CyrusOne News and Blog

Business Intelligence Group names Myers ‘Sustainability Hero of the Year’

September 8, 2022

The Business Intelligence Group has named CyrusOne Vice President of Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability Kyle Myers one of its “Sustainability Heroes of the Year” for 2022 in recognition of his ongoing exemplary work to make sustainability an integral part of the company’s mission.

The Business Intelligence Group recognizes true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, business executives with real-world expertise judge the programs for Business Intelligence Group. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

“We are proud to reward and recognize Kyle Myers and CyrusOne for their sustainability efforts,” said Maria Jimenez, chief nominations officer for Business Intelligence Group. “It was clear to our judges that their vision and strategy will continue to deliver results toward a cleaner, more sustainable world.”

Awards like this one represent a “100% team effort,” Myers said.

“It involves everything from project development to design engineering, to commissioning, to construction, to operations in the facility life cycle,” he continued. “And then there are the corporate functions, such as finance, who help figure out how to pay for everything by leveraging green bonds to get better rates – everyone has a role to play. If any piece of that chain fails, the project fails. Everyone has an important role, and you’re only as strong as the weakest link in the chain.”

The engine that drives CyrusOne’s sustainability efforts is the Sustainability Working Group, a committee of leaders from across the company who meet monthly to discuss sustainability strategy, priorities and progress. It launched in 2019 to integrate sustainability and ESG strategy and planning into each function at the company, to coordinate cross-functionality, and to develop metrics and measure progress. That cross functionality means CyrusOne’s project development, solutions engineering, construction, operations, legal, sales, marketing, investor relations, finance and human resources teams all work together to move sustainability forward.

The group, with Myers’s leadership, has helped make CyrusOne a data center industry leader in sustainability. After 20 years of strategy, policy and organizational design experience in the food and chemical industries, Myers joined CyrusOne in 2017 to help it improve its health and safety practices. In the process, he discovered we needed more organization and structure to set and meet our environmental goals. Simultaneously, CyrusOne’s customers had also begun to demand sustainable practices.

“We had humble beginnings,” Myers said. “We called it ‘telling our story’ and tried to figure out what good or great could look like. Then, we put a plan together and asked, where do we see ourselves in the future? Do we want to be a leader in this area? If so, what do we have to work with? Where should we focus and what resources will it take to get there? And then we started with sweat equity.”

From there, it took a life of its own, according to Myers. Rather than the sustainability department (Myers) driving all things sustainability, all of the departments on the Sustainability Working Group have started driving their own piece of the puzzle. As a result over the past several years, CyrusOne has made many notable commitments and achievements on its sustainability journey.

We set a net-zero carbon goal as our first public board and executive alignment on sustainability. That commitment set the stage for tremendous strides and continuing work on next generation goals.

CyrusOne has created the world’s first, second and third net water positive data centers in Phoenix (Chandler) and Dallas (Carrollton and Allen). The achievements represent a commitment to not only minimize impacts to the local environment and communities in which we operate, but to deliver benefits when possible. The guiding principle for our sustainability programs is not to simply do “less bad” but to do “more good” and leave regions better than if we were never there. With this in mind, we aim to make all our facilities in high water-stress regions net positive water facilities.

Our commitment to biodiversity, both onsite and off, is another area where we stand out in the industry. Our onsite efforts began in 2020 with the installation of native landscaping at our Dublin facility consisting of several microbiomes, including a wetland, wildflower meadow and woodland corridor. We continued the effort with improved landscapes at our Dallas-area data centers, where native landscaping provides food, shelter and nesting for wildlife, as well as water detention for flood prevention. Offsite, our net positive water efforts also contribute biodiversity benefits through the purchase of BEF Water Restoration Certificates®. These certificates support various water restoration projects with habitat impacts, including one on the San Saba River in central Texas, where we are helping to protect threatened mollusk species, including the amusingly-named Texas fatmucket and Texas pimpleback.

In 2022, we received certification from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for our near-term science-based carbon targets – another testament to our ongoing commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of our daily operations. As part of the process, CyrusOne set its targets based on SBTi’s science-based method. Internally, we then demonstrated our plan for achieving them, gained executive team and board approval for the formal commitment, and received SBTi approval of our targets. To reach our goals, CyrusOne will improve the efficiency of our existing facilities, build new facilities with higher efficiency, increase renewable electricity at existing facilities and start new facilities with renewable electricity.

And finally, we have published three consecutive annual sustainability reports, each with increasing levels of detail that demonstrate our deep commitment to transparency in our ESG efforts. For our most recent report, we pursued third-party verification through ISOS Group for a broad range of data, including carbon, water, waste, safety and diversity metrics.

These sustainability milestones only scratch the surface of all we have done and continue to do to be a good environmental steward. Please click here to read our full 2022 Sustainability Report. The publication covers corporate governance, environmental impact and social responsibility. You’ll find exhaustive reporting, charts, graphics, statistics, numbers, methodology, and highlight stories that confirm our successes and reveal areas where we plan to improve.

Our sustainability work, and Myers’, is never done.