Wednesday, July 7, 2010

KKR Green Portfolio Project Saves Money and The Environment

There is always a lot of talk about green initiatives, and companies are trying a multitude of new ideas to clean up their act, literally. KKR Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is a Global Equity firm that is Putting forth it's cost-reducing environmental management program to four companies, including two located outside of the United States.  Their program is intended to help these companies manage, and reduce their waste related to waste, paper, chemical use, and energy and water consumption.

Environmental management is not new, but it has become an increasingly important part of business in the 21st century. Reducing the cost of operations, coupled with reducing the impact to the environment is a win/win situation for most companies. The KKR approach is obviously light-years ahead of some the less effective ideas that have been toted in the past decade, like 'paperless offices'. The Green Portfolio Program is an all-encompassing solution to help companies reduce their costs by identifying, targeting, and eliminating areas of inefficiency that lead to waste.

The latest companies to come on-board are First Data in Atlanta, Ga., Lehigh Phoenix in Armonk, N.Y., Oriental Brewery in Seoul, Korea, and Tarkett  in Nanterre, France. The Green Portfolio Program was originally piloted in 2008 and focused on just three companies. Primedia, Sealy and U.S. Foodservice. In the short, 6 month trial, these companies were able to identify sources of waste, and in the end saved 16.4 million dollars.

The Green Portfolio Project was initiated in 2008 in a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund. KKR brought on-board Elizabeth Seeger from EDF to help roll out the project. KKR has also recruited the talents of Ken Mehlman. Mehlman started out his career in politics working with Lamar S. Smith and Kay Granger. He went on to become National Field Director for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000. Ken Mehlman also served as White House Director of Political Affairs from 2001 until 2003.

As Managing Director and Head of Global Affairs of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co, Ken Mehlman is working closly with Elizabeth Seeger and the EDF to help ensure the success of the Green Portfolio Program. 
Mehlman said in an interview with netimpact.org that “The future is real sustainability,” He said of these and other 'green initiatives' “People will want to do this [because] they think it’s the right thing to do. They should also want to do this now because it can save money.”

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