Healthy and Sustainable Offices

As a leader in data centers and as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), we have a responsibility to ensure our buildings are designed with the environment and community in mind. Sustainability is a core element of our new-build strategy, which uses data analysis, employee education and community engagement to inform the design and development of our data centers.

Energy Efficient Offices

To guide our efforts, we established carbon emission reduction targets, collecting baseline data globally in 2022 to set regional and global targets for 2030. Strategic planning ensures a clear roadmap and measurable objectives to track progress toward becoming climate neutral1 across Scopes 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. We plan to achieve this through a combination of:

  • “Free addressing” workspaces that provide a flexible seating arrangement, reducing leased space and energy consumption, while giving employees flexibility in work locations
  • Operational energy reduction, including using efficient technologies and optimizing processes for day-to-day operations
  • Retrofits that offer a more sustainable and cost-effective way to upgrade existing systems and structures for improved performance and functionality, avoiding complete replacements
  • Site-based efficiency initiatives guided by the site’s energy management plan to reduce our carbon emissions, including the purchase of renewable energy

1 We define climate neutrality as achieving a 100% reduction in operational emissions.

Free Addressing

We are continually refining the free address approach introduced in 2018, incorporating additional recommendations, including how we calculate our spatial requirements, introducing work points into our capacity calculations, and improving the variety of spaces to drive greater functionality for better utilization and efficiency. We are embarking on an inclusive design initiative to ensure our design standards and free address model are optimized for our employees and meet the evolving needs of our workforce. This will be followed by a review of Corporate Real Estate (CRE) sustainability standards that are used to inform the selection of goods and materials to ensure we are consciously designing a healthier and sustainable future.

Operational Energy Reduction Program

To kickstart our operational energy reduction program, initiated in late 2022, we conducted rapid energy audits at three pilot sites, identifying immediate savings of 125 MWh annually. By the end of 2023, we expanded this program to nine additional offices. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region we are rigorously conducting energy audits to comprehensively track and verify data for informed decision-making. Audits ensure the accuracy of our information, enabling us to make informed and effective decisions in our pursuit of carbon and energy use reduction. We also completed additional LED lighting retrofits and expanded our use of energy-efficient appliances, contributing to broader energy conservation goals.

Site-based Efficiency Initiatives

At each site, an energy management plan is in place, emphasizing carbon reduction. Our environmental goals are integrated into the daily operations of each location, creating a culture of sustainability. In Tokyo, innovative initiatives have led to a 15% reduction in energy consumption. Not only does this reduction showcase the positive impact of our initiatives, but it further encourages innovation and replication in other regions.

Global Office Design Guidelines

Our global design guidelines serve as the blueprint for ensuring that all offices adhere to Equinix’s standards for a healthy workplace. Through cross-team collaboration, we are exploring innovative approaches to office design that prioritize both energy efficiency and accessibility concerns.

Aligning New Office Spaces

For new office spaces, we follow our CRE design guidelines that are informed by best practices, ensuring that our projects adhere to industry-leading standards for sustainability and efficiency. Equinix prioritizes six key areas in these guidelines:

  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Transitioning toward renewable energy sources
  • Implementing a sustainable water cycle
  • Minimizing waste
  • Promoting wellness
  • Selecting sustainable materials

These guidelines incorporate environmentally responsible practices in all facets of our construction projects, while also aligning with our overarching sustainability strategy.

Improving Existing Office Spaces

In existing locations, our CRE teams reference a checklist based on our global design guidelines when assessing building design and construction, thus aligning our office spaces with our commitment to broader environmental objectives.

Minimizing Waste in Our Offices

We focus on waste reduction through composting, recycling and donating retired computing equipment to nonprofits aligned with our Community Impact strategy. To further minimize waste, we provide beverage stations to eliminate single-use plastic bottles and tackle water waste by installing low-flow plumbing fixtures operated by sensors.

Increasing Employee Awareness

Across Equinix, we are broadening our expertise and enabling employees to actively participate in our sustainability initiatives through a range of events, trainings and workshops. Recognizing that each person’s role and location offers a unique perspective on sustainability, we aim to accelerate our impact by equipping the team with the right tools and frameworks to help us achieve our sustainability goals.

Collaborating for Success

This year, our focus was on nurturing collaboration across teams to emphasize both individual skills and the collective power of combined efforts. By embedding teamwork into our organizational DNA, we are propelling efforts toward shared social and environmental goals.

Employees Driving Improvements

Through our Equinix Employee Connect Networks (EECNs), including ConnectAbilities, we gain insights into the office qualities most valued by our employees and explore ways to integrate diversity and inclusion seamlessly into our design process.

We plan to launch a supported worker program in 2024, designed to hire individuals who may have physical restrictions. While all our offices are already Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, we aim to go beyond compliance to create a more inclusive work environment that values diverse abilities.

Beyond the office, we encourage employees to participate in sustainability programs and activities within their communities, through our WeAreEquinix local groups as well as other local employee initiatives.