In 2010, many Americans said that going green was a top resolution for the year, and Environmental Leader said that business owners were taking up pledges to cut energy consumption in offices this year.
Energy-efficient practices in commercial buildings might really help reduce overall consumption; the latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that commercial buildings consumed more than 6,500 trillion Btu of energy, with electricity accounting for 55 percent and natural gas 32 percent.
Now, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is lending a hand to environmentally friendly efforts with co-founder Henry Kravis‘ recent announcement that the company will extend its Green Portfolio Program. KKR has even hired Elizabeth Seeger from the Environmental Defense Fund to manage the expansion of the program, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ken Mehlman is the KKR spokesperson for this innovative project.
The New York Times reports that the program works by evaluating companies’ performances in five key eco-friendly areas. It monitors greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, waste generation, use of forest products and chemical use.
KKR claims the program has already eliminated 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and saved participating companies $16.4 million in energy bills. More specifically, it has reduced paper use by more than 3,000 tons for Printmeda, resulted in a 4 percent improvement in fleet efficiency for U.S. Foodservice, and more, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this week, Henry Kravis said, "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."
With the expansion of the portfolio program, 20 percent of KKR’s total global portfolio will go green this year.
KKR and its Green Portfolio Project was recently featured on a video by The Deal. KKR’s Ken Mehlman and Elizabeth Seeger (formerly of EDF), EDF’s Tom Murray, and James Packer of Seely are featured in the video.