Google: Our Data Centers Are Good Neighbors

A look inside the cooling plant at a Google data center. Google said today that all its company-built data centers have earned independent certifications for environmental impact and workplace safety.

Google said today that all its company-built data centers in the United States have earned independent certifications for environmental impact and workplace safety. The company said the certifications were a sign of its commitment to maintaining the highest standards for its data center operations.

“All of our U.S. owned and operated data centers have received ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001certification,” said Joe Kava, Google’s Senior Director of Data Center Construction and operations, in a post on the Google blog. “We’re the first major Internet services company to gain external certification for those high standards at all of our U.S. data centers.”

While acronym-laden certifications might not seem like exciting stuff, Google says that meeting these standards are a key component of corporate responsibility and being a good citizen in the communities where its data centers are located. “We do this because we want to be the gold standard in environmental and workforce safety, and because we care about the communities where we live and work,” said Kava. “This is one more reason you can feel confident that when you’re using our products, you’re making an environmentally responsible choice.”

Google has been an industry leader in releasing information about the energy efficiency and power usage of its data centers, as well as emphasizing strategies to recycle water to reduce the impact of its facilities on local communities.

ISO 14001 evaluates a facility’s environmental management systems against a standard set of requirements, while OHSAS 18001is an international standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.

Google said both certifications had been earned by its data center facilities in The Dalles, Oregon; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Mayes County, Oklahoma; Lenoir, North Carolina; Monck’s Corner, South Carolina; and Douglas County, Georgia. “We plan to pursue certification in our European data centers as well,” said Kava.

This video provides an overview of the certifications and some details on the data center systems and best practices involved in meeting the standards.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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