Digital transformation is fundamentally altering every human interaction across the globe. Enterprises can now personalize services down to a single individual, while individuals have the power to start digital businesses capable of disrupting existing industries and creating new ones. The pace of innovation is accelerating beyond anything we could have imagined just a decade ago, creating unprecedented new opportunities for growth.
As the leading global interconnection and data center company, we operate in the center of this rapidly-changing landscape. Across 200 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 24 countries, we’re responsible for interconnecting the digital world and safeguarding the IT infrastructure assets that make it work. But this privilege comes with a big responsibility – to power, protect and connect the digital world sustainably, and to grow #inserviceto our stakeholders and the planet, as Equinix President and CEO Charles Meyers laid out in his vision of how he see himself and Equinix employees working every day. Understanding what’s at stake, we formalized Equinix’s corporate sustainability program in 2015 and, every year since, have challenged ourselves to ramp up our sustainability commitments and outcomes.
This year we are launching an interactive sustainability report website to make it easier for our stakeholders to engage with our environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives and find the information they need quickly. And we are expanding many of our programs to build on earlier successes.
Leading the way with best-in-class ESG practices
Our commitments to renewable energy, increased efficiency and improved resiliency have never wavered. Our employee and community engagement programs integrate purpose, passion and impact to make a difference both inside and outside of Equinix. And our governance and ethics programs ensure we are all working together to build an organization that is defined by its honesty, integrity and consistently ethical behavior.
Some ESG highlights from 2018 include:
Environment: Our environmental innovations have been recognized by industry and governmental organizations worldwide and we are close to achieving our long-term goal of 100% clean and renewable energy across our global portfolio. In 2018, we covered 100% of our U.S. load with net-zero carbon emission renewable energy and over 90% of our worldwide total. As a Renewable Energy Buyer’s Alliance (REBA) board member, we are also helping like-minded companies purchase renewable energy to advance a low-carbon energy future.
Social: Our expanding global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) Initiative aims to empower every employee in our company to feel “I’m safe, I belong and I matter.” As an example, our Equinix Women Leaders Network (EWLN) of 1,700 is driving the visibility and development of women in our workforce. And through our Equinix Impact program, in 2018 we donated $1 million and 16,735 hours of employee volunteer time to 795 charities across the globe.
Governance & Ethics: We follow ethical accounting standards and align our reporting to the major sustainability reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). We also equip our employees with the information they need to uphold our ethical standards every day. In fact, 100% of our employees completed annual Compliance training for the fifth year in a row. Going forward, our Board of Directors will be engaged to hold ESG responsibility and board diversity will be part of our Governance Guidelines.
Making a material impact
Materiality – which guides and prioritizes a company’s sustainability commitments – is an essential part of a comprehensive sustainability strategy. In 2018 we completed a materiality assessment that expanded on our initial 2015 assessment and is the basis for the prioritization of targeted improvements in material ESG areas as well as reporting and transparency standardization.
All the topics in the matrix below are considered significant to Equinix. Topics that have the greatest impact on Equinix – located to the top right – represent issues we are uniquely positioned to address. Moving forward, Equinix will continue to revisit our materiality assessment to further evaluate these areas and update them as needed.
Source: Equinix 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report. GRI 1.3 Materiality. GRI 2.3 Material Topics
Staying accountable to the highest ESG standards
Since the inception of our corporate sustainability program, we have been on the leading edge of commitment, transparency and accountability. We have aligned our reporting with the GRI, one of the world’s most widely used and respected sustainability frameworks for reporting ESG impacts.
Our energy and carbon emissions are third-party validated and adhere to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (our Scope 1, Scope 2 and most Scope 3 emissions are assured to ISO 14064-3:2006 Standards for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions). We have voluntarily reported our climate change data to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2015. We voluntarily meet the reporting requirements for other reporting frameworks including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), RobecoSAM (which informs the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices or DJSI), Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and EcoVadis.
As part of our expanded commitment to transparent accountability, we have also aligned our goals with the UN SDGs for the 2018 report. By joining with other companies, countries and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to work on the world’s most important social and environmental challenges, we can help accelerate progress.
Looking out for tomorrow
The world is changing. Digital transformation is sweeping the globe, affecting every industry and organization. Our customers are embracing the digitization of the modern world, but they are looking to do so sustainably and Equinix plays a critical role in getting them get there. Investors are increasingly scrutinizing how companies are managing material ESG issues and rewarding those who do it well. Employees want more than just a career – they want to work for companies that cultivate community and cause. At Equinix, we are committed to delivering on all of this, creating long-term shared value with our customers, partners, investors and employees and building a company legacy we will all be proud to have had a hand in shaping.
Questions? Feel free to email us at Sustainability@Equinix.com