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Big Victory for Involta’s Victory View Data Center in Boise, Idaho An Earth Day Q&A

As a celebration of Earth Day, we are highlighting Involta’s “People Who Deliver” and how the company supports and inspires its team to improve their work, themselves and their community, from being more sustainable to delivering award-winning energy-efficient data centers. To kick off this Earth Day celebration, we sat down with Michael Campbell, data center manager at Involta’s Victory View facility in Boise, Idaho, to discuss how and why the data center was recently honored with the 2022 Idaho Awards for Leadership in Energy Efficiency in the Buildings category. 

Pictured Left to Right: Data Center Manager Michael Campbell, Governor Brad Little, Data Center Administrator Dalton Dunn, Account Executive Sedona Sinclair and Involta VP of Western Sales Brandon Yansky.

Q: Michael, let’s start with this award. What does it mean to you, your team and the company?

We are truly honored to have been recognized in this way and for something that we are so passionate about. We are so proud to be part of the Treasure Valley community. As a national provider of data center and technology services, one of Involta’s goals is to be a responsible steward of energy conservation in how we design, build and operate data centers. We are only able to achieve this with the ongoing support of our market partners, including Idaho Power, The City of Boise, and The State of Idaho. The other award recipients in our category were Boise State University, Brigham Young University, Idaho, and Simplot, a large and very well-known potato grower. The fact that we were recognized among these highly recognized and larger institutions shows that our level of commitment to sustainability is significant and making an impact. Going to the state house to receive the honor from Governor Brad Little himself was the icing on the cake!

Q: What exactly earned Victory View the honor?

We are doing a few things at Victory View that ultimately resulted in an energy reduction of more than 1.3M kWh and a cost savings of over $110,000. This was significant enough to earn  Involta a nomination and, ultimately, the award recognition.

In terms of actual data center operations, we got to those numbers by redirecting airflow to allow for energy-efficient cooling, installing air conditioning units with variable frequency drive fan motors and two 500kW UPS (uninterrupted power supply) with Lithium-Ion battery backup. But we truly walk the walk here, and in addition to those measures, we do simple things that have a big impact over time, like using LED lighting, touchless faucets and an e-cycling program to reduce the amount of hardware waste going to landfills.

Q: Tell us more about e-cycling… 

It’s a big deal here. Every tour that goes through, every customer and prospect conversation we have, we point out our e-waste recycling program. Everyone that we onboard, we show them the receptacles so our tenants are also recycling their e-waste. And that includes everything from bolts and nuts to servers and hardware. It gets mentioned at every touch point we have – whether it’s existing customers, future customers or even student tours. The reaction we get is great, too. Most people are pleasantly surprised because it’s not often that they come across e-waste recycling. 

Q: Now we want to learn more about you! How did you end up at Victory View?

I consider myself coming from a blue-collar entrepreneurialism-type background. I have experience in a lot of different trades – framing houses, building houses, plumbing and electrical. The latter led me to fiber splicing, which brought me to the world of IT. I moved into the NOC side of things, and that grew my soft skills. That eventually translated into facilities positions. I just kept transitioning my skills and upskilling. 

Q: What are you passionate about?

Well, I love music. I am originally from Virginia but moved out west to LA to try to break into the music industry as a rock musician – long hair and everything! But I am also a conservationist at heart. We garden, and we love plants and nature. And at home, our garbage cans that go out to the curb are only about a quarter full. But our recycling bins are overflowing. It’s not unlike most Idahoans, who tend to be very outdoorsy. We like big, open, clean spaces. 

Q: What is happening in your community, and how does Involta help?

I was a volunteer ambassador for Involta for a couple of years. As part of that, I led clean-up efforts working with the city of Boise on a Ridge to Rivers trail cleanup. This was our Involta Cares mission. We did the clean-up last spring – and will do it again in the fall. The east side of Boise is up against the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains, a mountain range that’s part of the Rockies. The foothills area is a very popular place to gather, everyone from families with kids to people on bikes, dog owners and more. It’s just a really nice place to take in the mountain views and fresh air. Involta Cares was there to pick up trash on the trails and help maintain areas where erosion is prevalent.

Q: Give us some Earth Day thoughts. 

The idea that what “one person is doing doesn’t make a difference” is a cop-out. When we are all doing SOMETHING, doing what we can – we can really see results. 

To learn more about Michael Campbell and Involta’s Victory View data center in Boise, Idaho,  get an inside look here

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