As the world’s digital infrastructure company, we recognize the critical role we play in connecting our communities and those most in need to the opportunities of the digital world. In 2020, we invested more to advance digital inclusion by identifying opportunities to use our expertise and resources to increase equitable and inclusive access to technology and related careers. At the same time, we’ve continued to support our employees to give back to the causes they care most about and respond to timely and urgent issues through our Employee Matching Gifts Program, donation campaigns, volunteer initiatives and team building experiences that reflect our #inserviceto values.
Our Equinix Impact Program empowers our employees to wholeheartedly connect with purpose through service and community. We enable co-creative opportunities for employees to give back to their communities with the support of Equinix, year-round. This builds a deep sense of connection and belonging among employees and promotes engagement and retention.
In 2020, Equinix pivoted in the face of COVID-19, re-envisioning engagement in a virtual setting in lieu of in-person opportunities. We quickly gathered resources for employees to virtually volunteer and support others from home so they could make meaningful connections and contribute to the charitable programs and initiatives most important to them. Our employees rose to the challenge, rallying to support Equinix’s efforts in the communities where we live and operate. We maintained a 30% engagement rate for our volunteer and donation match programs, even as employees shifted from volunteering to giving. The Equinix Impact Program globally raised a total of US$2.8 million in donations through employee contributions and corporate match and grants. In addition, employees volunteered 9,350 hours to 1756 nonprofits worldwide.
We partnered with Verizon, our customer, to create over 8,000 Care Cards for Never Ever Give Up (NEGU), encouraging kids in their battles against cancer. Employees also assembled 471 bikes and 600 Care Boxes in 50 minutes at Connect ’20, our annual sales meeting.
Every October, Equinix employees unite together to serve their communities and society through volunteering and fundraising. Our 2020 Equinix Impact Month saw 1,290 employees participate in more than 80 events and raised over US$165,000 – our highest monthly total in history.
Our team worked tirelessly to give employees a seamless experience in using their voices to address broad themes around community and equity. As most events took place in a virtual setting, more employees were able to cross borders to participate. We also used the event to explore creative partnerships with our EECNs and WeAreEquinix councils to amplify our impact and work at the intersection of community impact and DIB.
Our COVID-19 campaign raised approximately US$667,000 through employee donations and company match, supporting over 70 organizations whereby each country manager was given autonomy to identify three to five grantees in their region in partnership with employees. Meanwhile, our Racial Justice Campaign raised approximately US$178,000 supporting six grantees identified in partnership with our EECN, BlackConnect, including Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative and NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. These campaigns were a testament to our vision to act at the intersection of DIB and community impact by coordinating with EECNs, leveraging internal communications, and developing campaign kits to see quick results.
World Pulse is an independent, women-led social network connecting women worldwide for social change. By harnessing the power of technology to accelerate women’s leadership and equity, the organization unites women to share resources, launch movements, start businesses, run for office and courageously share their stories.
Equinix first connected with World Pulse in 2015. Since then, our partnership has included a total of US$215,000 in donations and over 300 employee volunteer hours that have empowered 235 World Pulse leaders to train 60,000 women with digital skills to become agents of change and inclusion. Our Equinix Women Leaders Network, an employee resource group that fosters personal and professional development, is active with World Pulse, many serving as encouragers to support digital access, gender equity and inclusion.
Our most recent grant of US$50,000 in 2020 was dedicated to growing the organization’s Digital Ambassador Training Program with a goal of educating 10,000 women and girls on digital empowerment tools in more than 30 countries worldwide. These funds support World Pulse community management, training, technological support, materials and honorariums for regional trainers.
Starting in 2021, we will explore opportunities to co-fund and co-promote World Pulse with our customers and partners in order to further support their important work to create a world—both online and off—where all women thrive.
There is fierce competition for talent in many of our markets. The data center industry is projected to need 300,000 new hires by 2025, according to the Uptime Institute. As we work to recruit new talent to meet the demand, we also believe it is our responsibility to help ensure a diverse population has access to training and development programs for future digital infrastructure workers.
To this end, Equinix has teamed up with the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation and their financial aid office to create the Equinix Digital Infrastructure Scholarship Program.
“The data center industry is growing rapidly, and with that comes a high demand for skilled talent. We are excited to work with Northern Virginia Community College to provide an early career path to inspire the next generation of data center professionals on building the world’s digital infrastructure at Equinix,” said Chris Kimm, Equinix SVP of Americas IBX Operations.
The goal of the scholarship program is to provide a framework for students to enter the data center industry through the school’s Engineering Technology Career Studies Certificate Programs. Starting in early 2021, Equinix will support five students with scholarships of US$5,000 each.
Looking forward, we see this scholarship program as a model to scale similar programs globally. By investing in workforce development to meet our hiring needs, we can also create a more diverse talent pipeline and make a positive impact in the communities in which we work and live.
The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Equinix has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to support their disaster recovery set up in Chicago. Through an in-kind product donation valued at over US$550,000 to be rolled out over six years, we are helping The Nature Conservancy advance and scale critical work that aligns with our own sustainability goals.
Employees in Madrid coordinated a virtual information session with a local high school to talk about data center careers with 15-18 year-old students. In the session, our Spain Managing Director explained what colocation and managed services are and gave students a virtual tour of our facilities.
In order to attract the next generation of data center professionals, especially among a more diverse population, research shows companies need to engage with students as early as middle and high school. Our employees in Spain gave these high school students a first-hand view into the business and careers of data centers and made it real for them by sharing their own experiences.
Equinix is now doing similar information sessions with employees around the world in locations as diverse as New York, Dallas, Ashburn, Hong Kong, Singapore and London. We’re working with schools, universities and partners like P-Tech and Clap-Tech on the sessions and have identified opportunities to also mentor students in under-served areas who are interested in data center careers. We’re already seeing how these employee-led engagements are helping to develop the next generation of diverse talent.
Our social impact programs are in support of several UN SDGs. The below table reflects our employee volunteer hours and monetary donations, in addition to the corporate match.
|SDG #||SDG Category||Volunteer Hours|
|3||Good Health and Well-being||1,030||4,094||$295,442||$958,579|
|6||Clean Water and Sanitation||3||26||$724||$24,307|
|8||Decent Work and Economic Growth||167||2,300||$106,700||$407,958|
|11||Sustainable Cities and Communities||1,391||11,795||$679,450||$1,628,546|
|15||Life on Land||261||3,453||$69,995||$209,835|
|16||Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions||105||517||$60,574||$118,221|