Environmental sustainability helps attract customers and employees, CEO says
Reported recently in the Wall Street Journal by author Sara Castellanos, renewable energy is top of mind for Charles Meyers, chief executive of data-center landlord Equinix Inc., largely due to the fact that environmental sustainability helps attract customers and talent.
"Internal discussions about potential energy sources for the company’s power-hungry data centers have hit an inflection point over the past couple of years. As one of the largest users of power on the planet, we have a responsibility…to have a sustainability strategy,” Mr. Meyers said.
According to the article, Equinix is one of the world’s largest data-center landlords and owns over 200 data centers with about 10 million square feet of space. With Equinix's business model, customers own the racks and servers inside the data centers and pay Equinix a per square foot rent. In return, Equinix provides the space and their own cooling techniques to make sure the customer's infrastructure doesn’t overheat.
Computer infrastructure, along with the internet, is on pace to use as much as 15% of the world’s electricity by 2030, emitting up to 7% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions.
The company has spent $100 million in energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits to its data centers since 2011. It said its investments since that year have helped avoid 330,000 metric tons of carbon emissions that would have otherwise been produced if Equinix tapped traditional sources of electricity. That’s equivalent to the emissions from 77,000 cars on the road for one year, the company said.