Citi has announced that its Midwest Data Center has earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR label in recognition of superior energy performance. The facility, located outside of Columbus, OH, earned a score of 84 on the ENERGY STAR 100 point scale, indicating that the data center is performing better than 84 percent of similar facilities nationwide. The facility was the fourth data center to receive certification and at 304,275 sq ft it is the largest certified facility to date.

"Citi has committed to reduce the resources consumed in the course of doing business, particularly those that directly impact climate change" said John Killey, global head of sustainability for Citi Realty Services. "The use of ENERGY STAR is integral to energy management at Citi, being a simple but effective global benchmarking tool that enables us to focus on areas of opportunity"

Earning the ENERGY STAR at the Midwest Data Center demonstrates Citi’s commitment to achieving energy efficiency and the company’s use of cutting-edge engineering and technology to continue to make efficiency improvements in all areas of its operations. In order to achieve this recognition, Citi focused on reducing all areas of energy consumption, and in particular the IT equipment’s cooling systems - the largest non-IT energy consumer in any data center.

Citi innovations and improvements that led to this accomplishment include:
  • Raising space temperatures and increasing supply air temperatures to the data center floor
  • Taking advantage of the Ohio climate to "free-cool" 35 percent of the year and limiting the use of large refrigeration equipment
  • Isolating high- and low-energy IT equipment in different areas to reduce cooling fan speeds in less energy-intensive areas of the facility
  • Creating an energy management system (EMS) with dashboards of real-time equipment efficiency and peak performance targets, allowing operators to maintain vigilance over opportunities and make improvements in the facility’s operations on a 24/7 basis
  • Developing a formal process of routinely analyzing and employing lessons learned from the reporting and trending functionality provided by the EMS to ensure they are incorporated into the operating procedures
The Midwest Data Center is Citi’s first data center to earn the ENERGY STAR, and one of 54 ENERGY STAR labeled Citi facilities. In 2008 Citi developed an extensive global program to benchmark energy performance across 85 million sq ft spanning 12,000 locations and 100 countries, utilizing ENERGY STAR’s portfolio manager for commercial buildings. To date, Citi has reduced energy consumption by 20 percent across its 100 largest facilities, which account for nearly one third of the space in its real estate portfolio.

"EPA congratulates Citi on the achievement of its first labeled data center" stated Alyssa Quarforth, national program manager for commercial real estate at EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. "This accomplishment demonstrates the key role that operational improvements can play in data center energy management. Furthermore, by integrating Portfolio Manager into its organization-wide energy management efforts, spanning office buildings, bank branches, and now data centers, Citi is demonstrating the power of benchmarking as the foundation for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions"

According to a 2007 EPA report to Congress, data centers consumed approximately 1.5% of all energy in the US in 2006. This figure had doubled over the prior five years and is expected to double again by 2011. By next year, US data centers could consume approximately 12 Gigawatt hours of energy at a cost of $7.4 billion annually - requiring the entire energy output of 25 large power plants.

Citi is a leader in the effort to reverse this trend with its highly efficient Midwest Data Center facility, part of a global data center strategy it established in 2005. Citi’s data center in Frankfurt, Germany, was the first in the world to become LEED-NC Platinum certified by the US Green Building Council and Citi’s Georgetown, Texas, and Singapore data center facilities are both LEED gold certified. Citi’s ENERGY STAR partnership and energy efficiency programs are part of the company’s commitment to reduce GHG emissions 10% by 2011 and 25% by 2015, compared to a 2005 base year. Citi further announced in 2007 its intent to direct $50 billion over a 10 year period to address climate change, with $10 billion of this initiative to target its own facilities and operations. To date Citi’s business and operational units have mobilized over $24.3 billion as part of this initiative.