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Dan Houston Chairman, President and CEO

Instead of letting old office supplies go to waste, our Green Team coordinated events that gave our employees the chance to reuse them: keeping 9,000 pounds of office supplies, electronics and paper out of the landfill.”

Principal is in its 138th year. Throughout our history, the men and women of Principal have always aspired to do more and be more — for our customers and in the communities in which our employees work and live around the world. Today, more than ever, that commitment also means caring for the environment.

Highlights of our progress in 2016 include:

  • Advancing our climate change goals. With a reduction of nearly 25 percent, we substantially exceeded our long-term goal to reduce baseline 2011 carbon emissions by 10 percent. We’ve also committed to adopting a science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal. Our target: reduce baseline 2010 GHG emissions by 30 percent by the end of 2020.

  • Earning a Leadership (A-) score on our response to CDP’s Climate Change questionnaire – ranking us higher than 70 percent of all respondents in the United States.

  • Employees making a difference. Our employees received the Murray J. Fox Recycling Innovation award from The Iowa Recycling Association. Our grassroots Green Team kept an estimated 5,000 pounds of office supplies, 2,000 pounds of electronics and 2,000 pounds of paper out of the landfill and reused plastic bags to make mats for homeless veterans.

  • Keeping sustainability a top priority. Each component of our multi-year headquarters renovation considers environmental impact. For example:

    • Recycling. To date, we’ve recycled more than 90 percent of the materials removed, exceeding the LEED guidelines target of 70 percent for construction waste.

    • LEED certification. We’re in the process of completing LEED certification for two of our renovated buildings.

Sustainable Commercial Real Estate

Principal Real Estate Investors, our dedicated real estate investment manager, has a long-standing commitment to corporate stewardship and an established track record in responsible property investing.  In 2016, this group received ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year, acknowledging its accomplishments in energy management across its portfolio.

Over 80 buildings are either ENERGY STAR or LEED certified. The group was recognized in 2016 by the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment with an “A” rating for the second year in a row, and awarded “Green Star” designation by Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for the third year in a row.

Look Ahead

We’ll continue to focus on energy efficiency, carbon footprint reduction, water efficiency, waste reduction/recycling, employee awareness and environmental purchasing practices to help us all live our best lives.