Foundation offered more than $25 million in combined COVID-19 relief to employees, customers, and communities, including:



financial challenges

Concessions were made to customers who accessed retirement funds, requested payment extensions, and made other adjustments to help manage financial challenges due to COVID-19.

Principal® Community Relations


meals to individuals & families

The Giving Chain, led by Principal, provided more than 50,000 meals to people and families in more than 34 communities worldwide—with food from local businesses and in partnership with 80 charities.

The Principal® Foundation


meals to essential workers

The Principal® Foundation supported small businesses in the restaurant industry and helped to provide 18,750 meals to first responders and frontline healthcare workers in cities across the U.S. through a sponsorship of the 9/11 Day Frontline Meals Program.

#TheGivingChain goes global.

The Principal® Foundation provided relief grants to more than 1,100 Principal employees, employees of our majority-owned member companies, and U.S. service providers who experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. The program reached employees in 10 countries with 75% of recipients being based outside the U.S.

Relief grants provided by Principal® Foundation

Graphic saying 1,100+





small businesses


sales in 3 days

In Chile, helped more than 1,200 small businesses promote their services and drive new sales of more than $3 million during a three-day event sponsored in part by the Principal® Foundation.

We united our communities toward common cause.


22,000+ volunteer hours

Our employees, retirees, and financial professionals across the U.S. donated nearly $5 million and volunteered more than 22,000 hours to important causes.


Iowa children’s charities

The Principal Charity Classic golf tournament raised a record $6.7 million for Iowa children’s charities—without a single shot leaving the tee. Ninety-five percent of donors chose to maintain their financial support for the tournament even after it was canceled due to COVID-19.

Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As we continue to emphasize convenient, accessible financial solutions, we’re also leaning into our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We’re doing more to provide a working environment where all employees can share and learn from each other; benefit from diverse perspectives, skills, and beliefs; and enjoy equal opportunity to thrive and advance.

The new Global Inclusion page on reflects our continuous effort to provide a welcome workplace—even when offices empty in a pandemic.

Person working on their computer.

Virtual events

Participation increase


Throughout the year, we gathered our employees for virtual events on inclusion topics such as disability inclusion, LGBTQ+ rights, mental health awareness, race and social equality, and awareness and support for military veterans. We’d held in-person gatherings in previous years, but again, the virtual shift surprised us with an increase in participation of more than 500% compared to 2019 and about 95% of attendees saying they learned something new at our gatherings.

Unconscious Bias training guided our leaders across the globe, helping them make more informed, effective, and confident decisions. We also launched a global mentoring program with nearly 2,000 participants. Mentors and mentees alike build new relationships, learn new skills, and gain institutional knowledge.

We align ourselves to established third-party standards and practices.

In 2021, Principal joined the UN Global Compact (UNGC), a leadership platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible corporate practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 other signatories spread among more than 160 countries and 60 Global Compact Local Networks. It is the largest, most recognized coalition that ties together businesses, governments, and non-government organizations.

More than:

9,500 companies
3,000 other signatories
160 countries
60 local networks

Our ESG commitment

Looking to the future, we’re proud to announce public commitments to progress in the three core pillars of our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy.

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1. Accessing the power of our people

Annually, we will reach an inclusion index score of 80% or above. Our inclusion index measures:

• A culture of learning and trying new things

• Employees being comfortable being themselves

• A supportive environment for sharing ideas

• Employees feeling valued and respected

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2. Developing inclusive products and services

Over the next 5 years, we will double the number of minority and women owned small to mid-size businesses we support through product access, micro- finance, community development, and financial education.

By 2022, implementation planning will be in place to align our responsible investment with 7 UN Sustainable Development Goals:*

• No poverty

• Quality education

• Affordable and clean energy

• Decent work and economic growth

• Reduced inequalities

• Climate action

• Peace, justice and strong institutions

* Unless a client specifically mandates otherwise

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3. Pursuing sustainable practices

By 2035, we will reduce our U.S. carbon emissions by 40% and by 2050, we aspire to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.