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 that reflects 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 science-based and climate-neutral targets
  • Scaling renewable energy purchasing to reach 100% renewable
  • Designing the sustainable data center of the future and investing in innovation
  • Conserving natural resources and addressing 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 employees
  • Connecting the communities we inhabit to the opportunities of a 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 are dedicated to being nimble in our response to the ever-evolving issues our business faces as we operate in increasingly globalized markets.

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 and transparently monitoring and reporting our progress.

To this end, we routinely evaluate our ESG programs to increase the value 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 consistent ethical behavior of its employees, partners and suppliers.

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 the six United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) that are most aligned with our business and where we believe we have the greatest opportunity to make an impact.

UNSDG 5 - Gender Equality
UNSDG 5 - Gender Equality
UNSDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
UNSDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
UNSDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
UNSDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
UNSDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
UNSDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
UNSDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
UNSDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
UNSDG 13 - Climate Action
UNSDG 13 - Climate Action
UNSDG 5 - Gender Equality
UNSDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
UNSDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
UNSDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
UNSDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
UNSDG 13 - Climate Action

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 – 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 solicit input that helps to strengthen our Future First sustainability strategy. Additional information on the frequency and methods of engagement is provided in the Our Stakeholders section.

An organizational chart showing the Board of Directors Governance Committee at the top, the Sustainability Executive Steering Committee one level below, and the Sustainability Program Office on the third level. Below the Sustainability Program Office and all on the same level are Finance, Global Operations, Community and Belonging, Government Affairs, Marketing, Legal, Human Resources, Product, and Sales.

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. Starting in 2019, we began including sustainability information in our corporate Annual Report to provide a holistic perspective on how Equinix is creating value for all stakeholders. Equinix also includes environmental and human capital disclosures in our 10-K reporting.

Equinix is an active participant in industry dialogue around non-financial reporting. We are 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. 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 (TCFD). We will assess, manage, and measure our climate-related risks and opportunities.

“At Equinix, we’ve always understood that we must not only deliver financial performance, but also a positive contribution to community and the environment. We remain dedicated to growing our sustainability efforts globally and understand that the future of business growth is linked to the development of sustainable innovation, technologies, and business models. We look forward to continuing to emphasize the business value of purpose and social good by supporting the launch of the U.S. chapter of A4S and ongoing collaborations.”

– Keith Taylor, Equinix, CFO

Verification and Assurance

Equinix’s environmental impacts, specifically 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 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.

Accounting for Sustainability (A4S)
CDP
FTSE Russell
GRESB
SAM
Ecovadis Silver

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 – and even their customers’ progress – toward achieving ambitious sustainability targets.

The Equinix Green Power Report, is a renewable energy attestation statement based on the principles of The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. These reports equip our customers with electricity consumption, renewable energy usage, and carbon footprint data needed to measure and report relevant metrics in pursuit of their own goals and targets. In 2021, customer requests for these reports tripled from previous years.

Equinix is driving positive change through thought leadership opportunities with groups like the International Data Corporation (IDC) to improve the awareness of sustainability across the data center industry. In 2021, we participated in a variety of industry panels and events to highlight sustainable digital transformation opportunities with Equinix. Groups we have partnered with include Dublin Tech Summit, DPP, IDC, 451 Nexus. 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.

Kinaxis
Oracle
Salesforce
ServiceNow
Workday

“At Moody’s, we strive to partner with suppliers like Equinix who make our value chain more sustainable. We are grateful for their commitment and excited that they have adopted science-based targets. Our partnership with Equinix helps us meet our own net-zero goals, as we continue working toward decarbonizing our supply chain and creating a more sustainable future.”

– Moody’s Corporation

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 OfficersQuarterly 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 4 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 who 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 30+ functional area leaders across all three regions. 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 and virtual 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 sustainability efforts globally with 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 occur 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 important to the development of our ESG program. Voice of the Employee Surveys that incorporated ESG topics in 2021 included well-being, belonging and other important organizational surveys. Educational trainings are provided as part of our new-hire onboarding and throughout the year to key Equinix groups about our sustainability strategies and progress. Sustainability is also a core pillar within our WeAreEquinix employee activation and engagement strategy to develop country-specific approach to culture.
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 sharing feedback and making sustainability requests. Inputs vary from 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, as well as 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.In 2021 we expanded Procurement resources to assess and mitigate ESG risk, alignment to our Science-based Target climate goals and human capital and diversity targets.
Investors, Analysts and Third-Party Rating GroupsQuarterly, annually and ad hocConference calls, in-person and virtual annual meeting, Analyst Days, voluntary disclosure in surveys, 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 letters

Equinix participates in a variety of industry and NGO advocacy opportunities, initiatives and activities. Some key organizations include:

  • Clean Energy Buyers Alliance (CEBA)
  • Data Center Coalition (DCC) in Virginia
  • Dutch Data Center Association
  • EU Climate-Neutral Data Centre Operator Pact (CNDCP)
  • European Data Centre Coalition (EUDCA)
  • National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT)
  • Singapore Info-comm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation
  • techUK
Community / Social Impact PartnersAd hocIn-person and virtual meetings, conference calls and emails

To 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 levels

Equinix seeks opportunities to provide regular input into government reviews including those for utility planning processes and energy efficiency regulatory policies. Groups and initiatives that we have collaborated with 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)

Our Partners

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

Industry Partnerships

Driving sustainability is a collaborative effort. As such Equinix is partnering with key industry and business partners to maximize our impact and encourage change across our business and the industries that we touch.

AT&T Connected Climate Initiative Partner

Equinix is partnering with AT&T to help their efforts to enable their customers to reduce one gigaton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – 1 billion metric tons – by 2035. AT&T will work with a range of business who share their climate goals to develop a range of broadband-enabled climate solutions at global scale. Equinix and AT&T share a long history of delivering sustainable high-performance network services that reduce latency and scale seamless data exchange across secure digital infrastructures to our customers. Our combined services have helped digital leaders sustainably modernize their networks through greater network optimization and agility.

VMware Zero Carbon Committed

As a VMware Zero Carbon Committed partner, we are dedicated to helping boost innovation, drive sustainable growth, and improve our environment for future generations. Through our pledge to operate public cloud data centers that use 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, Equinix and VMware can help companies reach their sustainability and supply chain decarbonization goals.

NGO Partnerships 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 Clean Energy Buyers Alliance (CEBA), where we partner with over 200 companies and several NGOs to advocate for the procurement and scaling of clean and renewable energy globally.

CEBA

“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, CEBA 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.

A graph with importance to stakeholders on the y-axis and importance to business on the x-axis. In the top right quadrant are renewable energy, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, resilience and adaptation, data security and privacy, diversity, equity, and inclusion, public policy and advocacy, green building materials, and water. The top left quadrant is blank. In the bottom left quadrant are waste, supplier ESG engagement, and philanthropy and global citizenship. In the bottom right quadrant are human capital, health and safety, community engagement, abd governance, compliance, and business ethics.

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.

Seal Award Winner
CDP Supplier Engagement Leader of 2021
Ecovadis Silver
DPP Committed to Sustainability
Institutional Investor
Fairy God Boss Best Company
Glassdoor Best Places to Work
Military Friendly Employer
2021 Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality
America's most Just Companies CNBC 2022

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 2021. The reporting period is January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, 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.