While many of our portfolio companies face unique sustainability challenges or opportunities — just as they face unique operational or financial issues — some issues do span multiple sectors. When there are common issues, we see a particular opportunity to build “communities of best practice” on shared challenges and to learn from the expertise within our own portfolio.
Believing that we have a unique ability to provide objective and meaningful guidance to help our private equity portfolio companies to pursue ESG-related goals, we have created a number of proactive programs to share resources to address common challenges. Each program has internal and external partners who focus on producing results through financial, environmental, and social impact, or risk mitigation. We have five proactive ESG programs available for relevant private equity portfolio companies: Green Portfolio Program, Responsible Sourcing Initiative, KKR Wellness Works, Integrity and Engagement, and Vets @ Work.
Green Portfolio Program
In May 2008, KKR launched the Green Portfolio Program (GPP) in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The GPP is an operational improvement program that uses an “environmental lens” to assess critical business activities of KKR’s participating private equity portfolio companies.
Since the Green Portfolio Program was launched, 19 of the participating companies have reported results. To date, the program has achieved more than $917 million in financial impact and avoided more than 1.8 million metric tons of GHG emissions, 4.7 million tons of waste, and 19.5 million cubic meters of water use.Click to learn more about the program, participants, and their results.
Responsible Sourcing Initiative
The Responsible Sourcing Initiative (RSI) provides portfolio companies with guidance and resources focused on the continuous improvement of their management of human rights and environmental issues in global supply chains. We have worked with 26 companies in our portfolio to review their procedures for sourcing practices and possible supply chain risks. Where there are areas for improvement we provide guidance and action plans.
KKR Wellness Works
KKR Wellness Works was launched in 2011 and is built on the idea that employees who know their key health indicators are able to make better decisions for their health and ultimately improve their well-being. Companies enrolled in this program commit to offering an annual incentivized biometric screening to employees. They also provide resources for employees to better understand and respond to their results, while protecting individual privacy.
Integrity and Engagement
We encourage our portfolio companies to enhance engagement with their stakeholders by educating them about the voluntary codes and frameworks of transparency. In 2011, we strive to support their efforts through a series of webinars on relevant topics that reached more than 22 portfolio companies around the world. In 2012, we launched a partnership with Transparency International (TI), a global anti-corruption NGO. Through this partnership, we seek to enhance our investment and company management processes, specifically in business integrity. In 2013, Transparency International participated in our annual General Counsel conference presenting on best practices in anti-corruption and anti-bribery to 32 Chief Legal and Compliance Officers representing their respective companies. We also co-hosted a webinar for our global portfolio companies titled “Bribery in Business,” which provided an overview of TI’s International Business Integrity Toolkit.
Vets @ Work
Vets @ Work is an initiative aimed at recruiting and hiring veterans across our U.S.-based private equity portfolio companies. As of December 2013, 18 of our private equity portfolio companies participate in the initiative.