Breakthrough year on decarbonisation efforts for Playing for the Planet Alliance

April 22, 2024
  • All members with over 5000 staff have committed to net-zero or carbon neutrality
  • 25.9% of members achieved in Scope 3 accounting activities
  • 6 new members welcomed this year, including Google and Amazon Games

Playing for the Planet’s Annual Impact report provides a year-on-year review of the work of the Alliance, facilitated by the UN Environment programme, and its membership, which currently stands at 44 games companies and trade associations. 

Each section provides an update on the Alliance’s key focus areas and how well the objectives set for 2023 the year prior have been met. It serves as an accountability mechanism for studios to check in on progress, and to reconsider and ratchet their commitments for the year ahead. 

The full report is available to download here.

One of the main outcomes of last year was the work the Alliance undertook to address the ambiguity on how the video games sector applies and interprets emission liability for hardware and software. 

The paper ‘Untangling the carbon complexities of the video gaming industry’ provided guidance on how the sector should address its emissions in relation to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which will inform a new calculator being developed for launch in 2024 following testing by four member studios. Once this calculator is in place, members will be further encouraged to report publicly on their carbon emissions as part of their commitments to the Alliance.

The Alliance continued to build green activations into games as a way of prompting real-world action and change via the Green Game Jam. 40 games entered the 2023 GGJ, with activations that raised over $700,000 to protect harlequin toads in the Amazon, snow leopards in the Himalayas, and manta rays in the Western Indian Ocean, for 2024 nearly 80 studios have joined the Jam with a focus on inspiring 1 million people to take action in the real world. 

Continuing last year’s work on a scalable plastics reduction protocol, Alliance members Bandai Namco, SEGA Europe, and Ubisoft teamed up to reduce the industry’s plastic footprint. Their work on cardboard-based boxes for physical game products resulted in special editions released for both Endless Dungeon on Xbox and Skull and Bones on PC. 

And whilst this year the Alliance strengthened its community and governance with the creation of formal Articles of Association and advisory councils, the report identifies further work to be done in the field of research and insight. Instead, it aims in 2024 to build connections between industry and academia, in order to develop a research framework that validates the appetite for green activations and the connection between games and real-world actions.

Finally, 6 new members joined the Alliance this year - Abra Games, Google, the Dutch Games Association, Alibaba Yuanjing, Amazon Games, and Sharkmob. From here the Alliance aims to grow its regional diversity and explore new member categories such as platforms, hardware, investors, esports businesses and advertising networks.

SEO of Alliance member SYBO, Matthias Gredal Nørvig  said: “As we all know, climate change cannot be solved alone. Playing for the Planet has provided SYBO with a strong community that shares our values and goals, and the work of the other remarkable companies in the Alliance constantly motivates and inspires our team to go even bigger with our green activations.”

Greg Gobbi, Chief Creative Officer at new Alliance member Amazon Games said: “We are honored to be joining the Playing for the Planet Alliance, as it brings together the voices of our industry in support of sustainability in our work, both internally with our employees and externally with our players.”