Awkward time for Target to win IT award

While the vulnerabilities of Target's data systems were exposed during a recent data breach the company’s data centers were being hailed as a model of energy efficiency by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

The EPA said Target was the first company ever to have two data centers earn its Energy Star building certification. The noteworthy distinction was part of Energy Star’s Low Carbon IT Campaign which sought to assist and recognize organizations for reducing energy used by their company’s IT equipment. In addition to Target, Energy Star recognized RagingWire, BNY Mellon and AT&T and featured those companies in public service announcements.

In Target’s case, as part of a commitment to sustainability a goal was set to increase the number of Energy Star certified buildings from 9% in 2009 to 75% in  2016. To help meet its environmental goals and improve data center operations, Target’s Technology Center engineering team conducted a series of cost-effective energy-efficiency upgrades on two 45,000-square-foot data centers in Brooklyn Park and Elk River, Minn. The Brooklyn Park facility was built in 2001 and Elk River was built in 2007.

“Our team developed a passion for managing our cooling technologies as mission-critical delivery, not settling for simple cooling of our IT infrastructure,” said Scott Hovet, a Target data center engineer. “Therefore, energy efficiency became a byproduct of precise technology management, which led us to perform an efficiency audit on the entire data center.”

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