Most people recognize the Energy Star label on their washing machines and televisions, but Kaiser Permanente has the distinctive label for four of its data centers, earning the title of EPA Energy Star Low Carbon IT Champion.
Kaiser Permanente was the first among health care providers to earn Energy Star data center certification for its Napa, California data center in 2010. Since then, the organization has added its Corona, California; Walnut Creek, California; and Silver Spring, Maryland data centers to the list.
Data centers are crucial to keeping people online, in touch and informed. Kaiser Permanente data centers are the nerve center for its award-winning Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect® and My Health Manager platforms, which enable unprecedented secure access to medical information and help millions of members manage their personal health information online. These platforms also support the many clinical and business applications and systems that help Kaiser Permanente deliver highly reliable technology enabled services.
But data centers are notorious energy hogs, consuming 2 percent of the electricity used annually in United States.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers data centers one of the largest energy-efficiency challenges facing our nation today, which is why it launched its data center certification program to recognize and encourage energy-efficient centers. Data centers that rank in the top 25 percent of most efficient data centers in the United States earn the certification.
“Kaiser Permanente is focused on providing health care services in a way that protects the environment and the health of our communities now and in the future,” said Steve Press, vice president of Data Center Solutions. “Our entire organization actively looks for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. In our data centers, we’ve challenged both our design and operations teams to raise the bar on system performance and operations excellence.”
In addition to earning Energy Star data center certification, Kaiser Permanente partnered with EPA to draft an in-depth case study exploring the costs and benefits of its various efficiency measures. It also partnered with EPA to produce a public service announcement highlighting these efficiency efforts.
The public service announcement features Kaiser Permanente’s Information Technology teams who implemented the energy efficient changes. Posed with three Energy Star data center certification plaques in the chiller room of the Napa data center, they are the faces of Kaiser Permanente’s leadership in this industry.
“This is not just a hobby for us,” Press said. “It’s a way of life.”