GREGORY LONG: Okay. So like the presenters and moderators before me, I want to thank Tom Duggan and Donna Miskin and all the Treasury & Risk team for all their help and support and the privilege and honor for the second year in a row being asked to moderate and host the Best Green Strategy. In fact, I think it’s in its second year, so we’ve done both of them, and we’re very honored to do that, especially the panel, who I’ll get to introduce really shortly. I feel very, again, honored to be here.
I do have a special reason to thank them above and beyond some of my predecessors, so if you can bear with me for a quick short story. I inherited a new manager in March who wanted to learn a little about what our go-green strategy and what my team was all about, and so I was real excited to talk about my team and promote us. And before I even got a word out, she held up her hand and said, ‘Now, I know you’ve had a lot of success, and I know that this environmental treasury strategy has been very well received, but it’s been a couple of years: Do you think it’s mature?’ So now anyone who’s ever run a line of business or a project, hearing the word, ‘mature,’ my mind immediately went to how many zeros do I have in my bank account, and can my parents’ basement be retrofitted to fit my wife and three kids? So luckily, I only had to hedge for a couple of seconds there, because like the three gentlemen beside me, I had a great go-green story to tell, and you’re going to hear a little bit about it. I promise to keep it quick ’cause I certainly want to get to these presentations. So Tom and Donna, thank you for not making me move to my parents’ house, I appreciate that.
The three unique stories you’re going to hear today all have a go-green component but are so wildly different. And I’ve seen that in some of the presentations earlier that when you talk about risk or you talk about liquidity and when you talk — my passionate subject, go green, it can mean a lot of different things. So you’re going to hear about the reengineering of a business model from the front end of treasury down to the production line from my friend, Mike Seneski, at Ford. And you’re going to hear about the reimagining of treasury partnerships in a much more go-green manner from Sean Folan at Cisco. And then you’ll also hear about the reinventing of what some people would think is commoditized or core treasury products, like payroll, from John Drechny at Wal-Mart.
So what I’ve been asked to do is to talk a little bit about what I’ve seen in the last two or three years in the green world; some trends, some successes, some challenges. So obviously, before we felt that we could go out and help our client base with their go-green programs, we needed to clean our own house. And so the treasury world basically co-opted some of the principles and objectives, and Lewis Booth spoke about having a plan, and we set these five criteria up talking about, let’s make sure that we’re managing our own environmental impact, that when we’ve done that, and we’ve understood our own businesses, that we could take that same message out to our clients. Putting our money where our mouth is, investing in emerging and clean-energy programs, underwriting those. We have an office down in D.C. that helps with policy, and then on an on-going basis, making sure that any banking or business decisions that JPM is confronted with, that we’re doing that with an eye toward the environment.
As Tom mentioned, and I get to do this in front of my boss all the time; I get to show her how vibrant the go-green message is — right? Thank you, Tom — with the survey that was done in July and August. And really, what it told us is that, yes, go-green is just at the pinnacle of the conversation, the tip of the iceberg as it was, pun fully intended. And so 200 financial executives, some of you in this room, gave us your feedback, and some of it was very helpful. And when you say that four out of every five treasury professionals feels that, you know, this is a money saver, this is a cost reducer for their company, and over half of these same professionals felt there was even more benefits beyond the normal cost reductions that they saw. The ones that, you know, we still struggle with, obviously, is 75% or more of these professionals felt that there were still operational constraints that were preventing them from a fully — a green world, and hopefully I’ll share some stories with you that will help put a little pin in some of those myths. Excuse the “p”-popping.
Okay. Some of the themes that you’ll hear in my colleagues’ presentations, obviously the cost reductions and efficiencies. One of the things that I found is that just because you’re a little electronic doesn’t mean you’re paperless. All right? So as treasury officers and professionals, we may buy the newest platform or take on the bank’s newest system, and yet the paper, the DDA statements, the advices, all the photocopies are still going to another part of the firm. Now, I’ve gotten some of the feedback, ‘Well I’m not paying for it. The vendor or the banker or the financial institution has zero-priced those.’ But trust me, you are paying for it. You’re paying for it in storage fees, you’re paying for it in the shredding relationships, or the people dedicated to disseminating that information on an on-going basis. Trust me, you are paying for that business. I think risk mitigation is an obvious benefit to go-green. Electronic information much more easily controlled and monitored than paper. One of my favorite stories is a gentleman in a company we were trying to help who was so proud of the fact he was able to build a cubicle out the boxes of paper the bank sent to him. Literally had a wall of it until I reminded him that his checking information and all his clients’ information was sitting in there, and the look of horror on his face was very telling.
Enhanced workflow efficiencies; you’ve seen some of the earlier presentations talk about how it’s so important to have a system that can access critical data, whether it’s cash flow, things along those lines, and getting it into the right hands so that you can make decisions quicker.
And then lastly, I think everyone here probably has a very robust and broad go-green program. You may not necessarily be involved in it, in fact, in the Treasury & Risk survey, we saw that 30% of the respondees didn’t even know they had a program. But I tell you, go check, I guarantee you that either at the top of the house or in your operations area, you do have a go-green program and you want to get involved.
Some of the trends we see: We’re seeing the treasury department starting to lead the effort and Cisco and Ford and Wal-Mart are great examples, and you’re going to get to hear them in a few short moments. You can eliminate analysis fees or vendor charges and then some of the indirect fees as well. One example that I like to use is there was a program at a mid-corporate health care company that had written off $50,000 a year on research transactions because it was too costly to pull the paper back to do any of the client servicing increase. The minute they were able to leverage some of the banking systems, they were able to save themselves $50,000. And that can underwrite a lot of treasury innovation.
One of the other things that you’ll see is retrofitting some of these commoditized or core treasury products into a go-green strategy. So you can get your internal people, you can get your clients excited about the fact that although we’ve been talking about ACH and check disbursements and lock boxes for years and decades, the fact that they all have now an environmental or sustainability component to them gets them engaged and gets them involved; okay?
And then lastly, what you’re seeing is either your vendors or your banks or your financial institutions are starting to promote the fact that any new business with them is going to be electronic in format and that if you need any kind of paper, whether it’s an invoice or an advice, you’re going to start paying for that. In fact, in 2009, I was at the New England TMA, and I think it was Weiland who was one of the strategy companies said the second biggest things that corporates had to face besides credit squeeze — big surprise — was the fact that paper-based banking products were going to rise, and so here we are at that moment.
Just a little bit about success, and this is really in conjunction with all the business partners that we’ve had to deal with in our go-green environment. We’ve been able to reduce with our corporate partners 141 million documents over the last two years across 11 products. That roughly translates into 4 million pounds of paper reduced. This is the visual that I like — I have three small kids, so I deal in, you know, vivid colors now and pictures – 47,000 trees reduced, which is roughly four times the size of New York City, so, and again we’re just at the forefront of this program. It’s a triple win: a win for our clients; they’ve been able to reduce tons of fees, millions of dollars in fees in paper-based prices; for us, it’s been a great efficiency booster. We’ve been able to reduce the margins on a lot of our products and reinvest some of that money into better, more electronic platforms. And then obviously, this is why we’re all here, to benefit the environment; reduce our carbon footprint.
And then on top of those three things, you get all these extra benefits, right? So if you have to talk to your risk guy, you can tell him about disaster recovery and business continuity programs that are enhanced or mitigate client data risk. If you have a finance person, you’re talking about elimination of banking fees and other ancillary charges. And then in the service world, better access to information and better retrieval.
The challenges we see? Legal and compliance still seems to be a little bit of an obstacle, and we have conversations with our clients, though I think we’re starting to see that break. One of Treasury & Risk’s sister magazines, Inside Counsel — one of the older issues, I think it was actually within the last 12 months — featured on the cover the legal counsel for Hewlett-Packard who lead their go-green program. And that was a first for me because usually I run into the issue of, ‘Well we’d love to do it, but we need legal’s approval.’ And then the conversation kind of stalls there a little bit. So I think that’s changing. What I would recommend is that you just keep pushing the conversation with them. Sometimes what the legal requirements for — I always use my old industry, broker-dealer, which always required the original document. I think over the last 10 or 15 years, it’s now the best available copy, not the original copy. So there are changes like that that you just need to be aware of.
Operational costs? Although I think all the examples that I heard earlier today is that you can’t always make the cost of innovating your process be a road block to moving into a better environment, and in this case, a go-green one. So we hear that a little bit. And then, ’But I’d like to go-green but my vendor or my financial institution doesn’t necessarily have the electronic tool that I’m looking for.’ And so then I think what you need to do is help force your business partners to make sure that they’re innovating and meets your business needs as well.
Lastly, just a couple of resources. We have some interesting material; some best practices out there, the white paper that Tom referred to is also there, and then also the Treasury & Risk webinars. We just completed a webinar with Axa two weeks ago that talked about their journey, their go-green journey, so real interesting stuff. I think it’s great idea-sharing, and I encourage you to go in there and use that as well.
So I wanted to thank you for letting me frame out our go-green effort, and I’m really looking forward to introducing our panelists here. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce our Bronze recipient, John Drechny, the senior director of payment services from Wal-Mart Stores, or as I like to call, the recipient of my paycheck. John joined Sam’s Club in 1998 and has led their marketing group as a director of marketing for Sam’s Club. In 2002, John took over responsibility for the financial services at Sam’s Club and was promoted in 2007 to the senior director of electronic payments for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. As director of financial services, John has had responsibilities for creating and growing both credit products and services offered to the Sam’s Clubs members. And during this time, Sam’s Clubs experience doubled its private labeled credit programs. Sam’s Clubs also expanded its payment options to include signature-to-debit products and all MasterCard products. John’s current responsibilities include — and I’m getting exhausted just reading this — debit, electronic benefits, associate benefits cards, and credit payments accepted at all the Wal-Mart Stores. Mr. Drechny has over 20 years of retail knowledge and brings a wide breath of understanding of operations, marketing, merchandising, and financial services. He attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., where he received his bachelor’s degree, and he currently resides in Bentonville, Ark., with his wife and two children. So I’d like us to welcome John Drechny from Wal-Mart, the Bronze recipient.
JOHN DRECHNY: Well thank you, Greg, and thank you Treasury & Risk magazine, for giving us this opportunity to talk about some of the green initiatives that go on at Wal-Mart. At Wal-Mart, this has been a journey and we started the journey — first, I am not Mike Cook. I play Mike Cook on TV and in presentations sometimes but actually Mike is my boss and we flipped-out on trips, but you got the better half of it. Just don’t tell him, my midyear’s coming up. But at Wal-Mart, we’ve taken sustainability from a corporate level very seriously.
It started about four years ago, where we started with the objective of figuring out how we remove all the waste that we create within our business. And it became simple at first, on things like just reducing packaging size, and with the volume that we do, if you take a toy and cut out 30% of the packaging side, you’d save millions of pounds of carbon and gas and all the things that are bad that are happening out there today. And as we started looking at Wal-Mart and getting better, we’ve made our fleets 15% to 20% more efficient today then what they’ve been running in the past. And we started looking at, well that would be great, but that’s just dropping the stone in the water. And we started talking about how do you make the ripple effect?
So two years ago, we announced what we call the sustainability index, and it’s a project we’ve been working on with all of our suppliers where on all the packaging or all the products you’re buying, just like the nutritional information, we want to have a sustainable information on there as well to help customers make decisions that fit their lifestyle, so they understand what the gives and the takes are on buying the products, to just recently last month, where we announced our agricultural sustainable initiative. What we realize is that if we buy or produce that is closer to our store, we get fresher produce, and we reduce our cost of transportation, and that’s now applied to every part of our business. Mike Duke, at our last annual shareholder meeting said that sustainability is now sustainable at Wal-Mart because it fits into our brand promise of saving people money so they can live better.
When we started down the process of trying to figure out how we were going to make our payroll sustainable, we ran into all those problems Greg so elegantly laid out for us. You can imagine as I talk to some of my vendors, it was a conversation that started about seven years ago with Wal-Mart, and the first flag that was thrown up was legal. And we’ve made some friends in legal since then and the objective there, or their objections to it was, well you can’t tell associates what to do, and there’s all these laws associated with how you can pay people and can’t pay people, and in this day, you’ve got to make sure it’s a paper negotiable item that’s cash in these banks, and in this state, you’ve got to make sure that you fill out the check, and in this state. So what we started to do was to create that matrix that outlined all of those issues that prevented us from the past being able to have a sustainable payroll product. And as we started working through each of those issues, we started to see the reach that it was going to take within our organization in order to be successful at launching a sustainable payroll project.
The first thing we realized is foremost, ahead of anything else, this had to be something that our associates wanted and wanted to use. And we accomplished that by going out and listening to our associates and finding out how they use their current paper check today, creating a list of all the different ways that it’s used, and then made sure the product had an answer to all those questions.
And probably the highest compliment or level of success that we had at doing that is, when we went to launch the product, we actually put cards on the market before the first pay would go onto to those cards and had several employees who signed up. One of the cards we noticed — ’cause we gave the ability to load money on the card so it wasn’t just your pay that got loaded, if you were in a Wal-Mart store you could load any money you wanted onto that card for free — had $1,500 loaded onto us. And we started scratching our heads going, ‘How is there already $1,500 on this card that we haven’t even loaded any payroll to?’ So the store — we got a hold of the store, the store got a hold of the associate, and the associate said, ‘This was great. I was about to go on vacation, and I was trying to figure out, one, how I was going to book a hotel room and a rental car.’ Cause they didn’t have access to the traditional banking system, and I know that’s hard for a lot of us in this room to believe or see, but when you talk about Wal-Mart associates who are cashiers, who this may be their part-time job, it’s very real for them. So it enabled them to book their vacation and use the card to get a rental car. The other thing she said that was great is she was worried about taking that $1,500 and going on this vacation and having to carry that cash and the security that was involved with carrying that cash, and she said, ‘This gave me a great solution where I could put the money on.’ One of things that we did is we built so that you can take any amount off at any of our registers as many times as you want for free, so basically turned our registers into an ATM for these products. And so she said, ‘So pretty much anywhere I’m going to go on vacation there’s going to be a Wal-Mart. And if I need cash, I could just go into the Wal-Mart store and get my cash, and otherwise I could just use the card how I wanted to use the card.’ So as we looked at it, we were giving associates the empowerment to live life differently and that was really a powerful message.
On our side about it, it was all about efficiency. When we first met with our executive team and talked about what we were going to do with the product, the first objective they gave us is this can never be a profit generator from Wal-Mart. The goal of the card is not to get our associates to give money back to us unless they’re buying products. So that freed us up to do some creative things on the card and make sure that we held our suppliers to close to the same amount of not make any money. They do have to get return on the investment that they have into the products, but we made sure that it was very advantageous to our associate.
Where Wal-Mart saw the saving is, imagine mailing out 1.4 million checks to over 4,500 locations every other week. The expense that is attached to that — we have our own check-printing house, we run our own printing facility just to be able to print all of those checks and mail them out. FedEx loves us. They carry about three trailers on our lots at all time to take those checks and have them delivered on a timely basis to the store. And the temporary associates who spend three days stuffing envelopes with checks or making sure they’re in the right packages loved it as well cause it gave them temporary employment on how they went and did that.
So we started identifying all the different groups and people that we touch in areas that treasury traditionally, never has any involvement with. I mean, our relationship with our financial shared service and payroll before was very small, but as we began to realize and talk about how this was going to be done, we realized that in treasury, at least in a retail setting, card payments is what is my group’s specialty. And what this is about is card payments and that we had the knowledge, the connection, and the people that can make this work.
We went through the formal RFP process and evaluated over eight different suppliers, with the one goal that had to be met that is something that we can implement in all of our locations, and that we don’t have to specialize by location. First Data became our processing partner to it, and MasterCard became our card network brand with it. And the reason why we chose those two is, as we said, we wanted to get creative on how we delivered solutions to our associates. Those two partners were very instrumental in helping us start from a white-sheet board and creating a product that fit our 1.4 million associates.
So where did we end up with a product? I mentioned already the ability to get cash free for our associates. The other big struggle most people, all of us go through — getting paid to an electronic account is easy compared to getting pay advice to associates in a controlled manner that meets all the state regulations. So we created a printing device that we’ve delivered to all of our locations that our associates now go if they want a paper copy on demand of their payroll. We’ve applied an Internet infrastructure that allows them to get it on the internet. We even text our associates with their key critical information if they sign up for text messaging, and we allow them to call into an IVR and get their pay information as well.
We’ve currently totally shut off the printing in four states, and voluntarily over half of our employees have turned off their pay advice. In January — now that we’ve deployed the solution -– we’ll turn off the centralized printing and delivery of all pay advices to all of our associates. From a corporate standpoint, we’ve reduced our expenses on an annualized basis about $7 million a year; that’s a lot of paper. And from the environmental side, we’ve seen huge savings in our reduction of waste, our carbon imprint that we have on the country, and it made great progress at achieving Wal-Mart’s overall goal of being totally sustainable.
One of the things we learned about a great product is if you don’t have a clear communication strategy, it won’t work. I mean, how many of you guys have launched a product that you thought was the best product in the world, but nobody used it, and the reason why nobody used it is cause nobody knew it like you knew it. So we created the communication in probably one of the more innovative ways that we’ve tracked and helped communicate to our associates, through an internal blog. And what gets really interesting is when you have 1.4 million associates, the message that you set off — you guys have all played that game where I would tell Greg something, and he’d tell the next person, and the next person — the message gets pretty diluted. But what the blog allowed us to do is to find out how that message was being diluted through the stream, correct it instantaneously on the blog for the associate who’s asking the question, and then recommunicate out back to the HR people so that they can straighten out any misperceptions that were being talked about with the program. And that led us to what we all like to talk about, which is results.
So when we started the program, 55% of our associates were receiving their pay electronically through direct deposit. Within a matter of one month, we moved into — we moved to a 90% acceptance of electronic pay. Now remember, Wal-Mart’s goal was not to get everybody signed up to a pay card or a pay card solution. Wal-Mart’s goal was to move everybody to electronic pay. So about a third of the people actually took the card solution. The other two-thirds, because of the renewed communication and the renewed focus in the company, came in and gave us their bank accounts.
So where do we take it from here? We’re working on the systems that will allow us to get our associates signed up on the same day they join Wal-Mart. We’re working on the communication processes in adding more benefits like bill pay to make the cards more functional for our associates. And our goal by the end of this next year is to be able to show a graph that shows 100% of Wal-Mart associates now receive their pay electronically. Thank you.
LONG: Congratulations John, that’s a great story. So on to our Silver recipient. Mike Seneski is the assistant treasurer of Ford Motor Co. Mike is responsible for corporate financial strategy and has global oversight for affiliate treasury functions, risk management, treasury operations, and treasury IT. Mr. Seneski has been in this role since 2008. And from 2004 to 2008, Mike served as the vice president, controller, North America, Ford Credit Co., responsible for all Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Mazda customer and dealer financing in the United States and Canada. Were there any cars left out there, Mike? He also led all the critical roles in global to vested share efforts. Mike joined Ford Motor Co. in 1989 and has held a number of management positions in North America and the Asia-Pacific regions. He entered the credit treasury department after experiences within product development, manufacturing, and marketing and sales. Mike received his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from the 8-0 Michigan State football — University in 1987 — good luck at Iowa, Mike — and a master’s in business administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989. I want to welcome Mike Seneski and the Silver winner for the Best Green Strategy.
MIKE SENESKI: Kind of makes go-green mean something else, doesn’t it? All right. All right. I think the best place to start is where Lewis left off this morning, which is, what is our plan? And he talked all about these four tenets.
What I’m going to talk about is the Department of Energy loan that we got. And basically that loan helped three of these pillars. Low-cost funding to develop super-fuel-efficient vehicles pulled together by a very cross-functional team. So we have got to take a step back. Not all of you may know what the Department of Energy ATVM program is, so let me back up. In 2007, Congress actually passed the Energy Independence and Security Act and it did a number of things. The first thing is, it wanted to set one national standard because there are a lot of states that were talking about setting their own fuel economy standards. And it did that and said we’re going to be at 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. It also authorized up to $25 billion of loans for OEMs to invest in this type of stuff; it didn’t fund them, it just authorized it.
Now, as we’ve all talked about, unfortunately the industry was probably a little more focused on survival than investing in these types of very expensive technologies. And when you combine what happened in 2008, which Lewis talked through, where the auto industry basically fell off its rails, gas went from $2 to $4 a gallon and we had this fundamental shift of cars, Congress knew it had to act and actually fund this program. So they’ve set aside $25 billion to basically fundamentally improve the fuel economy and to help America move away from its dependence on foreign oil. And the key is, it has to be U.S. stuff on eligible vehicles that get at a 25% improvement in fuel economy, and treasury took the lead in pulling this together for the whole company.
Now, we had already had a plan, and Lewis had talked about it. In fact, when you stand back, we have four key strategies for the company. All of our products have four key strategies as well: quality, green, safe and smart. Under the green pillar, it’s our commitment that every new vehicle we introduce will be the leader in its segment in fuel economy. So we had already apportioned $14 billion of our plan to be able to deliver this. Now as you know, every loan requires an equity portion, so we submitted an application for $11 billion of that $14 billion to fund 13 projects. Now, the Department of Energy had to decide who are they going to pick first, and they had two key criteria. Criteria 1 is they needed to pick technologies that they felt comfortable with that could fundamentally improve America in where we were going. So the technology aspect was critical. Secondly, they needed to pick a company that they knew they could negotiate with to be able to set a precedent for all the other OEMs that were going to come after us to be able to fund this, the total $25 billion to add up.
From the Department of Energy’s perspective, just like any lender, they had a couple key criteria: you’ve got to pay your bills, anything that I give you money for, I want to lien on; this isn’t a grant, it’s not a giveaway, so I expect all normal loan terms that you’re going to have, and I want very detailed reviews. Unlike a normal loan, they wanted to be able to go through and review our technologies and our fuel economy every point in time because that’s what they were investing in.
From our standpoint, we had a number of issues. How do you prove financial viability when the world’s imploding and your domestic competitors are in bankruptcy? As Lewis said, we had basically mortgaged the house in 2006; we had no assets left, so how do I meet their collateral needs? So all my first lien was already spoken for, and I basically had no second lien because we had pledged that to the UAW VEBA in support of the pension obligations. So in essence, this became a four-party loan with us, the Department of Energy, our secured creditors, and the UAW VEBA. And if anybody’s ever dealt with the government, four-party is an understatement — it’s closer to seven or eight. So how do we find a way forward? Well, I’m going to take each one of them and go into them a little bit.
Financial viability: Lewis mentioned this this morning, and I can’t highlight enough how important it is in how our culture has changed as a company. Basically, the data that we look at the lowest levels of the company is the same data that we review in our earnings announcement and at the board of directors. And the transparency that that provides means that when you go in and you go to look at product development or marketing and sales, you can directly tie the physicals all the way to the financials. So for example, in marketing and sales, what’s your industry assumption? What’s your segment share assumption? What’s your market share assumption? What’s your volume assumption? What’s your net revenue — what’s your revenue assumption? I should be able to follow that right to gross revenue. If you can’t find that on your business plan, then you’re not transparent. And as the Department of Energy did that through — you know we have 165,000 employees, 75,000 in the U.S., think about, I can’t tell you how many people they interviewed. And when they were able to take each physical and tie it right to an income statement, that added up to the total — anyhow, I know that sounds like Business 101, but they were pretty impressed. But it allowed the discussion to be on, are the physicals the right physicals? And given that we had basically shared this plan with our almost 50 partner banks, we were able to convince the department that we felt pretty confident and so did they.
Second thing is, how do we get through this whole first lien issue? Well, we didn’t really have to worry about it before because everything that we were spending money on automatically went to our secured creditors. Well now, we had a provision in the agreement that said any new money they’d get their assets, but we had to create an asset system that was able to split and identify and track and report these unique assets to the Department of Energy. But we’ve also gotten so efficient that when we spend money, it’s not always on all new stuff. So you may have a piece of equipment and all you’re buying is a robot arm. That piece of equipment still belonged to our secured creditors, the robot arm belong to the Department of Energy. So do your asset systems allow you to add a sub-category? Identify who owns what. This fundamental change, we worked through it with both our secured creditors and the DOE to come to agreement.
Competitive terms: Now, the other thing that we had in our secured agreement was a most-favored-nations clause. Basically we couldn’t agree to anything more restrictive than what we had in that agreement. So it came upon us to have to negotiate with the Department of Energy that all the guarantees, affirmative and negative covenants, events of default that our 50 banks had negotiated with us were reasonable for their needs and would set a solid precedent for everybody else behind us. And use of a lot of, you know, our external lawyers, our internal lawyers, the whole Department of Energy legal team was able to convince them that, and it set them a good blueprint for everybody else. So that worked well.
The other thing we had to do is work with our secured creditors and the UAW VEBA to basically expand our second lien capacity by over $10 billion to be able to fully fund the loan, because this loan was covering not just capital expenses but also noncapital expenses, and so you think about the capital stuff, they put a haircut on the assets, how are you going to cover the rest of that collateral? You need a second lien to do that, and we were able to negotiate that with our other partners.
And then I’ve talked about our detailed reviews. We have such an adept asset system now that every month we provide a updated asset register to the Department of Energy. Over 10,000 lines are in that report, and quarterly we review with them our fuel economy, our technology, the timing, every single one of these programs. And what we review with them is exactly the same material that we review with [CEO] Alan Mulally.
And finally, what have we done with this program? Rather than kind of walking through there, I’ll take a different approach. This Department of Energy loan truly is a partnership with the government to improve our fuel efficiency and to lessen this nation’s dependence on foreign oil. Our programs are reducing oil consumption by hundreds of millions of barrels of oil. We’ve introduced a 40-mile-per-gallon Fiesta, we’re introducing a 40-mile-per-gallon Focus; right now, we’re in the midst of launching an F Series with four brand new power trains, and a new Explorer that are fundamentally going to change these segments. Isn’t anybody excited to get an Explorer that gets 26 miles a gallon? I mean, fundamentally, we are moving this business forward. Every single one of our projects is on track. We are blowing away the 25% fuel economy improvement, and truthfully, this couldn’t have been done without a cross-functional effort from everybody on the team. So thank you very much.
LONG: All right. That’s great. I love that story where, you know, all the deals are being done at the treasury office and yet it results at that end product of all the gas emission reductions and the fuel economy and the barrels of oil. Amazing story.
So last and certainly not least, we have our Gold recipient, Sean Folan from Cisco Systems, the senior manager of corporate finance. Sean is the head of corporate finance within treasury at Cisco. He leads a team responsible for managing corporate finance-related activities including capital structure, debt issuance, interest rate risk, and cash flow forecasting. Sean started at Cisco in 1999 in the sales finance group and joined treasury in 2002. Before assuming his current role, Sean was based in Amsterdam, where he led Cisco’s EMEA cash operations group. Sean was previously responsible for Cisco’s global foreign exchange program, and he holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in economics, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from the Haas School at the University of California, Berkeley — hey a little uh, all right. In addition, you may catch Sean tomorrow enjoying the environment. I recommended that High Line walkway and Sean’s a runner, so you may see him darting out early tomorrow morning ,so catch him if you can. Sean, I want to congratulate you and Cisco on being the recipient of the Gold Award for the Best Green Strategy.
SEAN FOLAN: Thank you very much, Greg, for the kind introduction, and I think we have some marketing material for UC Berkeley Haas School of Business where the two winners won the Best Green Strategy of Treasury & Risk magazine, so thanks to Treasury & Risk magazine for that.
Cisco treasury is around 30 people globally, located mainly in San Jose, Reno, and Rolle, Switzerland. Head count has remained roughly flat over the last 10 years, and we’ve been able to do that by leveraging our partners in technology to scale as our business and our balance sheet have grown. Our green initiative began around three years ago, and in addition to creating a positive environmental impact, we believe green technologies increase productivity and make overall good business sense. So Cisco as a whole has decreased its carbon emissions by roughly 50% over the past three years and treasury has upped this. We’re actually down by nearly 90%. How have we done this? Mainly by reducing travel, and we’ve actually reduced quite a bit of our paper waste, so you should be happy about that. It’s a little ironic that the first time Greg Bromberger and I have been in New York for three years on business travel is to accept an award for Green Strategy, so there’s a reason here, we actually used it as an opportunity to visit some of our banking partners also, so we’re trying to reduce our footprint by gathering all kinds of things in the same trip.
A few years back our CEO, John Chambers, challenged every organization to reduce their travel by 20% on a one-time basis. The treasury group actually upped that and have reduced our travel by 40% each year over the past three years, and we have no plans to go back to doing the travel that we previously have done. So treasury was able to reduce travel while maintaining a high performance, forming strong relationships with our banking insurance partners by using technologies such as Cisco TelePresence and Cisco WebEx. TelePresence is high-definition video conferencing which allows face-to-face meetings from anywhere at any time. People thousands of miles away appear to be in the same room as you. It’s truly an amazing technology, and you actually have to see it to believe it. WebEx is conferencing in collaboration over the Web. It includes audio and video and presentation and document sharing.
The key benefits that we’ve realized to date have been a positive environmental impact, an increase to Cisco’s bottom line because of cost savings on travel, increased productivity cause we’re not out of the office traveling around the globe, instant access to subject matter experts at our banking and insurance partners in that they actually don’t have to fly out to California or to Reno to meet with us. And last but not least is a significant improvement in the quality of life for our team. We are able to be at home every evening sleeping in our own beds, going to our children’s soccer games, and enjoying life.
So Cisco treasury is using green technologies in almost every aspect, everything that we’re involved with. This includes internal and external training, our global staff meetings, and our global banking reviews. I actually see some of our banking partners out in the audience and most of them I haven’t seen in person in a long time, only via TelePresence, so it’s good to see you guys finally in person. So treasury’s green technology has been successfully applied across numerous different areas, and we did some use case studies on some of them. I’m not going to go into details on all of them, but we have — on our debt issuance, our global [RR1] risk management renewals, for asset management, managing our $40 billion dollar portfolio, and for recruiting and hiring.
Let’s spend a few minutes talking about our debt issuance and the difference between our debt issuance before using these technologies and after. In 2006, we had our inaugural debt offering, where we raised $6.5 billion dollars and it was a three-month process. In 2009, we actually had two debt offerings, but the time to market for these offerings was reduced to three weeks. How did we do this? And what were the savings? Well, we had a speed to market that was greatly increased because of instead of flying everyone back and forth to New York, and we were actually able to do all the meetings for the RFP in the strategy sessions using TelePresence. In 2006, there were around 40 roundtrip flights, and in 2009 we actually did the whole process for both offerings with no flights, and we estimate that we were able to save roughly 70 flights between ourselves and our banking partners. In addition, in the 2009 offerings, we said we don’t want to see any pitch books; the banks walk in with pitch books that — oI don’t know how big they are, but they get bigger every time — so what we’ve actually said is we don’t want any pitch books for this offering, it’s all going to be done digitally using TelePresence, which has document-sharing capabilities, and also using our WebEx.
So prior to TelePresence and WebEx, Cisco and our partners used air travel as our main collaboration tool. That has now definitely changed. Utilizing green technologies, we have eliminated roughly 350 flights for us and our partners over the last 12 months. This has saved more than 290 metric tons of emissions. I’m not exactly sure how much that is in comparison — if you can get a diagram on how that actually works, it would be terrific — and we’ve also reduced greatly the number of printed papers, so reducing waste, paper waste. We estimate that Cisco’s net savings to date since implementing TelePresence three years ago is around $50,000 in addition, and the savings are not limited to Cisco, our asset managers are saving roughly $100,000 per year because they’re not flying to San Jose, Reno, and Switzerland to give us market updates and to have quarterly reviews.
So TelePresence and WebEx are transforming the way Cisco and our partners conduct business, and I want you all to consider the impacts if all of our financial service providers adopted a similar approach inside their organization and with all of their clients. Thank you very much for your time.
LONG: And again, I want to congratulate Sean and Cisco, especially since this looks like the last time I’ll be seeing you in person, Sean, unless I go out to California.
Before we get to Q&A, again I just want to highlight real quickly how the best green strategy just can be so different and yet all try to achieve the same thing. So you know, with Mike at Ford, the impact on fuel economy, you know, done in the treasury room and in the negotiations with the government, and Cisco,who’s reinventing how treasury business just gets done in general, whether it’s financing or just RFPs, and then our friends at Wal-Mart, who are providing new electronic tools for their company and for their workers, for people who are banking-challenged. I mean all of them are just having a great impact. So again, I want to just give another round of applause for our three winners if we can. Thank you.
And if I can be selfish, I’d like to lead with the first question because, of course, I am always trying to learn a little bit. And I’m going to put this out to all three of you gentlemen, if you don’t mind. As you been taking this journey and working your particular unique deals, what has been the one ancillary benefit you didn’t know going in that you were going to get out of it? And if we can start with you, Sean?
FOLAN: I think the main benefit — not the main, but one that I wasn’t anticipating through all this learning about the technologies out there, is what a proponent for Cisco I could be. Historically, treasury has not been involved in sales processes within Cisco. That has changed dramatically. Now, we’re out there promoting the use of these technologies because it’s technologies that we understand that we can truly use on a daily basis. As opposed to being the company that provide the pipes of the Internet, now we are a company that provides the end points of the Internet and it’s something that we can actually talk about and promote to our partners and hopefully through that increase Cisco’s revenues.
LONG: Thank you. Mike.
SENESKI: I think for us the key ancillary benefit beyond our product strategy of delivering the fuel economy was the control over assets that we fundamentally found and the fundamental change to our asset register and what that’s allowed us to do from an accounting and planning perspective — I’ll talk a little bit about that more tomorrow with our capital strategy — but it has given us tools that we never thought we would have had in being able to manage our asset base.
LONG: Thanks, Mike. And John.
DRECHNY: And Greg for us I would say it’s that empowerment level we’ve given our associates. I mean, that wasn’t the plan and the thought to begin with, it was to give them the ability to get to their pay quick and easy. But the empowerment that they had was — it’s amazing to hear some of their stories on how they use the cards and how it’s helped change their lives.
LONG: It became their decision, not yours.
LONG: Interesting. We have time for one more question. Do we have any from the audience? Anyone? Any go-green success story they want to share with us? No? All right. Thank you very much, and again, congratulations to all three of you.