Connecting With Sustainable Purpose: Moving to 100% Renewable Energy & More

David Rinard


Equinix SG3 in Singapore

The release of Equinix’s annual Corporate Sustainability report is an exciting time at our company because it’s a chance to publicly track our progress and reaffirm our commitment to our goals. This year’s report tells a story of a young program making real gains:

  • We’re using more renewable energy to power our data centers, and that’s making our customer supply chain greener.
  • We’re taking concrete steps to strengthen our company culture, including better measuring the sense of belonging and well-being among our employees.
  • We’re continuing to prioritize compliance, and we require 100% employee participation in governance training.
  • We’re increasing philanthropic contributions, and our employees are stepping up their volunteering efforts in our local communities.

Our corporate sustainability program is just three years old, but it’s quickly become critical to the Equinix business. We’ve learned that it’s also good for business. This year’s report has the theme “Connecting with Purpose,” and it offers a window into how we do that inside our global data centers and with the people and places around us.


Committed to progress

Equinix’s corporate sustainability program is built on four key pillars: Environment, People, Governance, Community. Following are highlights from each pillar, as detailed in the report:

Stat_56Connecting with the Environment

Our public commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy use globally is a long-term goal on which we made remarkable progress in 2016, reaching 56% renewable energy coverage worldwide. Our efforts were highlighted by the 225 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy that we secured via long-term power purchasing agreements with new wind farms in West Texas and Oklahoma, as well as our first-ever purchases of renewable energy products in China and Japan.

The push to increase our use of renewable and low-carbon energy not only helps us do our part to address climate change, it benefits our customers by making their digital supply chain that much greener. But the 100% renewable pledge is a moving target. We’re frequently expanding our data center footprint through acquisitions and organic growth to serve our customers’ interconnection needs. That means as we become bigger energy consumers, we must continue to look for additional renewable energy sources. However, it also gives us a chance to increase sustainability by building new, highly efficient data centers, or by retrofitting and upgrading established facilities to meet our high operational standards, as well as our standards for efficiency and sustainability.

Connecting with People

We consider our company culture one of our greatest strengths, and this pillar helps us make sure it remains that way. In 2016, we concentrated on:

  • Promoting diversity of thought and contribution by building a pipeline of talent that supplies a range of perspectives, skills and life experiences
  • Fostering a sense of belonging and engagement through leadership development and career advancement opportunities, and better measuring the effectiveness of those efforts
  • Promoting wellness

We track our progress in these areas through various surveys, and one metric indicating success is the 88% of employees who reported “satisfaction and belonging” at Equinix. That’s compared to 85% the previous year, and the 73% industry average.

Connecting with Integrity

We maintain strict regulatory compliance and insist that all of our employees operate with integrity and with the highest ethical standards. We’re guided daily by our Equinix Code of Business Conduct, which 100% of our employees were trained in 2016. We conducted these trainings in 12 languages. We also hold our suppliers to our Business Partner Code of Conduct.

The year also saw Equinix continue to advance our thinking on data privacy and protection, issues of keen interest to our customers and stakeholders.

Stat_614KConnecting with Communities

Our efforts to positively affect the people around us include volunteer projects, philanthropy and initiatives like our commitment to closing the digital divide – the gap between those who have easy internet access and those who don’t. In 2016, Equinix employees donated nearly $500,000 to various causes they care about, and Equinix Impact Grants totaled another $614,000. But our employees gave more than money. Among those contributions are the following:

  • 8,717 hours contributed by 1,135 Equinix Impact volunteers across 10 countries in 5 continents.
  • 3,499 miles (5,644 km) run, walked, climbed and biked for charity
  • 551 bikes and care kits assembled to put a smile on foster children’s faces
  • 30,000 meals packaged to combat hunger around the world

Our goal to positively impact our people, our communities and our planet is one that will always be in front of us, because there’s always more to do. The world has never been more interconnected, or more interdependent, and as our size and industry influence grows, so does our obligation to do right by those we impact. We’re excited by the opportunities that an interconnected world will bring and the new ways we’ll connect with purpose to our environment, our people and our communities.

Please take some time to read our Corporate Sustainability report.


David Rinard
David Rinard Sr. Director, Global Sustainability & Strategic Sourcing - Global Design & Construction Dept.