Apartment Guide’s Parent Company Saves Nearly $3M by Becoming Greener

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–Private Equity firm, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recently released initial results of their partnership, confirming that environmental management can drive business success even in today’s challenging economic climate. At three of its portfolio companies—U.S. Foodservice Inc., PRIMEDIA Inc., owner of Apartment Guide and Rentals.com, and Sealy Corp.—the partnership has saved $16.4 million and prevented more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2008.“These initial results provide a high note in this low economy,” says Gwen Ruta, vice president of corporate partnerships, EDF. “By generating cost savings through environmental innovation, these companies are improving their competitive position in today’s volatile marketplace.”Apartment Guide and Rentals.com played a big part in helping the company save $2.9 million in material costs and reducing more than 3,000 tons of paper use (equivalent to over 40,000 trees) by improving efficiency, through paper use and revenue, by 22 percent over 2007.“KKR and EDF helped us with the analytical tools needed to make these changes,” Nichole Bigley, director of communications for Apartment Guide and Rentals.com, tells MHN. “We looked at all the books we publish and tried to see where paper can be saved. Sales mileage and distribution mileage were some of the other issues we looked at decrease our carbon footprint.”“By focusing on improving environmental performance across KKR’s portfolio and providing a framework to help companies take environmental initiatives to scale, we’re finding new ways to help the portfolio companies save money while simultaneously improving the environment,” says Dean Nelson, head of KKR Capstone.KKR and EDF have been working together since May 2008 to develop and test a set of analytic tools and metrics to help companies improve in several key environmental performance areas, including greenhouse gas emissions, waste, water, forest resources and priority chemicals.