Strengthening environmental and social performance can create value by supporting core business imperatives. At Carlyle, we most often see sustainability efforts adding value in four core areas.

Growing strong customer relationships through a commitment to sustainability and engagement to deliver visible results

Building brand loyalty through responsible and transparent practices to produce greater value

Enhancing performance through environmental improvements that reduce costs and boost the bottom line

Cultivating an engaged workforce to create stronger companies with the ability to generate sustainable value

A Rich Palette of Products Helps Customers
Meet Environmental Targets

Carlyle Partners V, L.P. and Carlyle Europe Partners III, L.P.

Axalta is a global manufacturer, marketer and distributor of a range of performance and transportation coatings for vehicle manufacturers, the refinish aftermarket and for many industrial applications. The company manufactures industrial coatings in a rich palette of colors that offer durability and provide the vital function of protecting underlying materials from corrosion and wear that result from exposure to the elements.

The technology behind Axalta’s coatings enables them to meet the exacting standards required by vehicle manufacturers striving to meet tighter fuel economy and CO2 emission standards. Globally, manufacturers are making vehicles lighter by replacing steel with materials such as plastics and high-strength composites. Axalta’s coatings can be applied on these different substrates, enabling the coatings on the plastic materials and the adjacent metal to appear identical. Axalta’s low volatile organic compound (VOC) coatings further help reduce their environmental impact.

Axalta’s coatings are also used in the construction industry, which is experiencing growth in green building projects and the use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Axalta’s architectural powder coatings help architects and building owners earn LEED certification with low solar absorption coatings, which emit negligible ultra-low VOC levels when being applied and give the aluminum and steel used on buildings a distinctive appearance. The coatings help buildings satisfy LEED criteria under the EQc4 Low Emitting Materials credit category.

Building Brand Equity through
Increased Transparency

Carlyle Partners VI, L.P.

Vogue International is a U.S. manufacturer and distributor of hair care and other personal care products, and sustainability is integrated into its major brands. During 2015, the company expanded its efforts and significantly increased transparency to more visibly support its brands. Vogue increased disclosure of ingredients on its website, developed new supplier policies, reported to CDP for the first time, and worked with suppliers to measure their energy and water consumption. The company also appointed a sustainability lead who now manages all projects. These efforts supported Vogue in improving performance on sustainability scorecards from major customers.

Sustainability criteria also factor into ingredient selection. By continuously monitoring the evolving science of cosmetic chemistry and ingredient safety, Vogue can track priority chemicals when evaluating new formulations and exploring alternative options. Priority chemicals include those affected by new regulations or based on concerns raised by other stakeholders. In 2015, Vogue worked with Environmental Resource Management (ERM) to develop a chemical policy that will focus on current and future priority chemicals. In the past, Vogue has eliminated chemicals such as:

  • Colorants Red 17 (CI 26100) and Yellow 11 (CI 47000)

  • Preservative methylisothiazolinone (MIT)

  • Allergen commonly known as Lyral from its OGX product line

In addition, Vogue’s products have never contained sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemical known to be a skin irritant that is commonly used throughout the cosmetic industry.

Greener packaging supports the brand as well. In 2015, Vogue changed labels based on life-cycle environmental data presented by the company’s label supplier, Avery Dennison. The new labels provide reductions ranging from 26% to 34% in fossil fuel, water and energy use; greenhouse gas emissions; and waste.

Specialized Expertise to Enhance Performance
through Operational Improvements

“We manage data in an enterprise-wide system so that we can compare operating parameters and emissions data, pointing us to where we need to improve.”
C. Richard Neff
Senior Vice President—Environmental,
Health and Safety, Cogentrix Energy Power
Management, LLC

For Carlyle Power Partners (CPP), which invests in power generation, operational efficiency is at the core of value creation. The Cogentrix platform serves as Carlyle’s management team for power generation assets, providing the technical expertise to pursue operational efficiencies—whether investing in traditional thermal power or renewables, such as solar or biomass.

Operational efficiency is particularly important in thermal plants. In 2015, CPP’s fleet included 16 gas-fired plants, reflecting trends toward increased reliance on economic and flexible technologies. Cogentrix focuses on generating electricity with less fuel, less water or fewer chemicals, which increases profits as well. “Cogentrix plant managers benefit from the ability to share best practices across our fleet,” said engineer Rick Neff. “We manage data in an enterprise-wide system so that we can compare operating parameters and emissions data, pointing us to where we need to improve.”

At the Malaga facility in central California, Cogentrix engineers recognized that the plant was using excessive energy to remove water from the pollution control systems. A solution was crafted through operating practices alone that reduced the parasitic energy consumption and cut the start-up time from 40 to 10 minutes, enabling the plant to respond much faster to hourly movements in the power market.

At the Red Oak facility in New Jersey, Cogentrix engineers have targeted the plant’s consumption of water and chemicals. In just two years, the plant reduced water expenses by first installing a new pump for Sayreville, New Jersey, following Hurricane Sandy, and later by building a de-gasifier, which uses air instead of chemicals to strip iron out of water. These two capital improvements enhanced water quality and reduced water and chemical usage, and each is expected to pay for itself within one year of investment.

Redeveloping older facilities is another way Cogentrix creates value. In 2015, the company redeveloped a 1985 vintage parabolic trough solar plant that was no longer economically viable and designed a new facility utilizing modern photovoltaic panels. Cogentrix leveraged the value of the site’s infrastructure and secured a 20-year offtake agreement. Carlyle then sold the project—in a sense creating something from nothing.

Enhancing Employee Satisfaction
While Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Carlyle Partners V, L.P.

“During my Climate Corps fellowship, I surveyed Syniverse global employees about sustainability attitudes in the company. An overwhelming majority, 67.9% of respondents, said that everyone, at all levels of the business, should take the lead on sustainability.”
Meaghan Krohn
2014 Environmental Defense Fund
Climate Corps Fellow at Syniverse

Syniverse is a mobile solutions specialist that helps service providers and brands deliver enriched, reliable mobile experiences to any mobile user around the world. At its Tampa headquarters, Syniverse found that its carbon footprint was affected every time employees drove off-site for lunch, so the company arranged for food truck service to provide additional on-site lunch options. This has given employees more convenient dining alternatives, with the food trucks rotating each week for variety. Based on early results, Syniverse estimates that this initiative will reduce its annual Scope 3 carbon footprint by approximately 21.5 metric tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases.

Syniverse first reported its carbon footprint in 2010, and it has improved its CDP score each year. In 2015, it achieved an all-time high disclosure score of 95, which was a significant improvement to its original score of 48 in 2010. As a result, this score has placed Syniverse in the highest tier recognized by CDP. The 2015 industry average score was 60.

Synergy Blog Spreads Employees’ CSR Stories

When employees at Syniverse engage in community service or sustainability projects, they are frequently featured in the company’s blog, Synergy. In 2015, the blog featured efforts by London office employees participating in swimming and bike-riding events to raise funds for charities; a project by the Bangalore office to plant trees and create more green space; and running and activity events that Singapore and Hong Kong office employees participated in to help a nursing home and medical humanitarian organization. Spotlighting employee stories about how they are working to make a difference in their communities builds employee morale and encourages more employees to take part in CSR activities.