At Equinix, we believe in a better future. Our Future First sustainability strategy rallies our people and partners to dream of a better future and then do what it takes to make it happen. The impact today’s actions can have on tomorrow is front of mind in all we do.
Although there are pressing global challenges, growing stakeholder expectations around addressing long-term risks, and increasing awareness of the environmental and social impacts the digital economy has on the world, we know that Equinix, as the world’s digital infrastructure company, can play a positive role in bringing about a sustainable future.
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 exposed underlying disparities in public health and contributed to widening economic disparities. The pandemic represents more than a healthcare crisis; it is a humanitarian crisis that has increased our collective awareness of deeper systemic injustices in the U.S. and across the globe.
COVID-19 also accelerated the digital transformation that was already underway, affecting how we work, how we learn, and how we interact. These shifts will transform society long after the pandemic with some notable benefit, but they are also likely to exacerbate inequalities, such as a widening and harmful digital divide, as businesses, governments and other stakeholders attempt to address social vulnerabilities and build back more resilient and sustainable economies.
The impacts of rising social inequities like never before, illuminates the need to transition to an inclusive, low-carbon economy. There has never been a more pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. Although worldwide lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in global emissions falling in 2020, recent trends show that as the world reopens, emissions will likely increase again. Governments are pivoting quickly to address climate change, especially in Europe. And despite the pandemic, investor interest in climate change continues to grow as investors begin to understand the ESG risks to their ability to create long-term value. Recognizing the risk that climate change poses to their fiduciary responsibilities, has resulted in investors calling on companies to assess climate risks, develop mitigation strategies and adopt the TCFD framework for disclosure.
As the world’s largest global data center Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Equinix has the opportunity to enable our customers and partners to scale their digital transformations sustainably. We are taking a leadership role to do what it takes to protect the planet, tackling climate change across our 225+ International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers, and within our broader industry. Our global Climate-Neutral Goal and Science-Based Targets, currently being defined, will embed carbon reduction across our business. We will do more to unleash our employees’ potential, including investing in and scaling our commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) across our business. This effort includes creating more diverse talent pipelines and pathways for more people to connect with meaningful work. We will challenge ourselves to initiate courageous conversations about how we unite with colleagues and external partners to build a more just and equitable world where no one is left behind. As a leader in the industry, Equinix is committed to leading the way and maximizing the benefits of technology for all people while minimizing its impact on the planet.
This report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards Core Option and addresses some of the disclosures in the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Real Estate Standard and Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We are committed to building these disclosures out over time.
As we reflect on the extraordinary events of 2020, it’s clear we are living in a time unlike any other in our history. Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly every aspect of our lives. For some, the impact has been, and continues to be, devastating. Our hearts and our support continue to go out to those suffering or facing great loss.
We would like to thank our more than 10,000 employees for not only enduring, but excelling, in the face of adversity and for powerfully demonstrating our commitment to be “In Service To”: in service to each other, to our customers, partners, shareholders, and to the communities in which we live and operate.
During this period of uncertainty, our global market leadership and the resilience of our business model gave rise to both the opportunity and a clear responsibility to help our communities and our planet. The “Magic of Equinix” and the strength of our unique culture were clearly evident this past year as we stood together as allies to build a better, more inclusive and more sustainable world. In support of our local communities and charities, we accelerated our philanthropic efforts by donating Platform Equinix services free of charge to organizations supporting the greater good throughout the pandemic. Additionally, as a company, we supported coronavirus relief and research and we established an Employee Relief Fund to offer support when our team members need it most.
With a number of events triggering waves of social unrest in the U.S. over the past year, we also joined together in solidarity as a company, to give rise to greater understanding and empathy as a foundation for action. I am proud of how Equinix continues to tackle this challenge, including actively supporting organizations dedicated to fighting for racial justice, and selecting Equinix employees to participate in a full-time fellowship to advance the work of the CEO Action for Racial Equity program. While we have made progress, the work is clearly far from over.
In the past year, we also continued to advance our bold sustainability agenda, again achieving more than 90% renewable coverage for our global data center energy consumption, as well as pursuing Science-based Targets and applying innovative techniques to push sustainability forward in all three regions. In 2020, we issued our first green bonds committing to accelerating our efforts on green buildings, energy efficiency and water consumption. Equinix recently joined the EU Climate Neutral Data Centre Operator Pact, an industry initiative to commit to EU data center carbon neutrality by 2030, to continue our momentum in climate change mitigation. We are proud to have again been recognized as a leader in sustainability receiving an A- rating from CDP and the EPA’s 2020 Green Power Partner of the Year award.
In closing, as 2020 showed us, our world is a very dynamic place. I am proud of how we have navigated through this challenging environment, and I am pleased with our increasing momentum in the market as we pursue the tremendous opportunity ahead. We had a strong finish to the year, delivering across each of our areas of strategic focus — all while maintaining a disciplined and long-term oriented approach to our capital allocation and shareholder return strategies.
We remain as optimistic as ever about the strength of our business and the opportunity to serve our customers, partners and shareholders as the world’s digital infrastructure company. We enter 2021 filled with gratitude, ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead and collectively energized by the pursuit of our purpose: to be the platform where the world comes together, enabling the innovations that enrich our work, life and planet. We are excited to share our latest corporate sustainability accomplishments and look forward to keeping you up to date as we continue to progress on this important journey.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Peter Van Camp
Chief Financial Officer
President and Chief Executive Officer
“As the leading global interconnection and data center company, Equinix is dedicated to powering, protecting and connecting the organizations and ecosystems that will shape this new era, and doing so in a sustainable and responsible way. ”