our sustainability approach

future first

We believe in a future of possibility. One where the planet is healthy, our global communities thrive and every business leads with integrity. The vision of what tomorrow can be comes first in all that we do.

To get there, we imagine what could be. Then we ask ourselves, what can we do?

At Equinix we dream, then we do.

Future First: Our Sustainability Approach at Equinix

Our Future First sustainability strategy rallies our people and partners to envision 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. As the world’s digital infrastructure leader, we have the responsibility to harness the power of technology to create a more accessible, equitable and sustainable future. The Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives comprising our Future First strategy focus on the material issues that have the greatest impact on our stakeholders and our business. We continue progress on our sustainability goals and look to build a business and world that reflect our purpose to bring the world together on our platform to create the innovations that will enrich our work, life and planet.

Key Commitments

Environment

Do What It Takes to Protect
the Planet

  • Addressing the urgency of climate change through our targets
  • Scaling renewable energy purchasing to reach 100% renewable
  • Designing for the environment and driving Innovation
  • Assessing and mitigating climate risk

Social

Do More Each Day to Unleash
Potential

  • Building a diverse and inclusive culture where every employee can say “I’m safe, I belong and I matter”
  • Supporting the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of all our employees
  • Serving the communities where we work and live and connecting them to the opportunities of the digital world

Governance

Do What’s Right to Lead the Way

  • Driving global responsibility through unwavering values and ethical practices
  • Forging partnerships to advocate for innovation and action
  • Integrating ESG into all aspects and levels of our business

At Equinix, we believe in creating shared value with our customers, partners, investors, employees and communities. We continuously strive to be good stewards of environmental and human capital and our definition of success includes steadfastly adhering to best-in-class ESG practices. We are dedicated to being nimble in our response to the ever-evolving issues our business faces as we operate in increasingly globalized markets.

To this end, we routinely evaluate our ESG programs to increase the benefits they bring to our changing world. We continually innovate to meet our unwavering commitment to renewable energy, increasing efficiency and improving resiliency. Our employee and community engagement programs integrate purpose, passion and impact to deliver on the promise we make to every employee that they are safe, they belong and they matter. And our governance and ethics programs ensure we are all working together to build an organization that is defined by its honesty, integrity and consistently ethical behavior.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

To accelerate our collective progress on the world’s most important social and environmental challenges, Equinix’s Future First approach focuses on six United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) that are most aligned with our business and where we believe we can have the greatest impact.

Sustainability Governance

Building on our strong foundation and the sustainability accomplishments made over the past five years, we are driven to continuously improve our practices globally and empower our leaders to do what’s right in each of the regions in which we operate.

Equinix manages sustainability through a dedicated Sustainability Program Office (SPO). The SPO provides leadership in assembling and coordinating the cross-functional teams across the business to embed sustainability globally. This includes defining strategy; implementing and measuring initiatives, processes, and systems; reporting progress and engaging our stakeholders.

The SPO is overseen by the Sustainability Executive Steering Committee. The committee is comprised of our executive chairman, president/CEO, CFO, CLO and CHRO, and EVP Global Operations, and ultimately reports to Equinix’s Board of Directors Governance Committee.

The SPO is responsible for engaging with external stakeholders to share our progress, respond to inquiries and soliciting input that helps to strengthen our Future First sustainability strategy. Additional information on the frequency and engagement methods is provided in the Our Stakeholders section.

Transparency and Disclosure

We are committed to transparently communicating our strategy and the impact of our operations.

Non-Financial Reporting Frameworks

Equinix continues to evolve its reporting to meet the requirements of leading industry frameworks and our stakeholders’ expectations. Since 2015, we have reported in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core Option. In 2019, we included sustainability information in our corporate Annual Report for the first time to provide a holistic perspective on how Equinix is creating value for all stakeholders. In the 2020 10-K, Equinix for the first time, included select environmental disclosures as outlined in the SASB Real Estate Standard and expanded on our human capital disclosures in response to the modernization of Regulation S-K Items 101, 103 and 105.

Previously in 2019, Equinix became a founding member of the U.S. Chapter of the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) CFO Leadership Network along with other industry leaders including Caterpillar, Levi Strauss & Co, Mars, Salesforce and VMware. As of March 2021, the U.S. Network is comprised of over a dozen CFOs from large global organizations. A4S aims to inspire the rapid integration of social and environmental considerations, such as climate change, into business strategy and operations to build resilient business models. As part of this initiative, Equinix supports the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. We will assess, manage and measure our climate-related risks and opportunities.

“Collaboration amongst the finance community is essential in order to catalyze action at the pace and scale needed to shape a sustainable future. We are grateful for the involvement of Equinix in the A4S CFO Leadership Network, together we are working to make sustainable business, business as usual.”

– Brad Sparks, Executive Director of the US Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network

Verification and Assurance

Equinix’s energy, renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions across Scope 1, 2 and 3 are third-party verified each year to ISO 14064-3 limited assurance standards. Click here to view data and auditor statements.

ESG Surveys and Customer Requests

Transparency is a hallmark of our sustainability approach. We actively share our progress by responding to numerous environmental and sustainability surveys and customer requests throughout the year.

We have disclosed our climate change strategy and data through the CDP Climate Change Survey every year since 2015, and report on our overall ESG performance via other ESG ratings, rankings and indices. Some examples are shown below.

GRI 1.2. Sustainability Context

Customer Focus

Our customers are at the center of everything we do, and we have a unique, collaborative opportunity to facilitate their progress toward achieving ambitious sustainability targets.

In 2019, we developed the Equinix Green Power Report, also known as a renewable energy attestation statement, based on the principles of The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. These reports equip our customers with energy consumption, renewable energy usage and carbon footprint data needed to measure and report relevant metrics in pursuit of their own goals and targets.

Equinix is also driving positive change through thought leadership opportunities with groups like the International Data Corporation (IDC) to drive the awareness of sustainability across the data center industry. In 2020, we sponsored a Sustainability Infobrief focused on key requirements to build the sustainable data center of the future. We see a role in continuing to engage in thought leadership to promote and amplify opportunities to transform our industry.

The following customers have used our documentation in their sustainability reporting efforts:

Kinakis

“Equinix’s progress and commitment toward reaching its 100% renewable energy goal worldwide demonstrates to Oracle the importance of working with our strategic suppliers to help contribute to our own renewable energy strategy.”

– Jon Chorley, Chief Sustainability Officer – Oracle

Our Stakeholders

Equinix’s leaders, employees and key internal and external stakeholders share a collective commitment to sustainability and have made it an important component of our overall growth strategy.

Stakeholder engagement is critical to the success of our sustainability efforts. We maintain open and flexible, multi-dimensional communication channels with our 10,000 customers, in addition to our employees, investors and industry analysts. We also prioritize collaboration and partnerships with advocacy organizations and industry groups.

The table below summarizes some of the ways we actively engage with these key stakeholders.

WhoWhenHowDetails
Board of
Directors and
Executive Officers
Quarterly or as neededIn-person and virtual executive, board and one-on-one meetingsESG is ultimately overseen by the Equinix Board of Directors Governance Committee which meets four times per year. The SPO engages with the board and executives on ESG strategies, goals and progress, risks and opportunities.
Sustainability Executive Steering CommitteeQuarterly or as neededIn-person and virtual executive, board and one-on-one meetingsThe SPO reports to the Steerco which provides oversight of key ESG issues. The Steerco ensures management support through commitment of resources, processes, systems and tools, and review and oversight.
Sustainability Working TeamMonthly meetings as needed and ad hoc communicationsIn-person and virtual meetings, conference calls and emailsThe Sustainability Working Team is comprised of functional leads representing ESG pillars, as well as 20+ functional area leaders. The team sets goals, completes specific deliverables and activities, collects metrics and communicates progress to the SPO. It also manages risks and opportunities and identifies ideas to advance ESG at Equinix. Global team members work with designated regional leads to disseminate information and conduct work.
Sustainability Marketing Council (SMC)Monthly meetings, function-specific meetings as needed and ad hoc communicationsIn-person meetings, conference calls and emails, cross-functional and regional support of marketing and communications implementationThe SMC is comprised of regional, cross-functional representation across the marketing, product and sales organizations to develop and drive annual marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) that increase awareness of corporate sustainability efforts globally to our internal and external stakeholders.
EmployeesQuarterly employee surveys, with sustainability surveys of specific sub-sets of employees (e.g., sales) conducted annually.
Internal “HUB” articles are published monthly or more frequently.
Third-party administered Pulse Survey platform and management relationships, including performance reviews, company meetings, exit interviews and other internal articles and activities. Ad hoc sustainability surveys conducted via email or online survey tools.Activities such as the quarterly Pulse Survey and departing employee exit interviews provide quantifiable information about Equinix’s success as an employer. Informal communications provide ongoing feedback and add richness to these conversations. Understanding the sustainability priorities of Equinix’s employees, including its sales and marketing teams, is of increasing importance to the development of our ESG program. Voice of the Employee Surveys that incorporated ESG topics in 2020 included well-being, belonging and other important organizational topics. Educational trainings were provided throughout the year to specific Equinix groups about our sustainability strategies and progress and sustainability is included in new-hire training. Sustainability education sessions and kiosks were included for the first time at Connect, the company’s global sales FY20 kick-off event.
CustomersAd hoc, monthly and annual global customer surveys and auditsIn-person and virtual meetings, emails with account management teams, global customer NPS surveys and annual Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meetingsDelivering a high-quality, high-value customer experience is a top Equinix priority. Sustainability strategies, programs and data hold an increasingly important place in the customer journey. Our Customer Experience Team provides our customers with several official channels for providing feedback and making sustainability requests. Inputs include open-ended comment forms, in-depth surveys with scored questions, and participation in face-to-face meetings. We aim to reach 100% of our customers through our ongoing Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, and employ continuous listening and learning across all of our customer relationships.
Vendors and Service ProvidersAd hocAccount management and vendor selection processEquinix vendors have strong business relationships with the groups they serve. Equinix has always required the highest standards of its vendors, and in 2020 we updated our Business Partner Code of Conduct to include ESG expectations.
Investors, Analysts and Third-Party Rating GroupsQuarterly, annually and ad hocConference calls, in-person and virtual annual meeting, Analyst Days, voluntary disclosure in surveys and executive-led coalitions such as A4S and CECPOur Investor Relations Team maintains active communication with investors and equity research analysts. Equinix engages with and responds to information requests from investors and other third-party ratings organizations.
Advocacy and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)Ad hocConference calls, in-person and virtual conferences and signatures on white papers and lettersEquinix participates in a variety of industry and NGO advocacy opportunities, initiatives and activities. Some key organizations include:

  • Data Center Coalition (DCC) in Virginia
  • Dutch Data Center Association (DDA)
  • EU Climate-Neutral Data Center Operator Pact (CNDCP)
  • European Data Centre Coalition (EUDCA)
  • National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT)
  • Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)
  • Singapore Info-comm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation
  • techUK
  • Accounting For Sustainability (A4S)
Community / Social Impact PartnersAd hocn-person and virtual meetings, conference calls and emailsTo facilitate positive social impact, we have forged partnerships with organizations that share our vision for a more sustainable and equitable future. Together our potential to effect change is much greater than what we could accomplish on our own. Some of our long-term community partnerships include:

  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Paradigm for Parity
  • Rise Against Hunger
  • Summer Search
  • Watermark
  • World Pulse
Government and Regulatory BodiesAd hocConference calls, conferences, signatures on white papers, public comments and letters, and in-person advocacy at country, state and local levelsEquinix seeks opportunities to provide regular input on government reviews including those for utility planning processes and energy efficiency regulatory policies. Groups and initiatives that we have collaborated with or contributed to include:

  • Dominion Virginia’s Integrated Resource Plan in Virginia, USA
  • EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS)
  • European Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centres
  • UK Government Climate Change Agreements (CCAs)

GRI 1.1. Stakeholder Inclusiveness table.

Our Partners

Equinix participates in a variety of industry and NGO advocacy opportunities, initiatives and activities.

In close collaboration with the European Data Centre Association (EUDCA) and other European cloud infrastructure and data center providers, Equinix spearheaded the development of the “Carbon Neutral Data Centre Operator Pact and Self-Regulatory Initiative“, launched in January 2021, putting sustainability front and center for the data center industry. The Pact commits all providers to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Equinix is also proud to be a founding board member and training facilitator for the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), where we partner with over 200 companies and several NGOs to advocate for the procurement and scaling of clean and renewable energy globally.

“Equinix has gone beyond their own footprint to serve as true leaders in the clean energy buyer community, and their expertise is helping us move the needle to a cleaner, more affordable, zero-carbon energy future.”

– Miranda Ballentine, REBA CEO April 2019

Partnerships include:

Materiality Assessment

Equinix conducted a Sustainability Materiality Assessment refresh in 2020. This work expanded upon Equinix’s prior Materiality Assessments in 2015 and 2018, to ensure that the prioritization of ESG topics at Equinix continues to align with industry trends and business value. All the plotted topics included in the matrix below are considered significant to Equinix.

The latest exercise found that energy, renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions are of significant interest both in terms of stakeholder interest and impact to the business, reinforcing our continued focus on these areas. Additionally, in light of the many of events that occurred in 2020, the resilience and adaptation of our company including its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives have also grown in importance. We are using these insights to facilitate conversations and further develop our Future First strategy, recognizing that the topics located at the top right reflect areas where the company has unique opportunities for impact.

GRI 1.2 and 1.3. Materiality. GRI 2.3. Material Topics.

Awards and Recognition

Our renewable energy procurement, sustainable innovations and commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging have been recognized by industry and non-governmental organizations worldwide.

Report Profile

This report has been prepared in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core Option. The data in this report represent Equinix’s coverage of material topics within Equinix’s operational control boundary in Calendar Year 2020. The reporting period is January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, unless otherwise noted with specific data. The report’s scope covers all Equinix global operations and offices, unless otherwise specified. Equinix consistently maintains metrics and utilizes a robust internal tracking template to facilitate comparability of data over time. Changes in boundaries are disclosed when necessary. Questions, comments and concerns can be submitted to: sustainability@equinix.com.

FOOTNOTE: GRI 1.4. Completeness. GRI 1.5. Accuracy. GRI 1.6. Balance. GRI 1.7. Clarity. GRI 1.8. Comparability. GRI 1.9. Reliability. GRI 1.10. Timeliness.
GRI 2.1 Applying the Reporting Principles. GRI 2.3 Material Topics. GRI 2.4 Boundary.