PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

A new data center will cut copper consumption and even reduce the number of work shifts and commutes.

When PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP brings its new 80,000-square-foot data center online this fall, the firm will showcase its latest green initiatives as well as the latest IT infrastructure.

The new data center uses high voltage to maximize energy use and reduce copper consumption, says John Regan, director of data center services. Its green design allows it to have 40 to 50 fewer air conditioning units than a conventional space. And when the data center is operational, its staff will work shifts over four days instead of five, cutting 40 weekly commutes.

"Our mind-set is on how we can maximize its potential," says PwC CIO Stuart Fulton.

PwC's efforts to build a highly energy-efficient data center is the latest example of the firm's enthusiasm for driving down energy consumption and building up its green commitments. It also highlights the IT department's importance in this work.

The global services firm has led green initiatives for some time, but they were scattered throughout various departments, says Shannon Schuyler, managing director of corporate responsibility at PwC. But 18 months ago, with the creation of the Corporate Responsibility Group, the firm established overarching goals, including one to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 20% by 2012.

The tech department has been instrumental in moving PwC toward that objective.

Tech workers have centralized hundreds of servers from remote offices and virtualized 1,050 servers since 2004, resulting in annual savings of 2.75 million kWh. In the past two years, IT has rolled out VoIP, consolidating voice infrastructure onto the data network to realize energy and capital savings.

Pratt is a Computerworld contributing writer. You can contact her at marykpratt@verizon.net.

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