How to build a better future?

Posted an hour ago

Proposed by Principal Financial Group, Inc.

Originally posted on Principal ESG Data Center

The main financial group® objective is clear: foster a world where financial security is accessible to all. But that world remains out of reach if employees aren’t empowered, everyone doesn’t feel included when it comes to finances, and actions aren’t sustainable going forward.

At Principal, our 2021 Sustainability Report details the progress – and potential future global impact – of our corporate approach to ESG. This is an opportunity to measure and verify: are the strategies working? Should the goals change? Are we getting positive long-term results?

Some of the achievements described in this report highlight our progress, such as decreasing energy consumption, which contributes to our goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades. Others offer examples of our broader approach to sustainability, such as supporting a diverse workforce.

In the words of our President and CEO, Dan Houston, “I believe the measure of a successful business goes beyond a strong bottom line. It’s about building on our proven business fundamentals to deliver strong results for our stakeholders, while finding innovative ways to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Principal and people

What is the connection between sustainability and people, both our employees and our customers? The sustainability report offers insight into short- and long-term opportunities that help each group.

For employees and work, it is a gauge of their supportive work environment and their perception of it, among other measures. A few key points:

  • Measure inclusion. We have implemented assessments of our employee inclusion efforts and work culture at Principal, including attributes such as learning, support and respect. The main objective is a score of 80% or more; our number is currently close to 79%.
  • Embrace diversity. Supporting a diverse workforce that is able to devote themselves fully to work as employees and leaders remains fundamental to Principal. Currently, 42% of the leadership group are women and 54% of our global workforce are women. In the United States, the percentage of employees who identified as people of color increased by 14% between 2020 and 2021.
  • Ensuring equality. The main sustainability report also takes note of external honors and awards as third-party information on our progress. In 2021, Principal was named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the seventh time, with a score of 100/100 on the Corporate Equality Index.

Principal and the planet

While much of the main sustainability report focuses on current achievements, it also touches on multi-year commitments and aspirations, particularly with respect to climate. After all, financial security cannot be available to everyone if climate change promotes instability. To this end, several notable metrics help the principal measure progress.

  • Reduced energy consumption and emissions. Principal is committed to reducing our carbon emissions in the United States by 40% by 2035 and has set a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. In partnership with MidAmerican Energy, Principal provides approximately 61% renewable energy for its American offices.
  • Reduce waste. Principal has set a goal of meeting or exceeding LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) waste and recycling guidelines and has diverted 71% of waste through a combination of recycling, donations and composting .
  • Review of lasting impact. Principal jumped 59 places in Barron’s list of the “100 most sustainable companies”, ranking seventh in 2022. The far-reaching measure reviews everything from workplace diversity to data security, emissions greenhouse gas emissions and the company’s performance for the planet.

Capital and profits

Driving meaningful change includes actions large and small for core core business and other efforts. The Sustainability Report shows how to track these results and data points, draw attention to partners, and keep moving forward, even if progress isn’t linear.

  • Assessment of the globe. In 2022, the main collaboration with the Center for Economics and Business Research created the Global Financial Inclusion Index. The measurement will reach 40 markets to assess the extent to which governments, employers and financial systems are promoting financial inclusiveness.​
  • Improve financial access. Financial access is not equal, especially when it comes to gender and other underrepresented populations, including people of color. Principal, in collaboration with 501c3 Kiva, has provided over 31,000 microloans to women entrepreneurs in 35 countries to increase access to capital.
  • Funding of external DEI initiatives. An ongoing series of Principal’s Grants to University Partners—in 2021, totaling $500,000—has enabled campuses to strengthen their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
  • Diversification of suppliers. Principal has set a goal of sourcing at least 9% of its total U.S. spend from vendors owned by women or people of color, and has nearly achieved that goal in 2021, reaching 8.9% .

Read the full 2021 main sustainability report.

Principal community relations supports communities where Principal Financial Group affiliates®Des Moines, IA 50392 works.

Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Company®. Plan administration services provided by Principal Life. Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. Securities offered by Principal Securities, Inc., Member SIPC and/or Independent Broker/Dealers. Referenced companies are members of the Principal Financial Group®Des Moines, IA 50392.​


Principal Financial Group, Inc. logo

Principal Financial Group, Inc.

Principal Financial Group, Inc.

Main financial group® (Nasdaq: PFG) is a global financial company with 18,500 employees1 passionate about improving the wealth and well-being of people and businesses. In business for more than 140 years, we help more than 51 million clients1 plan, protect, invest and retire, while working to support the communities in which we operate and create a diverse workforce and inclusive. Major® is proud to be recognized as one of America’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies2, a member of Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index and one of the 10 Best Companies to Work for in Financial Management3. Learn more about Principal and our commitment to building a better future at

More than Principal Financial Group, Inc.