In the the latest episode of The REIT Report: NAREIT's Weekly Podcast, Aaron Binkley, director of sustainability programs at data center REIT Digital Realty Trust (NYSE: DLR) talked about some of the ways that the company incorporates energy efficiency and other elements of sustainability into its operations.
Binkley outlined the three areas that Digital Realty has taken on as primary points of emphasis for sustainability. First, the firm is attempting to enhance the design of its properties and operational standards.
"This manifests itself most visibly in our efforts to use sustainable third-party building certifications," Binkley said.
Additionally, Digital Realty emphasizes energy efficiency, according to Binkley. The third area of focus is the enabling Digital Realty's customer to gain access to sources of renewable energy to power data centers.
Binkley said Digital Realty recently has started to dedicate more attention to cutting its water usage. He noted that the company's holdings in drought-stricken California have forced Digital Realty to take greater steps to constrain its water consumption.
"We look at it more broadly speaking as resource efficiency," Binkley said. "We've been looking at ways we can reduce water consumption, but also convert use of water from potable to non-potable sources."
When asked for his advice to other data center real estate companies on how to improve their sustainability programs, Binkley said he recommends starting with low- and no-cost measures. Digital Realty is also working with companies on "setting the right performance parameters within the space."