Pittsburgh — Computerworld  magazine selected Pittsburgh-based Highmark Inc. as the top green-Information Technology Company for 2008 and WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis, came in at No. 12 on the list.

Computerworld developed a checklist-style survey and weighting scheme, then reached out to the IT community through a variety of channels.

"When we began thinking about a new data center a number of years ago, we realized being environmentally friendly was an important part of the project," says Tom Tabor, senior VP and CIO at Highmark. "It is really more than just a trend, being environmentally sensitive is a business strategy here at Highmark. This strategy goes beyond the data center and is part of the entire IT operation."

A number of environmental factors were part of the construction of the Dauphin County, Pa.-based data center that opened in November 2005, including selecting the proper location, using recycled building materials wherever possible, utilizing efficient electrical systems and water conservation.

Literally every piece of equipment used at the Highmark Data Center is being measured by how much electricity it uses, according to the company.

"As demands on existing computing infrastructures continue to rise, and with even greater demands being placed on power grids and water sources across the country, companies that operate mission-critical computing facilities that consume both electricity and water to maintain operations, should be looking at green computing," says Tabor. "At the very least, companies should consider deploying energy-efficient and water-efficient concepts to minimize in-house consumptions. This will maximize the useful life of these facilities, keep energy costs in line and help ensure that electricity and water will be available in the future," said Tabor.

Sources: Highmark Inc., Computerworld

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