Three Companies Find Ways to Save Money and Resources

This week, EDF and KKR announced the results of the first year of our green portfolio project.

In just twelve months, the three pilot companies saved:

  • $16 million dollars
  • 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 3,000 tons of paper
  • 650 tons of solid waste

I posted a little more about these numbers on our Innovation Exchange blog:

For the past few weeks we’ve been on phone calls and in meetings with project teams from KKR, US Foodservice, PRIMEDIA, and Sealy to review and refine these numbers for today’s announcement.

Since the underlying premise for this project is “you manage what you measure” we had to get these numbers right. We did and the initial results are really impressive. Especially considering that they are adjusted to reflect only those business and environmental benefits that were achieved through improved efficiency from 2007 to 2008, as opposed to changes in volume or sales due to the current economic downturn.

And Julie Stofer, in our communications department, highlighted some of the blog reactions:

  • The guys over at Triple Pundit must have had a good chat with our friends at KKR — they were the first to report some details that didn’t make it into the press release, such as the inclusion of Sungard in the next round of implementation, and a projection of the number of companies that will be participating in the program by the end of the year (46).
  • The New York Times beat the Wall Street Journal’s Deal Journal blog to the punch,  getting a post featuring a pic of Henry Kravis on both Deal Book and Green, Inc. yesterday.
  • Marc Gunther called us “a bunch of young and likely underpaid environmentalists.” He agreed with our point that sometimes it just takes “looking at company operations through the fresh lens of sustainability” to achieve benefits that are good for the bottom line and the environment.
  • Gwen Ruta, the VP of our partnership program, also chatted with about how this project has just “scratched the surface of the efficiencies that can be achieved.”

I think these results demonstrate clearly the benefits that can be achieved through systematic environmental measurement and management, but it’s just the start. With over 1,000 private equity firms in the U.S. and far more portfolio companies, there’s a tremendous opportunity.

Tom Murray is the managing director responsible for the KKR partnership.

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