It’s not often we get to read about Republicans doing great things to help the environment, so it’s heartening to learn that Ken Mehlman is overseeing the global external affairs at Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts, Co. (KKR).
You may remember Ken Mehlman for his stint as the 62nd chairman of the Republican National Committee, or his 2001-2003 tour as the White House Director of Political Affairs under George W. Bush. So, what’s a former RNC chairman doing with KKR, and how is it helping the environment?
KKR, a global equity firm, has sunk 20% of its portfolio into a program that saves both money and the environment. The :Green Portfolio Program” was initially created in 2008 in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund.
The portfolio highlights corporations that are improving their bottom lines “greenly” — by reducing their carbon footprints in the areas of paper waste, chemical use and consumption of both energy and water. The initial three companies which participated in the program, Primedia, Sealy and U.S. Foodservice, discovered ways to reduce their impact — while also improving profits — to the tune of $16.4 million. Not surprisingly, other companies paid attention. KKR now has a dozen companies participating in the portfolio program, and no doubt more will soon follow. After all, what’s not to like about saving green and going green?
Kudos to Republicans like Ken Mehlman and firms like KKR for leading the way to a new best practices.