Equinix’s dedication to protecting, connecting and powering the digital economy has helped us extend our data center footprint to over 33 markets on five continents. There’s no doubt this growth requires us to use significant energy resources, but it also puts us in position to drive change within our industry.
At Equinix, we acknowledge the negative impacts of a fossil-fuel based energy system and we believe moving toward a sustainable energy future is the right thing to do. Last year, Equinix consumed over 2,200 gigawatt hours of energy across our global data center platform. As a data center industry leader, we believe the choices we make about our energy consumption can have a broad impact. With this in mind, we have committed to a long-term goal to use 100% clean and renewable energy to power our global platform. This will result in carbon-neutral data center and interconnection services for our global customers and partners.
We will meet this commitment, over time, using a variety of mechanisms, including: promoting onsite renewable energy (e.g. solar panels, fuel cells); buying more renewable energy in local markets (such by signing power purchase agreements); leveraging other programs in markets with fewer renewable energy choices (such as by purchasing renewable energy certificates, as we did in our recent deal with Iberdrola wind energy ); and encouraging utility companies to rely more on renewables (our SV8 facility in Palo Alto, Calif., is served by Palo Alto Utilities, whose electricity supply has been 100% carbon neutral since 2013).
We’ve adopted a set of Renewable Energy Principles to guide us in implementing our strategy:
- We prefer to utilize renewable and low carbon energy
- We prefer local sources of energy
- We prefer new or recently builtenergy sources
- We seek favorable renewable energy policies when locating new data centers
- We will provide regular updates on our sustainability goals and progress to improve focus and transparency
A key concept behind our principles is “additionality,” which simply means we will prioritize energy sources that add new capacity to a state’s or region’s renewable generation portfolio. There’s nothing wrong with buying from existing clean energy sources. But when a company contracts to buy power from a new project, it does more than give them a new customer. It’s an iron-clad commitment to the renewable energy developer’s business that they can take to the bank as they seek to establish themselves and expand the renewable energy marketplace.
Of course, Equinix’s efforts to promote sustainability extend beyond addressing our energy sources. Our data centers are also built to global environmental standards, and we take various measures to maximize efficiency and decrease our carbon footprint. Our new LD6 facility in London, for instance, harvests rainwater to reduce the facility’s water consumption.
As we work toward 100% clean and renewable energy, Equinix won’t forget who we are and what we do. Our customers rely on us for unmatched uptime and critical interconnection, and we will keep these promises while also working towards our sustainability goals. Clean energy must be tested and proven reliable and cost-effective.
Today, we already get about 30% of our energy from clean, renewable sources. The pace of adoption may vary as we work toward 100% renewable sources, but our commitment is that in all markets, and at all times, we will be good environmental stewards and use our leadership position to inspire lasting change.