Digital Realty published its second annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, reporting the company's ESG performance for 2019 and providing a comprehensive overview of its clean energy commitment, resource conservation, diversity and inclusion, and other sustainable business practices.
In addition to publication of its 2019 ESG report, Digital Realty announced its commitment earlier this year to the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The company's commitment to the SBTi process signifies its pledge to significantly curb carbon emissions and underpins its plans to set a target in line with a well-below 2°F climate change scenario by 2030.
"We are more committed than ever to managing our environmental impact by optimizing our use of energy and natural resources — because it's the right thing to do, and it matters to our customers, investors, and employees," said A. William Stein, chief executive officer, Digital Realty. "We are proud of the extensive work we've put in over the last year to advance our goals and deliver sustainable growth for all of our stakeholders."
The 2019 ESG Report highlights include:
Renewable Energy — Digital Realty added 50 MW of new renewable energy supply in 2019, for a total of 324 MW of solar and wind energy under contract. Renewables were matched with 30% of its global electricity needs in 2019, reflecting steady progress toward the company's goal of sourcing 100% renewable energy for its operations portfolio. Fifty-four percent of the electricity consumed globally is carbon free, including 100% renewable energy for its EMEA properties and 100% wind power for its U.S. colocation data centers. The company's focus on renewable and carbon-free energy enabled its facilities to avoid more than 1,253,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2019 — enough to meet the electricity needs of more than 212,000 homes for a year.
Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency — Digital Realty holds 650 MW of green building certifications. The company completed five green building certifications in 2019, including four LEED-Gold and one BREEAM-Excellent certification. In addition, the company certified 29 properties under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Energy Star program and became the first data center provider to receive the Energy Star Partner of the Year award in 2020.
Diversity and Inclusion — Digital Realty remains committed to diversity, global employee engagement, and strong governance practices. The ESG report includes the company's diversity metrics and enhancements made to the company's Corporate Governance Guidelines to ensure inclusion of board candidates with diversity in race, ethnicity, and gender, and outlines the company's condemnation of racial injustice.
"In these times, our company values matter more than ever,” Stein said. “We remain focused on ensuring that we are a leader in environmental, social, and governance issues, and how these values translate into our business and operations. These values lead our corporate strategy, including our decision to commit to the SBTi and evaluate new practices for corporate governance and philanthropy."
Digital Realty's 2019 ESG Report was compiled in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core option. Access the full report here.