Great start, but just the beginning…

3 companies, 12 months, $16 million dollars, 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, 3,000 tons of paper use, and 650 tons of solid waste.

For the past few weeks we've been on phone calls and in meetings with project teams from KKR, US Foodservice, PRIMEDIA, and Sealy to review and refine these numbers for today's announcement.

Since the underlying premise for this project is "you manage what you measure" we had to get these numbers right. We did and the initial results are really impressive. Especially considering that they are adjusted to reflect only those business and environmental benefits that were achieved through improved efficiency from 2007 to 2008, as opposed to changes in volume or sales due to the current economic downturn.

Some people predicted that environmental initiatives would be an early casualty of this recession, but more and more companies are coming to understand that when you're focusing on every penny, you can't afford to let any opportunity to cut costs or improve efficiency go by. These companies found 1.6 billion pennies – a lot more than sofa change.

I think today's results demonstrate clearly the kinds of benefits that can be achieved through systematic environmental measurement and management, but its just the start. With over 1,000 private equity firms in the U.S. and far more portfolio companies, there's a tremendous opportunity to take these results to scale.

We'll be sharing our ideas, tools, and case studies for how to make this happen in the weeks and months ahead.