Accelerating Sustainability to Build Stronger Businesses

Sustainable companies balance corporate performance with environmental responsibility

Katrina Rymill
Accelerating Sustainability to Build Stronger Businesses

Environmental sustainability has emerged as a significant concern and a business imperative for organizations today. A poll of public and private sector leaders in the latest World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2022 found that environment-related threats, including climate action failure and extreme weather events, topped the lists of short and long-term global risks.

According to Equinix’s 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey, 74% of Asia-Pacific IT decision-makers considered sustainability to be one of their organization’s most important drivers, while 62% regarded challenges in meeting sustainability targets a threat to their organizations. For 73% of respondents, environmental impact reduction is a priority in their organization’s technology strategy, and 72% of them will only work with IT partners who can meet key carbon reduction targets.

Increasingly, business and IT decision-makers across the globe today understand that balancing corporate goals with environmental responsibility is key to ensuring continued relevance, competitiveness and growth. A holistic collaborative approach, involving all strategic business units, has become integral to supporting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitments and targets across its core operations and processes. Deploying on a sustainable digital infrastructure foundation that is more distributed, flexible and interconnected across diverse ecosystems than ever before, is now fundamental for organizations to achieve their climate targets.

Sustainability Leaders Video Series

In this APAC Network video series hosted by Equinix, meet Asia-Pacific’s most inspiring people and companies leading the green revolution and charting a sustainable future for our planet. Hear from international experts on ESG leadership and how the future green economy will take shape.

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Equinix’s ‘Future First’ agenda to enable more sustainable organizations

At Equinix, we have a unique opportunity to harness our core strengths to advance the sustainability agendas of end-user organizations, employees, investors and communities. We support 10,000+ customers globally by providing sustainable digital services, technology expertise and extensive global ecosystems to enable long-term growth and resilience. Our extensive interconnection platform and global reach, spanning 71 metros across 32 countries, drives sustainability in the global digital economy.

Equinix’s Future First sustainability strategy integrates the economic, environmental and social interests of our key stakeholders. This serves as a foundation to maximize the benefits of technology for all, while minimizing its impact on the environment.

We were first in the industry to set a 100% renewable energy goal in 2015 and deploy renewable energy buying concepts​ like Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs), which contribute directly to greening the grid.  We also recognize the importance of reducing power consumption and enhancing our sustainability leadership that stems from continued energy efficiency improvements at our data centers.

Since 2011, Equinix has invested more than US$158 million in energy efficiency upgrades to reduce energy consumption within our data centers. Since 2020, our Energy Efficiency Center of Excellence has been developing long-term solutions for improving power usage effectiveness (PUE) – the industry’s benchmark for measuring the energy efficiency of powering computing facilities against energy used to cool installed equipment.

The average annual PUE of Equinix data centers globally for FY2021 stood at 1.48 – this compares favorably with the enterprise data center industry average PUE of 1.6 to 1.8. Equinix’s ambitious site-level design average PUE goals range from 1.20 to 1.40 and represent an average of 8-10% incremental efficiency gain. Depending on location and climate conditions, Equinix’s new data centers are designed to achieve under 1.20 PUE at full load.

In 2021, 95% of Equinix data centers’ energy consumption was covered by renewable sources, with over 200 Equinix data centers at 100% renewable energy coverage. This is the fourth consecutive year Equinix achieved over 90% renewable energy coverage.

Innovative initiatives to build a sustainable future for all

Equinix took a critical step in 2020 by adopting a green finance framework to advance our sustainability efforts. To date, we have issued USD$4.9billion in investment grade green bonds, with US$2.9billion allocated towards accelerating efforts to construct green buildings, improve energy efficiency, and procure renewable energy. As one of the largest global issuers in the investment-grade green bond market, Equinix believes this long-term investment will pay dividends in the form of broad support for our ongoing operations and continued growth.

In June 2021, Equinix was the first data center company to set the goal of becoming climate-neutral globally by 2030, aligned to an approved short-term science-based targets (SBT).  To achieve this, we are pursuing a number of initiatives and innovative techniques to reduce emissions across our operations. An integrated cross-functional sustainability team with representatives from virtually every business unit supports the achievement of our SBT, which include:

  • 50% reduction in scope 1&2 emissions by 2030
  • 50% reduction in Scope 3 emissions by 2030 (specific to Fuel and Energy Related Activities – FERA)
  • Engagement with 66% of our suppliers (by emissions) to help them set their own SBTs by 2025

In Asia-Pacific, Equinix has aligned our sustainability efforts with local governments’ green goals.  A recent example is the construction of SG5, Equinix’s 5th data center in Singapore, which supports the country’s Green Plan 2030 and Smart Nation strategy to build a digital economy, a digital government and a digital society, in line with its vision to be the digital hub of Asia-Pacific.

A collective commitment to driving sustainability

At Equinix, what we have learnt on our sustainability journey is that collective progress is critical to the success of our sustainability efforts.

Our commitment is to continually innovate and invest in supporting the sustainability agendas of our stakeholders in our rapidly changing world. Whether you are planning to design greener, more efficient digital supply chains, or building more resilient and sustainable digital economies, speak to Equinix today to explore the best approaches for starting or accelerating your organization’s sustainability journey.

Read Equinix’s Sustainability Report to find out more about its Future First strategy and key ESG commitments and plans to build a more sustainable future.

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Katrina Rymill SVP Corporate Finance & Sustainability
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