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KKR ESG & Citizenship Report

Eco-Efficiency: GoDaddy

Driving Results Through Energy Efficiency

Key Environmental Performance Area:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)

50 kilowatt solar array offsets power consumption during day time hours in the Global Technology Center.

Installed high-efficiency chillers with variable frequency drives in HVAC systems in the data center.

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


As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, more data is being generated and there is a growing 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 their 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 their environmental impacts through energy efficiency initiatives.

GoDaddy is one of the world’s largest technology providers dedicated to small businesses. Because its business depends on managing and storing data, the company focuses on optimizing its data and technology centers. In addition, GoDaddy requires a significant number of employees to develop the software, maintain equipment, and provide customer support, and these employees need a comfortable and productive work environment.


GoDaddy has been focused on eco-efficiency in its facilities for many years and began partnering with KKR’s Green Solutions Platform (GSP) team in 2015. GoDaddy is working to enhance its operational capabilities while minimizing its environmental impact at its Global Technology Center in Tempe, Arizona, and its owned primary data center facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Global Technology Center has the following environmentally beneficial measures already in place.

  • Lighting: Installed a control system, internal space photocells, occupancy sensors, exterior LED lighting with photocells, and LED exit signs.
  • HVAC systems practices including:
    • The central chilled water plant is equipped with high-efficiency magnetic chillers with variable frequency drive, and variable drives on all pumps.
    • Roof-top, chilled water air handler units provide demand-controlled ventilation using CO2 sensors in the occupied areas and free air cooling capabilities.
    • In the main dining area, the perimeter glass wall system can be opened to provide an outdoor/indoor environment. To make this as energy efficient as possible, GoDaddy installed a high-pressure air curtain system that helps prevent the internal conditioned air from being fully released to the outdoors.
    • A 50 kilowatt solar array offsets power consumption during daytime.
  • Building/Energy Management System: This system provides continuous 24/7 capabilities to control the energy-consuming systems and track energy usage.
  • Water: Reclaimed, local reservoir water is used for desert landscape irrigation.

In 2015, GoDaddy has taken or began evaluating a number of actions to enhance the Phoenix, Arizona’s data center’s performance and associated impact.

  • Lighting: Installation of high-efficiency LED fixtures in server rooms, removal of unnecessary extra lamps from fluorescent fixtures in the corridor and warehouse areas, installation of motion/occupancy sensors with override timers for IT technicians in the server rooms. This project is substantially complete with a few areas still to be done in 2016.
  • HVAC systems practices including:
    • Replacement of older direct expansion systems with chilled water units (19 percent remaining).
    • Installed high efficiency chillers with variable frequency drives.
    • Installed variable frequency drives on all pumps.
    • Use of waste heat generated by uninterruptable power systems to condition the battery room, which is the only equipment room in the data center that requires heating. This project is substantially complete with full completion expected in 2017.
    • Use of higher temperature set points in server rooms that allow higher chilled water supply temperatures, which in turn improves the chilled water plant operating efficiency. This project is complete.
    • Use of a customized “swamp” cooler (i.e., evaporative humidification) to provide humidity control when the air handlers are located outside of the server room primary envelope, which helps control static discharge. This project is complete.
  • Information Technology Systems practices including:
    • Continued installation of high-efficiency servers to keep the maximum process load controlled as the business grows.
    • Use of IT virtualization techniques (ex. open stack) to allow servers to increase server CPU utilization.
    • Monitoring of service utilization to identify opportunities to migrate customers and workloads for densifying servers.


In 2015, GoDaddy’s efforts at the Global Technology Center and primary data center facility achieved the following results:

  • Through lighting, HVAC, and general energy management projects, GoDaddy’s data center has received more than $260,000 of utility rebates, with an average return on investment of 18 months.
  • Data center power usage effectiveness (PUE) has improved from 2.3 in 2007 to 1.5 in 2015.

Looking Forward

In 2016 and beyond, GoDaddy is considering additional opportunities to improve energy efficiency and performance. These opportunities include:

  • Replacing remaining direct expansion units with new water source heat pumps on chilled water loop at the data center. This project is in progress for the occupied area.
  • Installing a waterside economizer system, which would deliver nearly 3,600 hours per year of free cooling in the data center. This is in progress with phase one completion expected in the third quarter of 2016. Phase one of this project is the completion of two cooling towers, with a third to be added at a later date. Phase one is expected to save 1,540,000 kWh and avoid 740 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The full project is expected to save 2,300,000 kWh and avoid 1,100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

GoDaddy began participating in KKR’s green program in 2015 and is communicating results for the second time.


ii Global e-Sustainability Initiative. “#SMARTer2030 – ICT Solutions for 21st Century Challenges.” 2015. Web. 13 July 2016.

iii Self-reported portfolio company data is not calculated, reviewed or independently verified by KKR or KKR Capstone. For more information regarding the results methodology for companies evaluating their own data, 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 2015 results, published in August 2016. 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.