KKR released its 2013 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Citizenship report today, along with a new global private equity ESG policy. Now in its fourth edition, KKR’s ESG report outlines the Firm’s commitment to responsible investment and illustrates its progress in managing ESG factors throughout the private equity investment process by detailing a number of key initiatives. The private equity ESG policy codifies KKR’s responsible investment efforts to date, while also aiming to ensure a consistent global approach to managing ESG issues moving forward. “Reporting on our ESG efforts each year is one way we are pushed to do more. In looking back and taking stock of where we’ve been, we are able to move forward more effectively,” said Ken Mehlman, Member and Global Head of Public Affairs. “In the past year, we have improved our ESG-related diligence processes, deepened the reach of our proactive programs, and formalized our approach to responsible investment by developing a new global private equity ESG policy. All of these activities are part of the foundation for our ever-increasing focus on responsible investment.” The ESG policy applies to the Firm’s private equity business globally and builds on KKR’s previous public commitments to responsible investment. In 2009, KKR became a signatory of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and endorsed the Private Equity Growth Capital Council Responsible Investment Guidelines. A copy of the global private equity ESG policy is available here. “Our approach to responsible investment is designed to help our companies maximize their success and create long-term value,” said George Roberts, Co-CEO and Co-Chairman of KKR. “During the past six years, we have made a lot of progress integrating ESG considerations into our investments, but it has never been more important – or interesting – to be committed to this work.”
The following 2013 highlights are included in the report:
- Creation of the KKR Global Institute (KGI) to strengthen our ESG-related private equity diligence and support the Firm and our investments with unique geopolitical insights.
- Continued progress from the Green Portfolio Program, an operational improvement program that uses an environmental lens to assess critical business activities of KKR’s participating private equity portfolio companies. Since 2008, the 19 reporting companies have achieved more than $917 million in cost savings and added revenue, while avoiding 1.8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, 4.7 million tons of waste, and 19.5 million cubic meters of water use.
- Expansion of the Vets @ Work initiative, an effort aimed at recruiting and hiring veterans across KKR’s U.S.-based private equity portfolio companies. As of the end of 2013, more than 22,000 veterans had been hired by the 18 portfolio companies participating in the program. In 2013, the companies participating in the program doubled from 9 to 18.
- Continued to advance ESG efforts at KKR, which included additional greening initiatives in the KKR New York office, the second year of incentivized biometric health screenings for all KKR U.S. employees, and firm-wide days of service at KKR global offices.
- Volunteered expertise and provided resources to various nonprofit organizations and social enterprises around the world, expanding KKR’s citizenship efforts, which included employees’ giving their time and advice to help the social enterprise East Bali Cashews improve its operations and scale its business.