Ernst & Young, EDF Going Green

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
January 26, 2011 /

Consultancy firm Ernst & Young and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have joined hands in coming up with a sustainability tool that helps private equity companies assess their environmental performance leading to the improvement of their portfolios.

Green Ops, the pilot program of the cause, allows participating private equity companies to assess how their environmental performance is faring in a way that can improve their financial portfolios. The program develops from Green Returns initiated by EDF for the private equity sector.

“Green Ops for PE could make these business opportunities more accessible across the PE sector,” Ernst & Young’s Americas leader for climate change and sustainability services Steve Starbuck said citing as example the private equity firms that succeeded in enhancing their ROI from investing in environmentally sustainable programs.

Advisers from Ernst & Young and groups from private equity and sustainability firms will facilitate the Green Ops program.

Prior to this, a similar concept was used by EDF with Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

In March 2010, EcoValuScreen was launched in a joint effort between EDF and Carlyle Group to enable private equity firms create value creation opportunities by improving their environmental performance. The program is currently used in NBTY, Inc., a nutritional supplement firm in the US acquired by Carlyle Group.

In 2008, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and EDF launched the Green Portfolio Program that has since helped save 345,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions, 8,500 tons of paper, and 1.2 million tons of waste, valued at $160 million overall. The program currently covers 16 portfolio firms.

September last year, Ernst & Young announced 15 percent CO2 emission reduction achieved by its member firms in Americas starting 2008 through 2009.

InAudit reported December last year a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers that found most companies are benefiting from the reduction of their carbon emissions as seen in the fall of their expenditures.

PwC said companies have become more concerned about climate change, carbon emission reduction, and energy optimization and operational savings due to these benefits.

 

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