Environment & Energy

Committed to Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2040
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Our Environmental Priorities

We understand the power of data, analytics and technology in addressing the most pressing issues facing the world around us, and the important role Equifax plays in the communities where we work and live. We have pledged to reduce our global environmental impact and have committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, a sustainability commitment enabled by our Equifax Cloud™.

Environmental management is one of our top ESG priorities described here and in our recent proxy statements. We are committed to communicating with our employees, communities, customers and investors transparently throughout our environmental management journey.
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As a technology company that does not manufacture physical products, we identified carbon emissions, primarily from electricity, and waste management as the most significant areas of environmental impact generated by our company. These findings have informed our current environmental priorities and our recent actions​​​​​​​.

Recent actions include:

  • Measured scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions
  • Published global baseline and high-level decarbonization strategy
  • Committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040
  • Published Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (View report)
  • Intend to validate emissions targets with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)

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Environmental Governance and Management

Our environmental management strategy is led by a cross functional team, with direction and prioritization provided by senior leadership, including our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Legal Officer. The Governance Committee of the Board of Directors provides oversight of environmental issues through regular updates and robust discussion with management regarding direction and progress in the context of our business strategy and stakeholder priorities.


To execute on our environmental strategy, we formed a working committee composed of representatives from our real estate, finance, procurement, technology, and external affairs teams. The committee meets regularly to develop recommendations, track progress, support the collection and analysis of data, and create communication materials. The committee also facilitates collaboration among team members across the global organization to promote environmental initiatives.  

Additionally, in 2022, Equifax’s Costa Rica location was certified as carbon neutral by INTECO, the Technical Standards Institute of Costa Rica, based on the INTE/ISO 14064‐1:2006 and INTE B5:2016 standards.  This important certification exemplifies our Costa Rica team's commitment to environmental sustainability.  Further, in the United Kingdom, Equifax is managing our commitment to reduce pollution related to our activities via the implementation of an effective environmental management system,certified against the ISO 14001:2015 standard.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Strategy and Management

We are Committed to Reaching Net Zero Emissions by 2040

Equifax is committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 along a science based pathway. In 2021, we completed the collection and analysis of our GHG emissions across our global operational footprint (scope 1 and 2), as well as across our value chain (scope 3). We used this data to develop our initial GHG inventory and inform our decarbonization strategy.   
In addition to establishing an inventory of emissions and related goals, we recognize the importance of accountability through review and approval by an external organization. As a result, we are in the process of developing reduction targets that support our commitment to achieving science based net-zero emissions, and plan to submit to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) for validation.

GHG Baseline and High-Level Decarbonization Strategy:  Scope 1 and 2

To achieve a baseline for our decarbonization efforts and strengthen transparency around our environmental strategy, we worked with a leading environmental advisory firm to perform an internal analysis. We determined that our scope 1 and 2 emissions primarily result from the operation of our office facilities and data centers. To gather applicable GHG data, our team analyzed actual usage information for our owned facilities and contacted our landlords to retrieve usage data for our leased facilities and co-located data centers. We used this data to establish our scope 1 and 2 baseline and develop our decarbonization strategy described below.
 

Cloud Transformation


Our investment in cloud technology exemplifies the alignment between our business strategy and our ESG priorities. Since 2018, Equifax has invested over $1.5 billion in cloud technology and industry-leading security. Through this strategic investment, we are moving our technology infrastructure and data assets to the cloud, which will improve our stability, efficiency and responsiveness to customers, and accelerate our ability to innovate and deliver new products that better serve our customers and consumers.

Our move to the cloud is also expected to have a positive environmental impact by significantly reducing our on-site technology and data centers and leveraging the enhanced energy efficiency of our cloud service providers. As we continue to decommission data centers and on-site servers, we will reduce overall emissions and transition the corresponding GHG emissions from our scope 1 and 2 inventory to scope 3. We estimate that data centers make up approximately 50% of our total scope 1 and 2 emissions, net of renewable energy.

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Equifax is primarily partnering with Google via their cloud platform and office solutions. Google is carbon neutral today, with a goal to run on carbon-free energy, 24/7, at all of their data centers by 2030. Between 2019 and 2021, we decommissioned twelve data centers, reducing 1000 metric tons of carbon. We plan to maintain an aggressive decommissioning strategy and anticipate a corresponding reduction in our scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Workplace Enhancements

 
In recent years, we have enhanced the energy efficiency of a number of our workplaces and we plan to incorporate these enhancements at other sites. We also target environmentally efficient buildings for our office space to further increase efficiency. 

Facility upgrades continue to increase energy efficiency.

More-efficient LED lighting

Daylight & Occupancy Office Sensors

High efficiency HVAC systems

Biodiverse buildings & greenspaces

As of year-end 2021, the Equifax real estate portfolio included six LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings in North and South America, three BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent rated buildings in the United Kingdom, one NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) and three Green Star rated buildings in Australia. Although these Equifax buildings do not represent the majority of our worksites, our global real estate team includes energy efficiency as a factor in determining new office locations.

As we progress through our cloud transformation journey, we are also taking steps to more efficiently manage our remaining onsite data centers, such as optimizing our HVAC systems and implementing cold aisle containment processes. 
 

Space Utilization Initiatives

As we review our physical office space requirements around the world, we have established space utilization standards and metrics and invested in technology and workspaces that help reduce our space needs while encouraging employee collaboration and productivity. Maximizing the efficiency of our office spaces and reducing our overall footprint will help Equifax deliver on our decarbonization commitments.
 
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Purchase of Renewable Energy

We plan to purchase renewable energy to reduce the emissions associated with our offices and any data centers that have not migrated to the cloud. We have reached out to the various energy providers across our global operations to assess the availability of renewable energy. We also plan to pursue opportunities to purchase high-quality renewable energy credits, as needed, to achieve our emissions reduction goals.   
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High-Level Decarbonization Strategy:  Scope 3

With the assistance of our consultant, we performed an analysis of our value chain in line with the guidance from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and determined that the three most significant categories of scope 3 emissions for Equifax are related to (1) purchased goods and services, (2) employee commuting, and (3) business travel. Below we outline our high-level decarbonization strategy associated with each category. Our publication of GHG emissions below reflects the scope 3 data associated with our business travel. We are continuing to refine our data collection and reporting methodologies, and plan to expand our scope 3 disclosure as we finalize our approach. 

 

Purchased Goods & Services

For our initial review of the impact of purchased goods and services, we used an EEIO (environmentally-extended input-output) expense-based approach to identify important  categories and develop an initial reduction strategy. EEIO models estimate energy use and/or GHG emissions resulting from the production and upstream supply chain activities of different sectors and products. We are continuing to refine our analysis of this category, including supplementing with actual data where available.  

Equifax’s decarbonization strategy related to purchased goods and services will be driven by an engagement method. We will engage our key suppliers and partners to encourage their adoption of science aligned targets and/or net-zero ambitions through education on decarbonization, advocating for their participation, and leveraging our purchasing power.

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Employee Commuting

We worked with our consultants to develop a model that factors geographic location, typical modes of transport, and number of employees to estimate employee commuting GHG emissions for each office location.
In 2021, we announced a flex day policy providing all Equifax employees with the option to work from home, which we expanded in early 2022 to include two hybrid days per week and two full hybrid work weeks per year. In addition to other benefits, this policy will reduce the number of employees commuting to our offices and the corresponding GHG emissions associated with that travel.  

We are also supporting our employees’ use of electric vehicles by purchasing and installing additional electric car charging stations at our company-owned buildings and offering similar options at our leased facilities. Additionally, access to public transportation is a factor in our building selection process.
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Business Travel

Working with information provided by our travel partners, we are publishing  the GHG emissions data associated with our business travel.

Even prior to the COVID pandemic, Equifax policy discouraged business travel for internal, non-customer meetings and encouraged use of technology alternatives. The COVID pandemic has significantly increased the use of alternative communication options by all companies and we see that trend likely continuing in the near future, and in some cases permanently.​
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EFX Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

 

 

As detailed in the table above, our combined scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions have decreased each year since 2019, with an approximate 13.5% decrease between 2019 and 2021 and an approximate 3% decrease between 2020 and 2021.

A number of factors contributed to the reduction in our GHG emissions between 2019 and 2020.  As with most companies, we saw a reduction in office usage and business travel related to the COVID pandemic that resulted in lower GHG emissions. In 2020, we strategically consolidated a number of locations to promote productivity and increase efficiency of space utilization. These space utilization measures decreased our overall energy usage and the corresponding GHG emissions. Our continued cloud transformation also positively impacted our GHG emissions as we continue to decommission data centers and legacy servers and applications.  

In 2021, our GHG emissions were positively impacted by a combination of data center decommissions, office consolidation, and an improvement in overall energy efficiency of the Atlanta power market resulting in a reduced emissions factor. Our 2021 GHG emissions were negatively impacted by the availability of more complete information regarding our data centers, an increased footprint from eight acquisitions completed during the year, and an irregular increase in the use of refrigerant required for the year (scope 1). Excluding the impact of acquisitions in 2021, our aggregate scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions would have decreased approximately 5.3% compared to 2020.   
 

Waste Management Initiatives

We have undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce the waste produced at our offices. We reduced, and in many cases eliminated, personal waste bins at desks in favor of more efficient central trash and recycling bins.

We shred and recycle paper documents within our offices and program all printers to print double-sided as the default setting to reduce paper usage and waste.

We also responsibly dispose of electronic waste, such as laptops and monitors, through a third-party recycling organization. 
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Our employee network, Sustainability@EFX, provides an opportunity for employees interested in coordinating, communicating, and celebrating sustainability at Equifax.  Sustainability@EFX offers education materials through its dedicated internal website, supports environmental initiatives, and celebrates environmental events, such as Earth Week. In our Atlanta offices, Sustainability@EFX partnered with the real estate team to develop education materials and guidance for fellow employees regarding waste management and recycling efforts at the Company.

Additionally, in Costa Rica, we developed an environmental management strategy and are engaged in a number of initiatives, including waste management. Our team reinforces recycling campaigns and updates products and processes to reduce garbage going to the landfill and increase recycling, organic composting, and garbage used for energy generation. With the support of the Ecological Brigade, a group of more than sixty employee volunteers focused on sustainability, we identify volunteer opportunities, develop webinars, share informational materials, and host events throughout the year.    
 

Disclaimer

This webpage contains information that may constitute “forward-looking statements.” Generally, the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “project,” “will,” “may” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which generally are not historical in nature. All statements that address operating or environmental performance and events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, including statements relating to future operating results, plans for reducing our environmental footprint, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improvements in our IT and data security infrastructure, our strategy, our ability to mitigate or manage disruptions posed by COVID-19, the impact of COVID-19 and changes in U.S. and worldwide economic conditions, and similar statements about our outlook and our plans are forward-looking statements. We believe these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made. However, forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of such risks and uncertainties, we urge you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date when made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Last updated:  March 24, 2022
You should assume that the information appearing in this webpage is accurate only as of the date it was last updated.