KKR Extends Green Program to a Fifth of Global Portfolio

KKR Extends Green Program to a Fifth of Global Portfolio

Global Equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) has extended its money-saving environmental management program to 20 percent of its portfolio, including two companies located outside the U.S.

KKR introduced its Green Portfolio Program to four new companies in a bid to reduce their environmental impacts in the areas of waste, paper, chemical use, and energy and water consumption. First Data in Atlanta, Ga., Lehigh Phoenix in Armonk, N.Y., Oriental Brewery in Seoul, Korea, and Tarkett in Nanterre, France., will now establish their baselines and monitor performance under the program, which was created in 2008 in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund.

KKR now has a dozen companies participating in the Green Portfolio Program, including Accellent Inc., Biomet Inc., Dollar General Corp., HCA Inc., Primedia Inc., Sealy Corp., SunGard Data Systems Inc., and U.S. Foodservice.

"The business case for environmental management has never been stronger," KKR Co-founder Henry Kravis said in a statement Monday. "The Green Portfolio Program highlights that environmental performance and business performance can go hand-in-hand. We are very excited about the momentum to date and the fact that we have taken this effort global in such a short period of time."

The pilot program focused on three companies -- Primedia, Sealy and U.S. Foodservice -- and lasted six months in 2008. In that short time, the three companies identified opportunities to reduce waste, fuel, energy, and paper use adding up to $16.4 million. Their work focused on evaluating their environmental impacts, devising mitigation strategies, establishing baseline metrics and monitoring progress.

Results from Accellent, Biomet, Dollar General, HCA and SunGard Data Systems, which were added in 2009, are slated for release this spring.

KKR hired Elizabeth Seeger to help roll out the Green Portfolio Program across its entire portfolio. Seeger helped develop the program while serving as a recent Geballe Fellow in EDF's two-year training program, which is aimed at training rising environmental business leaders. In addition to Seeger, KKR Capstone, comprised of the firm's operations team, also recently hired additional professionals to beef up its expertise in Lean Six Sigma, information technology and procurement.

The Green Portfolio Project approach has been dubbed "Green Returns," which includes tools, best practices and case studies for the private equity industry in targeting greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste, forest products and priority chemicals.