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Sustainability Sustainable investing

Sustainable investing

Key topics

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ESG integration

The consideration of ESG factors is integrated into our sustainable investing approach across all actively managed asset classes. The integration approach is determined by the specific investment process of the investment team within the underlying asset class.

Our Sustainable Investing Oversight Committee has worked with each investment team to categorize alignment with our internally developed Sustainable Investing Continuum. The Sustainable Investing Continuum outlines our various approaches to sustainable investing, which are classified as ESG Integration Foundational, ESG Integration Enhanced Features, Thematic, or Impact. ESG integration is our most widely used approach to implementing our sustainable investing strategy.

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Sustainable investment options

We recognize there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to sustainable investing. That’s why we collaborate with our clients to better understand their values and goals—and strive to provide a range of investment options that promote environmental or social objectives while meeting their diverse investment preferences.

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Active ownership and engagement

Stewardship and engagement activities are essential to our role as active investors. We believe that by encouraging corporations to improve long-term stewardship of human, natural, and financial resources, we can play an active role in delivering better outcomes for our stakeholders.

Stewardship and engagement policy statement (PDF)

Proxy voting policies and procedures (PDF)

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Sustainability bond

Principal issued our first sustainability bond in August 2021 as part of our commitment to integrating and advancing ESG practices and initiatives.

The bond, issued in the amount of $600 million, financed eligible social and environmental assets such as affordable housing, green buildings, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Annually we release our Sustainable Financing Report (PDF). Its disclosures include the amount of proceeds allocated to each eligible category, environmental and social performance indicators, and the balance of unallocated proceeds.

To govern the process for this sustainability bond and future issues of green, social, and sustainability bonds, Principal created the Principal Sustainable Financing Framework (the Framework). According to the Framework, eligible assets may include existing or future investments that meet defined criteria to help advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (U.N. SDGs). A business is only eligible if 90% or more of its revenue is derived from activities and criteria that align with U.N. SDGs. Principal obtained an independent Second-Party Opinion on its Sustainable Financing Framework. For more detail, see the Second-Party Opinion from Sustainalytics.

2023 highlights


approximate individuals in which training opportunities were provided on sustainable investing topics


approximate increase in the firm’s sustainable investing AUM from 55%


of the general account AUM covered by establishing sustainable investing goals


new sustainable investment products launched

2023 Sustainability report

Read more about our commitment to sustainability.

Download full report (PDF)

Our work supports the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 2: Zero hunger Goal 3: Good health and well-being Goal 4: Quality education Goal 5: Gender equality Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production Goal 13: Climate action Goal 15: Life on land Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

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