Healthy and Sustainable Offices

At Equinix, we take pride in our efforts to cultivate a healthier environment for the planet and people. We are designing new builds, analyzing our data, educating employees, and engaging with our communities while holding sustainability at the forefront of our strategy. As Equinix continues to grow, we are mindful of the spaces that we occupy and are working as a global team to drive meaningful impact in every region.

Office Energy Use

While data center management is most impactful to achieve our climate-neutral goal by 2030, we also pursue new ways of improving the office spaces that we occupy. In 2022, we set ten-year carbon emission reduction targets for 100% of our managed sites. Building upon this work, we collected baseline data for all sites worldwide to set appropriate regional and global targets by 2030. Every site has an energy management plan that outlines a methodology of reducing carbon emissions through free addressing, operational energy reduction, and retrofitting. Our free addressing program was initiated in 2020 and is the largest driver of our emission reduction measures to date. In addition to this, starting in late 2022, we introduced our operational energy reduction program. We piloted three sites with rapid energy audits and found an immediate actionable saving of 125,000 KWh per year. We anticipate expanding this program to include nine more offices by then end of 2023.

Global Office Design Guidelines

Our global design guidelines outline our approach to ensure all offices meet Equinix’s standards for a healthy workplace environment. We are iterating on the free address approach launched in 2020 to include further recommendations on creating optimal working spaces for our employees. By collaborating across our teams, we are looking at new ways of designing offices that consider both energy efficiency and accessibility for our employees. Through our Equinix Employee Connect Networks (EECNs), such as ConnectAbilities, we are learning what office qualities are most important to our employees and how we can integrate diversity and inclusion into our design process.

In 2022, we continued to strengthen our design guidelines to outline best practices for new construction projects. The six key areas that Equinix focuses on are:

  • Reduction in energy consumption
  • Moving toward renewable energy
  • Implementing a sustainable water cycle
  • Reducing waste
  • Wellness
  • Selecting sustainable materials

In our existing builds, the corporate real estate teams use a checklist based on our global design guidelines to standardize how we assess our design and construction. The checklist helps our teams open dialogue with landlords about sustainability initiatives by asking about tracking energy and resource use, including options for renewable energy procurement.

Our design guidelines and checklist intersect with other existing efforts to improve resource efficiency in our offices, such as:

  • Achieving USGBC LEED Green Building Certifications, such as our LEED Gold corporate headquarters in Redwood City, California
  • Diverting waste through composting, recycling and donating retired computing equipment to nonprofits addressing the Digital Divide
  • Reducing waste by providing beverage stations to eliminate single-use plastic bottles and expanding the use of Wi-Fi instead of wired cabling
  • Addressing energy efficiency by implementing LED lighting retrofits and using energy-efficient appliances
  • Reducing water waste by installing low-flow sensor plumbing fixtures operated by sensors
  • 40% reduction in APAC HQ footprint via free address model, resulting in a 37% reduction in energy consumption against a 2019 baseline

Increasing Employee Awareness

Our team of ambitious leaders is passionate about innovating new ways to tackle climate change. Throughout Equinix, we are expanding our expertise and empowering employees to engage in our sustainability efforts through various events, training and workshops. Every person’s role and location in which they operate offers a unique perspective on sustainability, and by providing the team with correct tools and frameworks, we can accelerate our impact.

In France, 230 employees participated in a workshop to explore the complexity of the challenges we face with climate change. The workshop used Climate Fresk, an educational tool used by organizations or communities to provide accessible, science-based education on the causes, effects and risks of climate change. As a result of the workshop, participants took the lead to create five tangible action plans and tools to address sustainability topics under the team’s direct control:

  • Education: To raise awareness of every individual’s carbon impact
  • Recycling: To build a solution for internal and customers on recycling/upcycling
  • Energy Efficiency: To accelerate our Energy Efficiency Program with innovative solutions
  • Food: To help our employees reduce meat consumption
  • IBX® Facility Improvement: To systematically adapt IBX® facilities to best practices

Outside of the office, we encourage employees to participate in sustainability programs or activities in their communities. One of the focus areas in our WeAreEquinix local groups is Green and Sustainable. As part of this initiative, our staff in Hong Kong joined the Green Hero Challenge where they promoted “zero-waste” culture by cleaning local trails. We continue to grow our WeAreEquinix teams and explore the ways our environmental and social initiatives intersect.

Personal E-Waste Recycling

Office-based employees participated in a sustainable e-waste disposal event during the month of October as a part of Equinix’s Impact Month. Designated drop-off bins placed in our Amsterdam, Singapore, Mexico and Redwood City offices allowed our employees to bring personal electronics to be processed by our partners in each location. Over 2,200 pounds of employee-owned e-waste such as laptops, cell phones and televisions were diverted from landfills and refurbished or recycled globally. In addition to the environmental benefits, this event contributed to the advancement of digital inclusion by supporting our U.S. partner, Merit Partners. Merit Partners is a non-profit organization that provides e-waste recycling training to incarcerated individuals in Northern California with the objective of reducing the chance of reoffending.

E-Waste Diverted