Video game industry commits to cutting emissions - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions  -  September 27, 2019

Video game industry commits to cutting emissions

A collection of 21 video game producers made a group commitment to take action in response to the climate crisis, which once achieved should result in a 30 million ton reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030.

The group includes names such as Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, Google Stadia, Rovio, Supercell, Sybo, Ubisoft and WildWorks, operating within the “Playing for the Planet Alliance” and presenting their commitment initiatives. The Alliance intends to support companies in sharing learning and monitoring progress on the environmental agenda within an industry that reaches 2.6 billion people globally.

The initiatives set up by the video game companies include tree planting, new “green nudges” in game design and improvements to energy management, packaging and device recycling.

“Video gaming might seem like an unlikely ally in this battle, but this Alliance is a critical platform where all of us can play our part to decarbonize our impact and bring the issues into gameplay” Mathias Gredal Norvig, CEO of Sybo, said in a statement. “I am a strong believer in sparking curiosity and conversations wherever people are, and with 2 billion people playing games, this platform has a reach that’s second to none.”

As part of the initiative, Sony Interactive Entertainment will implement energy-efficient technology to cut emissions by 29 million tons by 2030 and will introduce low power suspend mode for next-generation PlayStation. Additionally, Microsoft has set a new target to reduce its supply chain emissions by 30% by 2030 – including end-of-life for devices – and to certify 825,000 Xbox consoles as carbon neutral.

Google Stadia, set to launch later this year, will produce a new Sustainable Game Development Guide. Supercell, the makers of Clash of Clans; Rovio, of Angry Birds; and Sybo, maker of Subway Surfer, will offset the carbon impact of their devices and chargers.

Other gaming companies have taken the pledge to increase the sustainability of their devices, integrate “green” themes into their games and increase the recycling of their consoles.

“The video games industry has the ability to engage, inspire and captivate the imaginations of billions of people across the world,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Program, said in a statement. “This makes them a hugely important partner in addressing the climate emergency. We are encouraged by the commitment of these gaming companies, which shows recognition that we all must play our role in the global effort to lower carbon emissions and effect real change towards sustainability.”

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