KKR, EDF Claim Three Saved Millions, Prevented Waste

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on Feb. 18 released initial results of their partnership, confirming that environmental management can drive business success even in today’s challenging economic climate.

At three companies – U.S. Foodservice Inc., PRIMEDIA Inc., and Sealy Corporation – the partnership has already saved $16.4 million and prevented more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2008.

KKR and EDF have been working together since May 2008 to develop and test a set of analytic tools and metrics to help companies improve in several key environmental performance areas, including greenhouse gas emissions, waste, water, forest resources and priority chemicals.

U.S. Foodservice, PRIMEDIA and Sealy participated in the pilot phase of the project, using these tools to evaluate environmental impacts, identify areas for environmental and business improvement, establish baselines and metrics and develop goals and action plans for future improvement. The process helped managers to cost-effectively improve efficiency and reduce waste, while addressing the environmental impacts of their business.

Specific results include:

U.S. Foodservice implemented new driver policies, business processes, and truck technologies to improve its operational efficiency and reduce emissions from its delivery fleet. During 2008, U.S. Foodservice saved $8.2 million in fuel costs and avoided 22,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions (equivalent to more than 4,400 cars) by improving the efficiency of its fleet (gallons/ton of product moved) by more than 4 percent compared to a 2007 baseline.

PRIMEDIA increased online efforts and resized its publications to reduce its use of forest resources. During 2008, it saved $2.9 million in material costs and reduced more than 3,000 tons of paper use (equivalent to over 40,000 trees) by improving efficiency (paper use/revenue) by 22 percent compared to a 2007 baseline.

Sealy Corporation, a bedding manufacturer, recycled raw materials used for producing bedding and improved delivery fleet efficiency through improved driver policies and truck technologies to reduce waste and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. During 2008, the company saved $1.2 million in fuel costs and avoided more than 3,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions (equivalent to more than 600 cars) by improving the efficiency of its fleet (gallons/stop) by almost 9 percent compared to a 2007 baseline. In addition, Sealy saved more than $4 million in material costs and avoided 650 tons of solid waste (equivalent to the capacity of more than 46 garbage trucks) by reducing scrap per bed (pounds/unit) by 16 percent compared to a 2007 baseline.

To drive broader change across the private equity and other industries, the tools and best practices developed through the partnership will be available through the EDF Innovation Exchange in the fall of 2009 and KKR and EDF will continue to publicly share results.

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