Digital Realty Trust: 50% of Digital Realty's global data center portfolio is now powered by green energy

Jun 17, 2021 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Digital Realty has announced in its third ESG report that half of its global data center portfolio is now powered by green energy. It did this by increasing the portfolio of its data centers being powered by renewable energy by 20% in 2020. Impressively, it also increased its energy consumption by 24 percent in the same period.

The report also states that Digital Realty added 154MW of renewable energy in 2020. Moreover, all the Company’s European properties and US colocation businesses are powered by 100% green energy.

CEO of Digital Realty, William Stein, commented that the Company took meaningful action to advance its ESG priorities in 2020 to create achievable climate impact reduction targets. He further added that the Company is striving to advance its objective of delivering sustainable growth for its employees, stakeholders, customers, and the community it serves across the globe.

Digital Realty Press Release on June 16, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas, June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR), the largest global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, has published its third annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, providing transparency on the company's ESG performance for 2020 along with a comprehensive overview of its commitment to clean energy, resource conservation, diversity, equity and inclusion as well as other sustainable business practices.
In 2020, Digital Realty committed to reducing its Scope 1 and 2 (direct and indirect emissions) by 68% and Scope 3 (indirect emissions within the company's extended value chain) by 24% per area by 2030 from 2018 levels.  These goals are in line with a 1.5-degree climate change scenario and have been validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative.
"We took meaningful action to advance our ESG priorities in 2020, establishing ambitious climate impact reduction targets, significantly expanding our social justice efforts and enhancing the diversity of our Board," said Digital Realty Chief Executive Officer A. William Stein.  "We are doing our best to play a constructive, proactive role in advancing our objective of delivering sustainable growth for stakeholders, customers, employees and the communities we serve around the world."
2020 ESG Report Highlights:
Renewable Energy:  Digital Realty added 154 megawatts of renewables in 2020, bringing the total onsite solar and wind energy under long-term contracts to 556 megawatts.  All of Digital Realty's European properties as well as its U.S. colocation business are 100% powered by renewable energy.  Digital Realty's operational virtual power purchase agreements produced 698,662 megawatt hours of wind and solar energy in 2020, enough to meet the electricity needs of approximately 90,000 homes for one year.  Digital Realty's global portfolio is now 50% renewable, up significantly from 30% in 2019, while total energy consumption increased 24% in 2020.
Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency:  Digital Realty certified an industry-leading 31 data centers under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR program in 2020, bringing the total IT load certified through ENERGY STAR to 627 megawatts, saving 1.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually, or the equivalent of powering 229,000 average U.S. homes.  Digital Realty was also recognized by the EPA as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2020 and again in 2021.  Digital Realty also completed two LEED-Silver, one BREEAM-Gold and one BCA Green Mark Platinum certification for various construction and redevelopment projects in 2020, bringing total green building certifications to 11 million square feet encompassing 810 megawatts of IT capacity. 

Diversity and Inclusion:  In 2020, Digital Realty formally launched its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) employee leadership council to lead the company's global DEI effort and added DEI as a fourth pillar within the company's philanthropic focus.  The DEI council has subsequently launched employee resource groups for Veterans, Black and LGBTQ+ members and allies, joining the well-established Women's Leadership Forum.  

Resiliency:  In 2020, Digital Realty effectively managed the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic by executing on the company's existing business continuity and pandemic response plans while rapidly developing and implementing controls to ensure the safety and security of customers and employees.  Digital Realty achieved "five nines" (99.999%) of uptime for the 14th consecutive year in 2020, successfully navigating extreme weather events including the California wildfires and the Texas winter freeze.  
Digital Realty's 2020 ESG efforts were widely recognized:
Digital Realty's 2020 ESG Report has received third-party assurance, is aligned with the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and has been compiled in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core option.  The full report, including greater detail on Digital Realty's corporate ESG strategy and objectives, can be found here.