Henry Kravis

Henry Kravis at the World Economic Forum, 2009.

Henry Kravis at the World Economic Forum, 2009.
Image: World Economic Forum / Flickr CC

Henry Kravis is a self-made billionaire who launched himself into success with the start of his company, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. He founded the company with his cousin, George Roberts, in 1976 and it has since become one of the world’s premier private equity firms.

Kravis graduated with his B.A. in Economics from Claremont McKenna College and later attended Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he earned his M.B.A. Kravis has stayed involved as an inspirational speaker, donor and board member for both schools, openly lending advice and experience to aspiring business leaders.

As Co-CEO of KKR, Kravis has also helped lead his company and many others toward more sustainable and green practices. Through programs like the Green Portfolio Program, companies working under KKR can assess, measure, and optimize their performance to make sure they are leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible.

“At the core of this approach is a set of analytic tools to help each company management team assess and track improvements across several key environmental performance areas (KEPAs), such as greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste, priority chemicals, and forest resources, where improving benefits can bring out measureable business benefits.”

23 of KKR’s portfolio companies have actively implemented this program since its introduction in 2008, collectively avoiding over 800,000 metric tons of GHG emissions, 2.2 million tons of waste, and 300 million liters of water. They’ve also saved a total of about $365 million.

If more major firms followed Henry Kravis’s lead and created programs like KKR’s Green Portfolio, imagine the impact it would have on the world. Kravis is an example of an environmentally friendly leader who knows what needs to be done and does it.