Sustainability is more urgent than ever before, as world leaders rally together through summits like COP27 to address looming climate change and other global concerns. As the world’s digital infrastructure company, operating data centers around the globe, Equinix recognizes its responsibility to play a leading role in making change. In 2015 we became the first in the industry to set a 100% renewable energy goal and in 2021 we led by example, setting a climate neutral by 2030 goal that is aligned with science-based targets across Scope 1, 2, and 3 as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) and in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
To achieve these ambitious targets, we continue to build upon our Future First sustainability strategy, designed to deliver meaningful and measurable progress that positively impacts our customers, partners, investors and employees.
Environmental Innovations and Social Equity Initiatives Implemented in the Asia-Pacific
As Equinix continues to grow its digital footprint in Asia-Pacific, sustainability remains a core priority, , illustrated by the numerous technological and social achievements that reflect our commitment to climate neutrality by 2030. Our metropolitan divisions in Asia-Pacific continue to receive recognition for their contributions in furthering progress towards meaningful ESG (Environment, Sustainability, Governance) outcomes highlighted below.
Sustainability at Equinix
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We have successfully achieved 100% renewable energy coverage for all five of our Hong Kong International Business ExchangeTM (IBX®) data centers.
Hong Kong’s climate amplifies humidity and heat conditions in data centers, which are cooled with significant air-conditioning requirements, and associated power consumption. The insatiable appetite of air-conditioners for energy was the catalyst for the development of Enercoat®, a water-based graphene infused high performance material. By coating cooling coils with Enercoat, we were able to reduce energy consumption by 10%-30% and peak energy by 10%-50%. This remarkable innovation was awarded with the Excellence Award at CLP’s Smart Energy Award 2022 and Energy Efficiency Innovation Award from W.Media, a testament to our efforts in greening infrastructure.
Equinix has long-standing commitments and close relationships with the Singaporean government and the National University of Singapore (NUS) to support Singapore’s Green Plan 2030. Collaborative initiatives encompass multiple aspects of our Future First strategy such as nurturing talent, building sustainability programs and researching hydrogen energy alternatives.
We have taken a multi-faceted approach towards sustainability through innovation and by funding grassroots talent to support development and the implementation of new technologies. Through our partnership with the NUS Centre for Energy Research & Technology (CERT), we are assessing alternative technologies that would enable the use of hydrogen as a green fuel source for mission-critical data center infrastructure. We have also committed up to SG$1 million for sustainability projects and SG$160,000 towards sustainability focused scholarships for programs at NUS and Singapore Management University (SMU) to foster the next generation of sustainability leaders. Our well-rounded efforts in support of Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 have resulted in Equinix being named Singapore Data Centre Services Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan and awarded the Green Innovation Award under the MNC Category at the 2022 Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards (SEAA).
Furthering our commitment to transition towards 100% renewable energy coverage by 2030, Equinix and other like-minded businesses received authorization from Australian Competition and Consumer Authority to conduct a joint procurement process for an aggregated volume of electricity and
equivalent volume of green products from a solar or wind electricity generation facility connected, or to be connected, to the National Electricity Market This authorization will promote increased competition for and subsequent investment into renewable energy, bettering the overall landscape with emphasis on production and consumption of renewable and sustainable energy.
We have also begun integrating onsite solar renewables projects into the Equinix ecosystem with infrastructure being piloted in Australia and deployed worldwide. In 2021, three data centers in Australia went live with new solar arrays (BR1, CA1, SY7 with 66kW, 39kW and 33kW respectively).
All of Japan’s IBX data centers in Tokyo and Osaka are covered by purchases of renewable energy certificates from solar and wind energy generation. Our TY3 data center, which is one of 28 piloted Energy Efficiency Center of Excellence (EE CoE) sites, reduces the consumption of both energy and water, while actively facilitating appropriate management of hazardous waste in support of circular economy principles. Our cumulative efforts in sustainability were recognized with the Frost & Sullivan 2022 Japan Data Center Services Company of the Year Award. Equinix Japan was also awarded the gold from Pride Index 2022, highlighting the positive impact that diversity and an inclusive culture can foster, a major milestone for workplace inclusion.
In Korea, we have operated with 100% renewable energy coverage since 2020, with all xScale data centers expected to be LEED certified (or the equivalent regional certification). Our Korea team is also committed to giving back to the community. Most recently, they participated in a social cleanup activity to help keep Seoul clean. ‘Cleanup to Reinvent the City’ involved a group of employees who picked up waste in the Mapo area. The activity was a reminder of the importance of being proactive in nurturing a cleaner environment for themselves, the community and a sustainable future.
The Equinix Korea team also organized a charity charcoal briquette delivery initiative during a particularly harsh winter to those in need living in the Baeksa village & Jeongneung-dong in Seoul. A heart-warming experience for our team and a much-needed heating source to tie the villagers over winter, with a total of 2,400 charcoal briquettes successfully delivered.
At Equinix India we’ve put our sustainability foot forward right from the start, ensuring that all our data centers are covered 100% by renewable energy.
Equality and diversity bring together unique perspectives driving our collective success. In India, we place emphasis on creating an open and welcoming work environment for our female team members. The Equinix Women Leaders Network (ELWN) recently organized a session to promote the importance of gender equality and to help female employees with their personal branding. The initiative promoted the sharing of insights and personal challenges women face when balancing their differing roles at work and at home. In honor of International Women’s Day, our team in India also organized an awareness outreach to adolescent girls in Mumbai public schools to cultivate hygiene awareness. This opportunity was pertinent to address the lack of hygiene amenities in schools, which sometimes deters young females from continuing their education and resulting in their falling out of the education system. Raising awareness about gender imbalances through education is an opportunity to give back to society and empower younger generations to take greater strides in breaking down barriers for women and girls.
Leadership Through Sustainability Empowerment
Equinix is one of the 30 founding members of a new Sustainable Trading network, dedicated to developing best practices and benchmarks for sustainability. Part of Equinix’s commitment to advocacy and collaboration, is to not only lead by example, but to also educate industry leaders proactively on how to purchase renewable energy while publicly advocating for increasing access to renewables on the grid for all consumers of electricity.
We seek to be responsible environmental stewards with the resources we consume, both finite and renewable. We also recognize the challenge of operational design that has a pressing need to reduce environmental impact without sacrificing performance or reliability. As a recipient of the Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific Data Center of the Year and ACES Asia’s Most Sustainable Company of the Year award, we are further motivated to continue in our prioritization of investment in designing the green data centers of the future across the Asia-Pacific region.
Apart from APAC, our renewable energy procurement, sustainable innovations and commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging have also been recognized by industry and non-governmental organizations worldwide. Our sustainability ethos of ‘Future First’ reflects a commitment to reliability, resilience and sustainability of our portfolio and for the future of our planet.