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KKR ESG & Citizenship Report

Eco-Efficiency: First Data

Driving Data Center Efficiency

Key Environmental Performance Area:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)

Decreased greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by approximately 33 percent while efficiency improved by approximately 53 percent since 2009.

Avoided nearly $23.1 million in electricity costs and 166,100 metric tons of GHG emissions, compared to 2009.

Consolidated information technology operations from seven data center facilities into just three facilities.

All data and information in this case study are as of December 31, 2015, unless otherwise noted.


As the world becomes more interconnected, there is substantial growth in the amount of data generated and the need for data centers to handle store, process, and analyze that data. In 2015, data centers accounted for approximately 3 percent of global energy use, and this figure is expected to triple to 9 percent by 2020.i As a result of significant energy use, data centers are a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Global emissions from data centers are expected to reach 360 million metric tons of GHGs by 2030.ii Companies with a significant data center footprint have an opportunity to reduce environmental impacts through energy efficiency initiatives.

First Data is a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, serving approximately 6 million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in 118 countries around the world. First Data is focusing on improving the energy efficiency of its data center operations.


In 2015, First Data continued actively measuring and managing energy consumption in three of its data center facilities. The company addressed its energy efficiency by implementing the following practices:

  • Decommissioned its legacy computer hardware, a step made possible by the continued movement of processing platforms to new hardware and virtualized processing environments. Virtualization enables better utilization of physical equipment to achieve an equivalent processing output.
  • Continued replacing its legacy computer room air conditioning inventory with high-efficiency units that offer additional capacity.
  • Continued tuning and/or continuous commissioning of power and cooling infrastructure equipment to ensure that all systems are operating at their highest efficiency potential.


In absolute terms, GHG emissions from First Data facilities decreased by approximately 33 percent between 2009 and 2015, while efficiency improved by approximately 53 percent (GHGs/transaction volume) during the same time period. A significant portion of the initial energy reduction resulted from consolidation of data center facilities, from seven facilities in 2009 to three in 2015. First Data also realized energy savings by refreshing and enhancing power and cooling infrastructure equipment and utilizing computer virtualization. These reductions were achieved while transaction volume continued to increase. Energy efficiency improvements have helped First Data to avoid almost $23.1 million in electricity costs and 166,100 metric tons of GHG emissions since 2009.

US Data Center Facilities (2009 Baseline)
ESTIMATED RESULTS 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 TOTAL
Avoided GHGs (metric tons) 9,800 18,500 24,800 29,900 39,000 44,000 166,100
Avoided costs $1,340,000 $2,482,000 $3,154,000 $4,397,000 $5,696,000 $6,640,000 $23,710,000

First Data joined KKR’s green program in 2010 and is communicating results for the sixth time. As a global company, First Data recognizes the importance of operating at the highest level of accountability for its clients, its employees, and the environment in which they work.

i Bawden, Tom. "Global warming: Data centres to consume three times as much energy in next decade, experts warn." Independent. 23 January 2016. Web. 21 April 2016.


iii Reported results are based upon data provided by the portfolio company, and have not been reviewed or independently verified by KKR or KKR Capstone. KKR may calculate the figures presented in an effort to ensure calculation methodologies are consistently applied across companies in the Eco-Efficiency category. For more information regarding KKR’s calculations, please see the methodology section. There is no guarantee that any GSP-related avoided costs or added efficiencies will positively impact the portfolio company’s valuation or performance.

Unless otherwise noted, portfolio company data represents 2016 results, published in October 2017. These case studies may contain forward looking statements including descriptions of planned projects and projected results and savings. These statements are subject to the risk that the projects will not develop as planned or at all or that projected results and savings are not realized.