Vantage Data Centers Releases First Annual ESG Report
Digital transformation and modernization initiatives – and the exciting new technologies being introduced by innovative technology companies – have revolutionized how we live, work and play. As interactions have moved online, everyday devices have become increasingly network-enabled, and basic chores and tasks – from grocery shopping to ordering takeout – have become digital. This has caused a ripple effect, exponentially increasing the need for data centers.
With so much rapid growth, it would be easy for many data center providers to let acquisitions, integrations, construction, operations and other day-to-day activities distract them from some of the larger challenges facing data center owners today.
By nature, data centers consume large amounts of energy, and they do so at a time when climate change is having a significant impact on our planet and environment. In addition, data center providers often employ an amalgamation of trades and professions that have traditionally been male-dominated – including construction, IT and engineering. These providers have oftentimes required college degrees, training and certifications that can discourage hiring individuals from economically disadvantaged or underserved communities.
If data center providers are going to make a change in these areas, they need to accomplish a few things. First, they need to establish a measurement or metric to gauge their impact on the environment, their diversity and their inclusiveness. Next, they need to use that metric or measurement to establish a baseline – an understanding of where they are today. Then, they need to establish goals and implement a plan to meet or exceed them.
To create a baseline of where we are in our sustainability and diversity initiatives, Vantage Data Centers engaged a third party to conduct a materiality assessment that surveyed customers, investors, employees, utility providers, community representatives and local governments about their top priorities.
The findings from this third-party assessment were used to inform our first annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, highlighting our commitment to sustainability, equity and operational excellence.
“Our first ever ESG report shows the significant progress we have made toward reaching our established goals, yet it also reflects that there is more work to be done on behalf of our employees, customers, investors and the environment,” said Sureel Choksi, president and CEO of Vantage Data Centers.
In the report, we highlight some long-term goals to reduce our carbon footprint, promote an equitable workplace and prioritize employee and customer safety. These goals include:
Net zero carbon emissions by 2030: In 2021, we announced our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions globally by 2030, marking a significant step in our long-term pledge to increase efficiencies and reduce environmental impacts at our hyperscale data center campuses worldwide. We have already reduced embodied carbon by approximately 1,800 MTCO2e in three recent expansions in Virginia, Arizona and California by using fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) instead of steel for some equipment supports and pedestrian walkways.
- A holistic approach to sustainability: We have taken a holistic approach to sustainability, where every step from site selection to design, construction and operations is executed with environmental protection in mind.
- Making use of waste heat: We are also exploring ways to make use of waste heat by exporting it from our Switzerland data center campus – which is sited in an area with an average January temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit – into the local district heat network for use by adjacent buildings.
- JEDI Council: Our 85-member Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Council has created several programs to promote diversity, including the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF). The WLF’s goals include increasing the number of women job candidates, ensuring women receive due recognition and promotions, and improving female representation within executive leadership.
- Giving back: We have given back to our communities by donating with an employee match to UNICEF Poland, supporting those fleeing Ukraine as refugees, participating in blood drives and more.
- N+HUMANKIND campaign: Featuring employees from across the globe, we launched a DE&I campaign titled, “N+HUMANKIND.” The campaign supports the idea that by embracing a diverse and inclusive workforce, individuals will be encouraged and empowered to be their best selves. The campaign is a call to the entire data center industry to take advantage of the benefits that accrue from a commitment to diversity.
- Safety first: Our 2021 safety scorecard recorded zero employee and contractor fatalities and zero occupational diseases.
- Risk management governance structure: We employ an Executive Risk Council (ERC) that identifies and plans for possible or probable events, external and internal, that could negatively impact the company achieving our strategic objectives.
- A solidified internal audit process: Our leadership enhanced the organization’s management systems in 2021, solidifying our internal audit process, now governed by professional standards set by The Institute of Internal Auditors, and introducing a new, in-depth approach to enterprise risk management.
Vantage offered more than 6,500 opportunities for safety training in 2021 — from High Voltage Electrical Safety to Accident Prevention — delivering an aggregate 97.4% completion rate.
“At Vantage Data Centers, we take our commitment to sustainability and equity very seriously,” explained Choksi. “We look forward to sharing our initiatives and results to date with our numerous constituents and are excited to continue our partnerships aimed at advancing and preserving our world.”
To learn more, download your copy of Vantage’s first annual ESG Report today.
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