KKR Eco-Innovation Award


Advancing Environmental Innovation at KKR

Launched in 2016, the KKR Eco-Innovation Award recognizes a current project by one of KKR's portfolio companies that provides an innovative, environmentally beneficial solution while creating business value. The honor is part of the Firm’s global effort to enhance KKR portfolio companies’ initiatives across a wide range of sustainability issues that drive business value, such as through the Green Solutions Platform.

"Recognizing that our companies have environmental opportunities that go beyond eco-efficiency, we developed an approach that spurs innovation and expands environmental solutions. We will continue working with our program partners to find new ways to drive both business and environmental value."

Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts
Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs

About the KKR Eco-Innovation Award

The KKR Eco-Innovation Award was launched in June 2016 and is intended to encourage and reward KKR portfolio companies for innovative, environmentally beneficial projects or initiatives that create business value. The award recognizes the achievements of our portfolio companies and is intended to inspire them to identify new and enhanced ways of creating sustainable value.

Specifically, the award program is intended to:

  • Help drive significant, measurable improvement in environmental impact (e.g., energy or water use).
  • Highlight measurable cost savings and/or added revenue that result from implementation of a project.
  • Encourage innovation, environmental awareness, and employee engagement at KKR portfolio companies.

2018 Award Winner: Barghest Building Performance’s Next Generation HVAC Energy Optimization Technology

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 KKR Eco-Innovation Award: Barghest Building Performance (“BBP”). BBP, a Singapore-based provider of energy savings solutions, provides customers with real-time monitoring of their Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (“HVAC”) systems to drive efficiency and system reliability and resiliency.

A panel of expert judges chose BBP to be the 2018 Award Winner for its Next Generation HVAC Energy Optimization Technology, which serves systems in commercial and industrial buildings and results in significant energy and cost savings for its customers. BBP’s energy efficiency solution, a combination of algorithm-based software, sophisticated engineering designs, and intelligent use of hardware sensors, maintains the appropriate temperature of its customers’ sites while consuming up to 40% less energy. In 2017, BBP helped its customers save more than 15 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, resulting in approximately 8,000 tonnes of avoided greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, in an internal KKR and KKR Capstone employee vote, BPP was selected as employee favorite for its commitment and work to date.

As the winner of the Eco-Innovation Award, BBP will receive a US$25,000 prize as well as customized project enhancement support from KKR and KKR Capstone, which will be used toward improving its technology to further enhance BBP’s broader environmental and business impact.

Photo of BBP's Management Team

BBP’s Management Team with Henry Kravis

(Pictured above from left to right: CV Kumar (COO, BBP), Ong En-Ping (CFO, BBP), Henry Kravis (Co-CEO, KKR), Poyan Rajamand (CEO, BBP))

2018 Eco Grant Winners: Casual Dining Group and Golden Data Systems

This year, KKR introduced Eco Grants, a new category of recognition for early-stage projects, to the award process. We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 KKR Eco Grants: Casual Dining Group and Golden Data Systems.

Casual Dining Group’s Food Waste Initiative

Casual Dining Group is a leading restaurant group based in the United Kingdom, which operates more than 300 restaurants in the UK, serving more than 20 million meals annually. As part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility, Casual Dining Group has prioritized in-restaurant food waste as an opportunity to improve its environmental impact, including by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with food waste in landfills.

With the KKR Eco Grant, Casual Dining Group will conduct a food waste pilot at a selection of its restaurants, collaborating with an industry-leading food waste consultancy. The pilot will help Casual Dining Group understand the amounts and sources of food waste, both from guests and kitchen food preparation. After completion at select restaurant locations, the pilot will be expanded broadly to other Casual Dining Group locations, as findings of the pilot are used to develop a food waste reduction strategy.

Golden Data Systems’ Application of Heat Pipe System in Data Center Cooling

Golden Data Systems is a cloud computing and information system service provider based in Beijing, China. Golden Data Systems is developing a heat pipe cooling system for use in data centers, which aims to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The system leverages passive heat transfer, utilizing cold outdoor air in place of air conditioning to decrease high indoor air temperatures caused by data center operations. With full deployment of the heat pipe system, Golden Data Systems estimates it will reduce more than 110 million kilowatt hours of electricity, nearly 88,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and the equivalent of approximately 3.5 million gallons of gasoline in 2020.

With the KKR Eco Grant, Golden Data Systems will train its research and development personnel on best practices to further develop and implement the heat pipe system across its data centers.

Past Award Winners

US Foods’ Serve Good Program and Qingdao Haier’s Intelligent Air Conditioning won the KKR Eco-Innovation Award in 2017 and 2016, respectively. OVH’s Data Center Efficiency Project and Capsugel’ s Colmar Green Steam Project received Honorable Mention in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

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Selection Process and Evaluation Criteria

KKR selected the winner with input from a panel of expert judges representing corporate and nonprofit expertise. Evaluation criteria included business value, environmental sustainability, and eco-innovation.

  • Business Value – Project has positive business impacts, such as cost reduction, revenue generation, access to new markets or customers, improved employee retention, and increased customer engagement.
  • Environmental Sustainability – Project has measurable environmental impacts, such as energy reduction, water use reduction, raw material use reduction, waste disposal reduction/recycling, toxics use reduction, sustainable material sourcing, renewable energy use, product recyclability/reusability, and responsible/more efficient land use.
  • Eco-Innovation – Project is an original/innovative approach to solving a material environmental challenge. May also consider potential to scale to other portfolio companies or regions, but not necessarily.

Partnering with BSR

KKR partnered with BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) to develop and manage the Eco-Innovation Award. BSR is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. BSR draws on its global reach, broad cross-industry experience, and deep expertise in a range of ESG topics to advance sustainability with both businesses and the investor community. KKR has been a BSR member since 2010.

In 2016, KKR and BSR began working together to determine the Eco-Innovation Award objectives, eligibility guidelines, selection process, and criteria. BSR provides guidance on external judges, support in selecting the finalists, and overall process management. In addition, BSR and KKR involve their senior leaders, engage KKR employees, and leverage both organizations’ external networks.

BSR continues to be a thought partner in the management of the Eco-Innovation Award and collaborates with KKR on other initiatives to advance sustainability through innovation. To learn more about BSR, visit www.bsr.org.

Expert Judging Committee

We are pleased to have an esteemed group of judges evaluate and score the Eco-Innovation Award finalists. The 2018 judges include leaders from around the globe who represent corporate and nonprofit expertise from KKR and KKR Capstone; nonprofit partner organizations Environmental Defense Fund and BSR (Business for Social Responsibility); as well as Walgreens Boots Alliance and 2017 Eco-Innovation Award winner US Foods.

On the 2018 Eco-Innovation Award winner, BBP, the judges remarked:

“Reducing environmental impact through innovation is core to BBP’s business model and value proposition.”

“BBP is poised to make transformational change because of its clear focus on impact in an energy-intensive sector."

“As a young company, this award will make a meaningful difference to the business.”

Robert Antablin

Robert Antablin Member, Co-Head of KKR Global Impact

William L. Cornog

William L. Cornog Member & Head of KKR Capstone

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Laura Gitman

Laura Gitman Chief Operating Officer, BSR

Jenny Hammarlund

Jenny Hammarlund Director, Real Estate, KKR

Kristi Huller

Kristi Huller Global Head of Corporate Marketing and Communications, KKR

Stanislas de Joussineau

Stanislas de Joussineau Director, Private Equity & Global Impact, KKR

Abhishek Kapur

Abhishek Kapur Director, KKR Capstone

Frances Lim

Frances Lim Director, Global Macro and Asset Allocation, KKR

Thomas Murray

Thomas Murray Vice President, Corporate Partnerships Program, Environmental Defense Fund

Stacie Sopinka

Stacie Sopinka Senior Vice President of Innovation and Quality, US Foods

Company and Project Eligibility

Eligible projects must have implemented a new or significantly improved product, service, or process that creates positive environmental and business impacts. We accepted entries from:

  • Any portfolio company of any KKR Fund globally.
  • Eco-Innovation Award – Nominated project must already be funded and in implementation phase, with at least preliminary results available.
  • Eco Grant – Nominated project must be in its early-stage (i.e., in or near pilot phase).
  • Projects that demonstrated cost savings and/or added revenue generation.
  • Projects that addressed and tracked financial and environmental impacts.

The award seeks to recognize projects that are considered innovative. Eco-innovation is described as the implementation of any new or significantly improved product/service or process that creates positive environmental and business impacts.


Customer-facing products or services

Processes, including technology systems or manufacturing techniques

Business models or customer engagement approaches


  • Energy use reduction
  • Water use reduction
  • Raw material use reduction
  • Waste disposal reduction/recycling
  • Toxics use reduction
  • Sustainable material sourcing
  • Renewable energy use
  • Product recyclability/reusability
  • Responsible or more efficient land use


  • Cost savings
  • Increased revenue
  • Access to new markets/customers
  • Increased customer satisfaction or engagement (e.g., Net Promoter Score)
  • Improved employee retention