By Elizabeth Seeger Dec 22, 2015

Last week, we announced that KKR has decided to re-launch our pioneering environmental initiative under a new name, and with an expanded mission. KKR’s eight-year-old Green Portfolio Program (GPP), which focused on promoting eco-efficiency best practices across participating portfolio companies, is now an expanded initiative called the Green Solutions Platform (GSP). The re-launched program will continue to drive efforts in eco-efficiency, but will also support and promote participating companies’ environmental innovations and companies that are offering solutions to environmental challenges as part of their business mandate.

When we first started discussing the idea of retiring the GPP, there was some hesitation. To date, our program was known for big, aggregate impacts that were achieved by a structured approach designed for driving and tracking the impacts of eco-efficiency projects. Departing from that approach in order to introduce the flexibility to work in additional ways with our portfolio companies had some major implications. The most obvious one of these being that we would lose what had become a symbol of KKR’s ESG-related efforts: the aggregate program results.*

Through a series of dialogues, including with our partners at the Environmental Defense Fund, we became convinced that now was the time to make the change. We decided that while we lose the ability to meaningfully add all of the participating companies’ results together, the tradeoff of being able to expand the way that we support companies’ efforts was worth it. In fact, we were not leaving eco-efficiency behind; we’ve invested additional resources here. Instead, we believe we’re looking toward the future and the evolving needs of the companies in which we invest.

We have already seen the benefits of this change. For example, we now have a number of new portfolio companies in the program (22 total as of December 14, 2015), representing four different asset classes, including real estate, infrastructure, special situations, and private equity. To us, this is great progress.

So, we will continue to tout the aggregate results that our program achieved, while celebrating the fact that we have many opportunities ahead of us.

For more on the history of the GPP and the future of the GSP, please visit our website. We welcome feedback and suggestions at sustainability@kkr.com.

* The launch of the GSP follows nearly eight years of meaningful environmental and financial impact from the GPP. During that time period, 25 companies reported that they achieved nearly $1.2 billion in avoided costs and added revenue, while avoiding more than 2.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 27 million cubic meters of water use, and 6.3 million tons of waste through eco-efficiency efforts.