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Green Efforts of Video Game Companies Assessed in New Report

Environmental research and advisory firm AfterClimate has released its first net-zero gaming industry snapshot, which marks the first in a series of annual reports that it hopes will outline progress toward the gaming industry’s net-zero goals.

The 2022 snapshot outlines the key findings of a comprehensive analysis of over 30 of the largest game developers, tech giants and publishers, examining the self-reported environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics and net zero commitments of major companies such as Microsoft, Sony , Nintendo and Embracer Group.

It is important to note that this snapshot is based on self-reported data published in 2022 on measures taken in 2021, with founder and sustainability researcher of AfterClimate, dr Benjamin Abraham A notice:

“If we revisit the snapshot in 2023, we will likely see that more concrete actions have already been taken than the disclosures reviewed here indicate.”

Read: Making Video Games for a Dying Planet

For this overview, each game studio was divided into four main categories that determined their commitment to reducing emissions: ambitious, baseline, catch up and non-compliance.

Specially listed among the ambitious Category are industry leaders who are described as “setting the pace and showing what ambition and action is possible in the games industry”. These include Microsoft, Ubisoft, Apple and Riot Games.

among the baseline Category are those who are already taking action, but whose methods can still be improved to meet the “minimum acceptable standard”. These companies include Sony, Activision Blizzard, and SEGA.

companies within the catch up group recognizes its need for action and has taken “preliminary steps” to reduce its environmental footprint, but has yet to set a date for the company’s net-zero emissions. These include studios like Electronic Arts, Nintendo and Take-Two Interactive.

Last are the “underperformers” within the non-compliance Group. These are the companies that “appear not to have considered the environmental impact of their operations at all” and disappointingly “expose themselves to significant risks from climate impacts,” including names like Square Enix, Roblox Corporation, and Nexon.

A snapshot of net zero targets from major gaming and tech companies. Image: AfterClimate

There were a few notable omissions in the snapshot, including two major industry players, Valve Software and Epic Games, which either do not appear to be disclosing environmental data at this time or have not yet taken a public stance on reducing their emissions.

The report also outlined an interesting trend towards using codes of conduct for supply chain engagement, noting that “some gaming companies are already favoring suppliers who have an active interest in reducing their footprint”.

This report highlights the need for rapid decarbonization at the enterprise level and shows the promising signs of progress that can be made with strong leadership at the top, with 19 of the 33 companies surveyed already setting firm net-zero targets.

In an industry that drives so much engagement and leverages a large number of resources to produce rapid sets of results, data like this is critical to driving public understanding of the impending climate crisis and business seriousness.

If you want to learn more about the snapshot, you can read the full report or delve into all the data collected through the Game Industry Net Zero Snapshot 2022 table. You can also contact AfterClimate via the contact form for more information on how your game studio can do more to meet the goal of achieving net zero goals.

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