At Equinix, we recognize that meeting key sustainability targets is one of our customers’ top concerns—now and into the future. This means doing what’s right for the planet, making a positive impact on people and communities and acting with integrity. Our customers are pursuing these goals because they want to future-proof their operations, setting themselves up to drive business value for decades to come.
We know our customers need a trusted digital infrastructure partner to help them meet their sustainability goals, which is why we’ve made it a top priority to become a sustainability leader in the data center industry. Whether it’s investing to build cleaner, more efficient data centers or collaborating with ecosystem partners to green our supply chain, we’re doing everything we can to deliver better sustainability results for our customers.
We’re also emphasizing transparency in our sustainability metrics, so that current and future Equinix customers can easily see how our efforts might benefit their sustainability bottom line. With this in mind, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Equinix Sustainability Report for FY2022.
The report highlights the success we’ve had so far with executing our Future First sustainability strategy across environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, and how those initiatives align to the material concerns of customers and other stakeholders. We call our strategy “Future First” because we believe true sustainability requires us to always keep looking forward. For this reason, the report also highlights some areas where there’s still work left to be done.
Many of our customers are already working to reduce emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) driven directly by their operations. As customers expand their climate commitments to also cover their supply chain Scope 3 emissions—those created indirectly by their supply chain partners—it has become increasingly important to find suppliers who share their commitment to reducing emissions and maximizing renewable energy whenever possible.
In 2022, we were once again an industry leader in this regard. We achieved 96% renewable energy coverage across our global operations, the furthest progress we’ve made to date toward our goal of 100% renewable energy coverage by 2030. This makes 2022 the fifth consecutive year we’ve achieved greater than 90% renewable energy coverage. It also represents a year-over-year increase of about 10% in terms of total investments in renewables.
In order to become a sustainable supplier for our customers, we recognize that we must address Scope 3 emissions across our own supply chain. As the first company in the data center industry to commit to becoming climate-neutral globally by 2030, aligned to an approved near-term Science-Based Target (SBT), we encourage our suppliers to do the same. In 2022, we made significant progress toward our goal of engaging with top suppliers to set their own SBTs by 2025. Our efforts have begun to pay off, as 17% of our qualified Scope 3 emissions are now covered by supplier-set SBTs.
We also reduced our own operational emissions. Our combined Scope 1 and Scope 2 (market-based) emissions in 2022 were down 23% percent from our 2019 baseline, even as our business grew significantly over that time span.
For the first time ever, we received a Climate Change Score of A from CDP. Out of more than 18,000 companies that disclosed their environmental metrics to CDP, Equinix was one of fewer than 300 globally to receive the top score. This honor shows that we’re among the leading companies when it comes to environmental transparency—not just in the data center sector, but across all industries.
Nothing that our business has done or will ever do would be possible without the power of people. It’s our people that come up with our biggest innovations and redefine what customers can accomplish. It’s also our people that connect with customers on a one-to-one basis to truly understand their business challenges and create a strategy for how best to overcome those challenges.
Because people play an essential role in everything our business does, we’ve made it our mission to create a diverse, inclusive culture; one where every employee can say “I’m safe, I belong, and I matter.” We also believe employees should play an active role in building that culture. In 2022, more than 600 employee volunteers led events and initiatives to further our diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIB) efforts. This is one reason we achieved a score of 85 for Belonging on our quarterly employee satisfaction survey, a two-point increase from last year.
We also believe that teams must be diverse in order to be truly innovative. To serve many different customers and meet many different priorities, we’ve sought to bring together team members with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skill sets. We made great progress toward this goal in 2022, increasing the number of Black employees in the U.S. by 20% and the number of women employees worldwide by 13%. In the U.S., 52% of our employees now come from historically marginalized groups, a 5% increase from 2021.
With the launch of the Equinix Foundation in September 2022, we created an important new opportunity for our employees to put their values into action. As the Foundation works to close the digital divide and build a more digitally inclusive future across the many communities we operate in, our employees will lead the way by identifying the causes and initiatives that matter most to them personally.
The company made a $50 million contribution to help establish the Foundation, and we’re already seeing results from this initial investment. For instance, the Foundation has announced a $100,000 grant to World Pulse, an independent, women-led, global social network. The grant will support Her Digital Leadership Alliance, an initiative that aims to drive change by building a grassroots network of 20,000 emerging leaders across more than 50 countries and giving them the skills they need to help close the gender digital divide.
Strong corporate governance is a key driver of our culture and a competitive advantage. Internal and external stakeholders—including employees, suppliers and customers—all play an active role in building that culture over time. At Equinix, we take great pride in being responsible corporate citizens who uphold the highest ethical standards while producing exceptional outcomes and advocating for a sustainable future. Specifically, we’re building a culture that emphasizes responsibility, ethics and integrity; our governance principles ensure we never sacrifice those values in pursuit of business results. We believe our high ethical standards are part of the reason our customers choose to work with us.
The members of our Board of Directors serve as the stewards of our governance principles; we look to the Board to guide us as we pursue our stakeholders’ best interests in an ethical way. We’ve made it our mission to find board members with the right mix of diversity, experience and independence to fulfill this role effectively. Three out of the last four most recent additions to our Board of Directors have been women and/or ethnically diverse. Of the 12 total board members, 10 of them are independent directors, while the average tenure for a board member is more than 7 years.
We’re also among the few large companies to directly link executive compensation with ESG performance. During 2022, we implemented short-term incentive performance metrics for VP-level and above tied to our environmental and social progress.
For the second year in a row, we received an A on the CDP Supplier Engagement Rating. This shows that not only are we serious about engaging with our suppliers to help reduce the impact of climate change, but we’re also making those engagement practices an ingrained part of our governance activities. Going forward, we intend to continue engaging with our suppliers on sustainability issues, encouraging them to set more aggressive climate targets.
We also recognize that our customers are facing rapidly proliferating regulations and reporting requirements in jurisdictions around the world. We’re doing our part to help them address this complexity and reduce risk. During 2022, we achieved global ISO 22301 certification for business continuity management and global PCI DSS certification for payment card industry security controls. We also completed about 3,000 customer assessments and audits to support our customers’ compliance requirements.
Awards and recognition
During 2022, our work to ensure sustainable operations and create a more inclusive, ethical place to work received recognition from the following sources:
We’re proud of the progress we’ve made in 2022 to become the sustainable digital infrastructure partner that our customers need, and it feels good to receive third-party validation for those efforts. However, we also recognize that the sustainability challenges facing our customers are complex and always changing, so we’ll never stop working to address those challenges head-on.
Access our interactive sustainability report today for a closer look at our work from 2022, as well as the commitments we’ve made to build on that success going forward.