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Jo-Ann Garbutt

Data Center Service Provider Digital Realty Names Director of Sustainability: 4 Things to Know

August 10, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Digital Realty Trust Inc., a global data center provider and IT services firm, has named Jo-Ann Garbutt as director of sustainability and government engagement.

Here are four things to know about Garbutt and Digital Realty's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope: Digital Realty, based in Austin, Texas, operates roughly 300 data centers across 50 metro areas in 27 countries across six continents. The company reported $1.4 billion in revenue for Q2 of 2023, up 20% from Q2 of 2022. Digital Realty's partner ecosystem includes third-party cloud service providers, network, and hardware infrastructure providers.

2. Sustainability Goals and Milestones: Digital Realty's goals for 2030 are to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 68%, and Scope 3 emissions by 24%. The data center and co-location provider set those carbon reduction goals in 2020 with the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi).

With an eye towards those goals, Digital Realty will leverage IBM Envizi ESG software suite to gather and manage sustainability data across data centers worldwide, the two companies disclosed in July 2023.

Signs of Digital Realty's progress on the sustainability front have already emerged. As of April 2023:

  • More than 100 Digital Realty data centers are carbon neutral for Scope 2; and
  • a dozen data centers in Europe have achieved carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

3. Jo-Ann Garbutt's Sustainability Expertise: Garbutt has over two decades of experience in sustainability and organizational development, Digital Realty said. She previously was director of sustainability at Mercury, a European construction business that specializes in mechanical and electrical engineering, data technology services and more. Now at Digital Realty, Garbutt reports to Lex Coors, chief data center technology and engineering officer.

Lex Coors Digital Realty Trust
Lex Coors, chief data center technology & engineering officer, Digital Realty Trust

4. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement about Garbutt's role, Coors said: “We’re delighted to welcome Jo-Ann to the team. Our goal at Digital Realty lies in effectively handling our environmental influence and maximizing the utilization of energy and natural resources in a sustainable manner. Our primary focus continues to revolve around endeavors to establish eco-friendly and energy-efficient data centers that enhance environmental performance. With Jo-Ann’s appointment we hope to streamline and refine our sustainability efforts all around."

Digital Realty Sustainability Director: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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