Jennifer Ruch, manager of global utilities and sustainability at Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX), joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2017 Leader in the Light Working Forum at the Hilton Austin in Austin, Texas.
Equinix received the 2016 NAREIT Leader in the Light award in the Data Center category.
In 2015, Equinix announced a long-term target of 100 percent renewable energy usage. In a step toward reaching that goal, Equinix subsequently made two large wind energy purchases in Texas and Oklahoma, she noted. Ruch stressed that Equinix has already achieved its goal of a 100 percent commitment to renewable energy in Europe.
With a utility fee that exceeds $300 million per year, Equinix can have a substantial environmental impact when it commits to renewable energy, Ruch said.
As for possible challenges, Ruch pointed to Asia. She described the market there as “tough,” due to its different regulations and lack of third-party suppliers. Equinix is currently working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to sort through some of the issues, she said.
Equinix is also looking at creating better design standards for its data centers that take advantage of local conditions, like deep water lake cooling in Toronto and solar panels where possible, Ruch said.
Also on Equinix’s agenda is the worldwide deployment of fuel cells, Ruch noted.