USF implemented new driver policies, business processes and truck technologies to improve its operational efficiency and reduce emissions from its delivery fleet. According to a KKR release, during 2008 the distributor saved $8.2 million in fuel costs and avoided 22,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions (equivalent to more than 4,400 cars) by improving the efficiency of its fleet (gallons/ton of product moved) by more than 4 percent compared to a 2007 baseline.
This year, USF plans to further improve fleet productivity by scaling up successful initiatives, such as driver awareness programs, automatic idle shutoff, maximum speed controls and assessing and implementing new initiatives, including improved trailer cooling practices and other technology solutions.
Other KKR companies involved in the pilot phase of the project were PRIMEDIA Inc., and Sealy Corp. Together, the three firms reportedly 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,” said Gwen Ruta, vice president of corporate partnerships at Environmental Defense Fund. “By generating cost savings through environmental innovation, these companies are improving their competitive position in today’s volatile marketplace.”
“One of KKR's core strengths is driving operational improvements that build business value,” said Dean Nelson, head of KKR Capstone. “By focusing on improving environmental performance across our 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.”