Private equity firms test tool for going green

The Environmental Defense Fund is working with private equity firms to make their portfolio companies kinder and gentler to the environment.

Private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Carlyle Group and Oak Hill Capital Partners participated in a beta test of an EDF tool created with sustainability consultant Irbaris to help make private equity portfolio companies green. The 38 participating portfolio companies identified $650 million in accumulative cost savings from becoming more environmentally friendly at certain company facilities. The companies also cut 1.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, said Lee Coker, an EDF project manager for corporate partnerships, who is based in New York.

“There's been increased interest across the sector in (environmental, social and governance) issues,” from private equity firms and limited partners, Mr. Coker said.

Among the companies included in the test were Oak Hill portfolio companies Dave & Buster's, a restaurant, bar and arcade; Jacobson Cos., a logistics company; and ViaWest, a data center.

This article originally appeared in the March 4, 2013 print issue as, "Private equity firms test tool for going green".