Innovation & Building
Green Data Centers

Equinix data centers and offices meet global and regional environmental, energy management and green building standards. We also invest in energy efficiency improvements and are constantly seeking new ways to innovate within our data centers.

Energy Efficiency & Innovation

Since 2011, we have invested over $100 million in energy efficiency upgrades, retrofits, and improvements; with millions of dollars more in execution. Our investments have helped us avoid 25,000 kilowatts of demand annually or 1.1 million MWh since 2011. This is roughly equivalent to avoiding 430,000 metric tons in carbon emissions around the world. To put that into perspective, it would be the same amount of carbon that 80,000 cars emit driving 1 billion miles (over the course of a year).

We have deployed numerous innovations to help achieve higher power efficiency such as adaptive control systems, cold/hot aisle containment, ASHRAE thermal guidelines, air- and water-side economizer cooling solutions, energy-efficient LED lighting systems and more.

Onsite, Equinix is deploying a strategy to reduce local air pollution and lower its carbon footprint while saving water. Fuel cells place electricity near our energy consumption, enabling maximum efficiency and increased resiliency. In 2017, Equinix announced that it would be deploying fuel cells in 12 locations, and, today, we have 38 megawatts (MW) of fuel cells deployed in the U.S.

Power from fuel cells is 20% to 45% cleaner than the equivalent natural gas-powered generation from a utility. Fuel cells produce significantly fewer carbon emissions than traditional gas-fueled power plants, and they also don’t require water for operation.

Using Fuel Cells to Achieve Indirect Water Savings

Equinix’s 37 MW Bloom Energy deployment saves around 4.8 billion gallons of water per year which is a saving equivalent to 7,270 Olympic-sized swimming pools each year or the annual water consumption of 48,000 U.S. households.

Using Fuel Cells to Achieve Indirect Water Savings

Power Usage Efficiency in Data Center Operations

At Equinix, we continually seek to improve the power usage efficiency (PUE) of our Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers. We measure PUE at all of our data centers because it is an important industry metric for measuring the energy efficiency of a data center’s infrastructure under normal operating conditions and one we use in prioritizing data center energy projects. PUE helps track power usage trends in an individual facility over time and measures the effects of different design and operational decisions.

PUE is affected by site-specific variables, including:

  • Design, construction and age of the facility – Newer data centers typically have more energy-efficient designs and equipment
  • Energy efficiency of IT equipment housed within the facility – Newer servers and machines can often handle greater workloads while drawing less power
  • Utilization rate of the data center facility – Densely occupied facilities that house lots of IT equipment will have lower PUEs than facilities still attracting new tenants and ramping up occupancy

Equinix is committed to lowering our PUE through a mix of capital investments, improved design standards, best practices and operational discipline. By maximizing environmental and ambient conditions where possible (such as by using fresh air cooling), we expect to lower our PUE even more.

Energy Management Behavior

In 2018, Equinix began an energy management behavior modification campaign to encourage customers to utilize blanking panels. Posters were designed and hung around many of our data centers to remind customers to install blank panels to reduce inconsistent temperatures between data center server racks and improve airflow efficiency.

Energy Management Behavior

Management Systems Standards

Across EMEA, Equinix is working to align the certification of facilities to our regional ISO 14001 Environmental Management and ISO 50001 Energy Management standards. Equinix EMEA complies with ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Standard and ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management Standard. In total, 3.1 million sq. ft. of Equinix data centers and offices are covered under ISO 14001, ISO 50001 or both. This represents 94% of EMEA data centers square footage complying with one or more of these standards.

Equinix also participates in the EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency – an initiative led by the European Union’s Joint Research Center. Over 40% of Equinix’s EMEA footprint is covered, establishing Equinix as a Corporate Participant. Equinix is working to increase this percentage in EMEA.

Healthy & Sustainable Offices

Many of our teams across the globe are working to advance our sustainability mission, including many office initiatives throughout the world.