Green Awards Paint a Persuasive Picture

Samuel Lee

Tim Robinson (R) Senior Director of Regional Business Development Equinix receiving the award from Andrew Milroy (L), Senior Vice President, Frost & Sullivan

They say that once is luck, but twice is skill.

I am certain that skill is something Equinix has in abundance, especially after winning the Frost & Sullivan Green Innovation Leadership Award for the Second Year Running.

This is the eighth year that Frost & Sullivan has run its Asia Pacific Best Practices Awards programme, which is geared towards recognizing companies across industries. Above all, it commends the diligence, commitment, and innovative business strategies required to advance in the global marketplace.

The skill that Equinix was specifically recognized for was its continued focus on designing and managing industry-leading green data centers across the Asia Pacific region. And, as you’d expect from a leading global research firm, the criteria were very carefully defined.

All of the participating companies were evaluated on their ability to show outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technology innovation, customer service and strategic product development.

Equinix demonstrated all of that with the recent retrofit of our SG1 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Singapore. For example, by putting in a granular temperature control system, SG1 has improved its power usage effectiveness (PUE) and achieved major energy savings.

In practical terms, this data center has saved more than eight million kWh (kilowatt hours) of energy between 2012-2014. Given the cost of energy in Singapore, that represents a significant dollar value, as well as a huge reduction in carbon footprint.

Asia-wide initiatives

That green mind-set is not limited to Singapore. Every Equinix data center uses technology and techniques that reduce its environmental impact. In fact, Equinix’s global IBX operations and engineering teams have implemented comprehensive conservation and efficiency programs that include energy and water conservation.

Our data centers in Asia-Pacific deploy a host of solutions designed to improve their green performance. They include adaptive control systems that reduce power consumption and increase cooling capacity through active airflow management. Then there are motion-activated lighting sensors coupled with energy-efficient LED systems to reduce energy consumption still further.

Cold/hot aisle containment is another useful green technique. It uses physical barriers to reduce the mixing of cold air in data center supply aisles with the hot air in their exhaust aisles. Again, the result is lower energy consumption as well as far more efficient cooling.

Variable frequency drives are also deployed in the chillers, pumps and fans that make up Equinix’s HVAC systems. They save energy by automatically reducing a motor’s speed – and the attendant power draw – when the system loads are lower.

All that hard work has definitely paid off. All Equinix’s data centers in Sydney (SY3), Hong Kong (HK2 phase 2, HK3 phase 2) and Tokyo (TY4) have earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) Gold certifications for high building standards by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

What’s more, all these data centers were awarded for excellent performance in terms of energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emission reductions, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to its impact on the environment. And all of Equinix’s data centers in Singapore have received SS 564 certifications, which is a Singaporean green building standard similar to LEED.

Continuing the green journey

There should be even more good news in the near future. Our data centers in Hong Kong (HK1 phase 9) and Singapore (SG3) are pending LEED Gold certification. But that’s not the end of the story.

Equinix’s has set aggressive targets of 1.45 or lower for the design average power usage effectiveness (PUE) of all data center designs. We also recently signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for solar power that will cover all of our California data centers and increase our use of clean, renewable sources from 30 percent to 43 percent globally.

Embracing green IT and renewable energy has become an important topic of discussion in boardrooms today, and Equinix is actively contributing to that conversation. I think we were the first colocation provider to provide a snapshot of our energy demand and related greenhouse footprint, as well as our electricity supply mix at a regional level via our Green Web Portal. It makes interesting reading and I encourage everyone to check it out for themselves.

As a business and a global corporate citizen, Equinix is constantly evaluating the energy efficiency of our data centers. And our commitment on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through adoption of proven energy-saving technologies and techniques on a global scale has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the Green Power Partners, amongst National Top 100 companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Intel, TD Bank, etc.

In the final analysis, this Frost & Sullivan award not only validates this approach, but also reinforces our commitment to putting all of our data centers on an aggressive path for efficiency improvements. And, if we follow it, there is every reason to hope that this path leads to winning more awards.



Samuel Lee
Samuel Lee Former President, Equinix Asia Pacific