Equinix commits US$50 million to advance digital inclusion
Equinix, the digital infrastructure company, has announced the launch of a global foundation focused on advancing digital inclusion, including access to technology and connectivity to the skills needed to thrive in today’s digitally driven world.
The Equinix Foundation, a private 501(c)(3), will provide funding to organisations working towards equitable and inclusive access to technology, connectivity and education.
It will also assess opportunities in environmental sustainability, an area of strategic importance to the company.
Equinix is making an initial financial commitment of US$50 million in funding through a contribution of Equinix shares for the Equinix Foundation that will allow it to be a self-sustaining foundation.
In alignment with guidelines governing private foundations, the Equinix Foundation Board of Directors will determine the Foundation’s annual giving budget each year, which is expected to cover grant-making, employee donation matching, and crisis response donations.
The Foundation also intends to make impact investments with interest income earned contributing to Foundation assets while supporting social programs.
Equinix employees will play a key role in shaping the Equinix Foundation, helping to identify and support community-driven non-profits and social enterprises dedicated to closing the digital divide locally and globally.
Equinix is currently partnering with dozens of non-profit organisations working to bridge the digital divide, including BigHope - a non-profit in Texas that prepares elementary school youth for opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).
It partners with Clap-Tech, a group that collaborates across education and industry partners in Hong Kong to prepare high school students for the future.
The company also collaborates with World Pulse, an online social network led by women from more than 227 countries with a mission to lift and unite women's voices to accelerate their impact on the world.
Through the Foundation, the company can now be more strategic in its philanthropic investments, driven by its employees' passions and scaling the positive impact it is making in communities worldwide.
“At Equinix, our purpose is to be the platform where the world comes together, enabling the innovations that enrich our work, life and planet. The Equinix Foundation is an important vehicle to deliver on our In Service To commitment - to one another, our customers, our investors and the communities in which we operate,” says Charles Meyers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Equinix.
“We are excited that through the Foundation, we’ll also advance our future-first commitment to build a better, more inclusive, more sustainable world, while harnessing and amplifying the passion of our people to help close the digital divide in our communities and beyond.”
Jensine Larsen, CEO and Founder, World Pulse, adds, "With Equinix's support over the past seven years, we have developed classes that provide women worldwide with technology stipends and training. This has had a huge ripple effect for the global community since one digitally-trained woman can impact thousands of lives."
Equinix invests in the communities in which it operates, enabling widespread, equitable and inclusive access to the digital world, generating positive social and economic impact through its programs. The company has evolved its social sustainability strategy to focus on engaging employees, digital inclusion, pathways to opportunity, and equity and social justice. The Equinix Foundation will complement this strategy by making grants and impact investments in all these four areas.
In fact, the Foundation is an integral part of the company's Future First sustainability strategy, helping to pave the way to a more accessible, equitable and sustainable future for communities worldwide.
Last year, Equinix became the first in the data centre industry to commit to globally reaching climate-neutral by 2030, backed by science-based targets and an aggressive sustainability innovation agenda.
Aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, this is crucial to ensure that Equinix continues to advance investments and innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The company is a long-standing member of Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), a CEO-led coalition that believes that a company's social strategy determines its success.
The Equinix Foundation will help accelerate the company’s commitment to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), specifically Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.