Empowering Sustainable Digital Infrastructure in Asia-Pacific

Equinix takes a holistic approach to supporting a sustainable digital landscape

Jeremy Deutsch
Empowering Sustainable Digital Infrastructure in Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing digital transformation at an extraordinary scale, with data centers as the backbone of this rapid digital growth. As the reliance on interconnected ecosystems and data-centric technologies becomes integral to everyday business and personal activities, the imperative for seamless and environmentally responsible digital infrastructure has intensified. In an era where the digital economy’s energy demands are surging, the adoption of efficient and sustainable solutions has transitioned from a mere option to an absolute necessity. 

At Equinix, we are acutely aware of the urgency of reaching climate neutrality and are dedicated to demonstrating how digital interconnectivity and environmental stewardship can coexist harmoniously. Globally in 2023, we have realized a 24% decrease in Scope 1 and 2 operational emissions from our 2019 baseline, bringing us closer to our objective of cutting operational emissions in half by 2030. This progress is thanks in part to our commitment to renewable energy, which accounts for 96% of our worldwide energy coverage. With $78M invested in enhancing operational excellence and energy demand reduction, efficiency projects in 2023 significantly contributed to our progress as well. 

 

Committing to Achieving Climate-Neutrality 

In Asia-Pacific, we recognize the unique challenges presented by the region’s diverse landscape can be converted into sustainability opportunities through a localized approach. Our recent solar rooftop installations in Melbourne and India exemplify our commitment to greening local grids, and scaling renewable energy projects.  

Across data center operations in the Asia-Pacific region, Equinix’s energy consumption reached 1,719 GWh in 2023, with 1,349 GWh covered by renewable energy. We have focused on expanding renewable energy supplies in high-impact markets to aid in the transition towards clean energy, achieving significant strides in Australia and Singapore through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).   

Equinix recently initiated a PPA in Singapore with local utility operator Sembcorp, which will see the offtake from a 75 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar energy project.  Similarly, in Australia, we’ve secured 151 MW of renewable energy through a PPA signed with TagEnergy. These initiatives are poised to bolster a resilient and clean energy supply for local data centers. Moreover, they play a vital role in nurturing local renewable energy sectors. 

To date, Equinix has committed to over 1 GW of PPAs globally, with 225 MW already operational. Scaling our access to PPAs is key to achieving our 2030 renewable goals. Since 2015, we have committed to 22 PPAs globally, further solidifying Equinix’s dedication to fostering long-term partnerships with reliable developers for quality projects.   

Innovating for Operational Efficiency 

Beyond renewable energy, we are driving operational performance through the adoption of best practices and investments in new technologies that optimize energy efficiency within our data centers. Last year, Equinix continued to execute a series of efficiency initiatives identified as part of its 5- year roadmap toward significantly lowering Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) across its global portfolio.  

Our $78 million investment in energy efficiency initiatives throughout 2023 contributed to achieving a global average PUE of 1.42 for 2024, an 8.8% improvement from the previous year.  In Asia-Pacific, example initiatives include the use of an AI-driven approach in Hong Kong to regulate temperature and optimize energy management at select sites, which led to a 5% reduction in energy consumption, saving around 200MWh per site annually. In Singapore, we retrofitted cooling towers at select sites by replacing the original fans, which were powered by less-efficient alternating current motors, with advanced direct shaft-driven fans using electric motors. This initiative improved cooling efficiency and reduced energy consumption, achieving energy savings of 38%-50%.  

Developing alternative power sources is vital to maintaining uptime for data centers.  In 2023, Equinix along with its partner, the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Energy Research & Technology, released results of a study into various fuel systems utilizing green hydrogen for data center backup power to support Singapore’s hydrogen strategy. This approach towards groundbreaking innovation ensures we remain at the forefront of sustainable data center operations. 

Moving to Australia, Equinix was able to achieve enhanced generator reliability and energy savings by retrofitting a pump circulation heater, allowing for the maintenance of a consistent operating temperature of 27°C. Solar arrays were also deployed in eight of Equinix data centers in Australia, including Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, which collectively provides a total of approximately 1.8MW of clean energy to local power grids. 

To help finance these and other sustainability initiatives around the world, Equinix has issued US$4.9 billion in green bonds since 2020, the funds from which have all been allocated, resulting in annual energy savings of ~1,800 GWh and carbon emissions reductions of over 669,000 mtCO2.   

Capturing Synergy Between Interconnection and Sustainability 

Equinix firmly believes that interconnection and sustainability are synergistic forces driving positive change. We empower customers to achieve their sustainability goals by helping them transition their Scope 1 and 2 emissions to Scope 3 once deployed on our digital infrastructure. Our global platform allows companies to reach partners and customers across the digital ecosystem with minimal latency, reducing the need for energy-intensive data exchange and reducing their environmental impact.  

We believe that by working together, we can harness the power of interconnection to build a thriving digital economy that benefits business and the environment, creating a more sustainable future for Asia-Pacific and the world. 

Shaping Business Future with The Future-First Strategy 

Transparency and accountability are integral to ensuring our sustainability efforts are impactful and long-lasting. We are proud to have received a CDP Climate Change “A” rating for the second consecutive year, recognizing our global commitment to responsible environmental practices and transparent reporting. This recognition reinforces our dedication to continuous improvement and holding ourselves to the highest standards of sustainability. 

In Asia-Pacific, as we look towards advancing our Future First strategy, we recognize the unique opportunities and challenges presented by the region’s diverse landscape. By maintaining alignment with our global strategy and investing locally, we are confident that we can continue to advance sustainability and offer inspiration within our industry.  

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Jeremy Deutsch President - Asia Pacific at Equinix
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