VIDEO: Ken Mehlman of KKR Discusses The Green Portfolio Project
KKR and the EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) have recently partnered on the Green Portfolio Project. The goal of the project is to develop more eco-friendly companies while simultaneously cutting business costs. Below is the video and transcript featuring interviews with Ken Mehlman of KKR as well as leaders from the EDF.
Gwen Ruta (EDF): Over the last 18 months or so, KKR and EDF have been working in a truly unique first of its kind partnership between a private equity company and an environmental organization. What we’re doing is looking for and finding ways to systematically improve both the environmental performance and the financial performance of the companies that are in the KKR portfolio.
David Yarnold (EDF): So the way we came to KKR was quite organic. We were asked to join a history-making deal where KKR and TPG took over a utility, a Texas-based utility.
Ken Mehlman (KKR): And so we sat down after that with EDF and said, “How do we apply that to other portfolio companies? How do we make that part of our investment process?” And the result was this Green Portfolio project.
David Yarnold (EDF): And it was an unprecedented moment for an NGO to be a part of a business deal.
Ken Melhman (KKR): It’s now part of how we think about companies, whether we should invest in them, and it’s part of what we think about when we go into the companies. How do we make them better? Including how do we cut costs and improve their environmental performance.
David Yarnold (EDF): Improving environmental performance means something very specific. It means reducing waste, reducing water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using fewer forest products, and fewer specific chemicals.
Dean Nelson (KKR Capstone): What we try to do is work with the companies to identify which of these two or three areas they have the largest environmental impact on and then put in place action plans to reduce that environmental footprint.
Ken Mehlman (KKR): If you can figure out ways to cut costs that also are good from an environmental perspective it’s a win-win, and that to me is what’s so interesting about this.
Elizabeth Seeger (KKR Capstone): Our investors are excited about it, portfolio companies are excited about it, Environmental Defense Fund is excited about it. There’s really a lot of excitement around this program.
David Yarnold (EDF): And it’s proof that a major private equity firm can drive results, not just through one company, but through many companies at once, and in doing that, lift entire industry sectors, which is really the force magnifier effect that we’re looking to have with KKR and with this terrific relationship.Related Posts