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Gaming bigwigs step up to fight climate change at the UN Climate Action Summit

By Neo Wei Song - on 23 Sep 2019, 6:29pm

Gaming bigwigs step up to fight climate change at the UN Climate Action Summit

Earlier today, various leaders of the video games industry came together to formally commit to using their platforms to help take action and combat climate change. These commitments were announced under the banner of "Play for the Planet" and was part of the UN Climate Action Summit that took place at the UN Headquarters in New York. 

According to the report from the UN Environment Programme, 21 gaming companies have made the pledge and these commitments will result in a 30 million tonne reduction of CO2 by the year 2030. These results will be through active efforts such as tree planting as well as incorporating greener methodology when it comes to energy management, packaging and the recycling of gaming devices.

Some of the commitments from companies include:

  • Sony Interactive Entertainment will unveil new progress and plans to utilize energy efficient technology (on-track to avoid 29 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2030), to introduce low power suspend mode for next generation PlayStation, to assess and report their carbon footprint and to educate and inspire the gaming community to take action on climate change.
  • Microsoft will announce the expansion of its existing operational commitment to carbon neutrality, established in 2012, into its devices and gaming work. It will set a new target to reduce its supply chain emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 – including end-of-life for devices – and to certify 825,000 Xbox consoles as carbon neutral in a pilot programme. In addition, Microsoft will engage gamers in sustainability efforts in real life through the Minecraft its ‘Build a Better World’ initiative, which has seen players take more than 20 million in-game actions.
  • Google Stadia, which is set to launch later in the year, will produce a new Sustainable Game Development Guide as well as funding research into how “green nudges” can be effectively incorporated into game play.
  • Supercell (Clash of Clanswill offset the entire footprint of their community, Rovio (Angry Birds) has offset the carbon impact from their players charging their devices, and Sybo(Subway Surfer) and Space Ape (Fastlane) will offset 200 per cent of their studio and their gamers mobile energy use. Guidance documents will assist other companies to take similar actions.
  • Wild Works (Animal Jam) will integrate restoration elements in games and, like Green Man Gaming, they will focus on restoring some of the world’s forests with major tree-planting initiatives.
  • Ubisoft will develop in-game green themes and will source materials from eco-friendly factories and Sports Interactive will eliminate 20 tonnes of packaging by switching from plastic to a recycled alternative for all future Football Manager releases.
  • Creative Mobile’s ZooCraft will evolve into a conservation-focused game with Reliance Games (Little Singham) generating awareness in the fastest growing mobile gaming market by creating awareness with kids to make them ambassadors for climate change with in-game events and initiatives across India. The biggest independent gaming platform in China, iDreamSky has committed to putting green nudges into its games.
  • E-Line Media (Never Alone, Beyond Blue), Strange Loop (Eco) and Internet of Elephants(Safari Central) will share their expertise of making high impact environmentally oriented games into the Alliance
  • Finally, Twitch have committed to utilizing their platform to spread this message to the global gaming community with Niantic Inc (Pokemon Go) committing to engage their community to act around sustainability issues.