IT Management

Highmark, Pennsylvania’s largest health insurer, supports eight insurance offices throughout the state. Based in Pittsburgh and in business for more than 70 years, Highmark has 19,000 employees in healthcare and subsidiary businesses.

Highmark made an early commitment to green initiatives throughout the company that originated with green building plans for new facilities.

“We began our corporate green initiatives with the construction of a new corporate data center near Hershey, PA,” says Mark Wood, Highmark’s director of IT Infrastructure.

Wood explained that when Highmark decided to build the new data center in Hershey, it wanted to take an environmental approach that focused on efficiency in design standards as published by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“These standards cover several different areas, including sustainable site planning, water efficiencies, energy efficiencies, conservation of materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality,” Wood says.

Highmark achieved a silver leader certification for its construction of the data center, which opened in November 2005.

Greening IT for the Data Center

The success of the new facility raised the ante for green initiatives throughout Highmark.

“We suddenly recognized we were sitting with an environmentally friendly data center, but none of the IT equipment was green,” says Wood. IT became the second stage of Highmark’s green focus.

In 2010, rate caps on power in central Pennsylvania expire.

5 Pages