Playing for the Planet partners with The Carbon Trust to develop a carbon calculator for Alliance members

April 22, 2024

We know that carbon footprinting can get complicated quickly, and that many video game businesses are looking for support in this area. That’s why Playing for the Planet has partnered with The Carbon Trust to develop a carbon calculator for Alliance members to use. The goal is to develop a simple and user-friendly calculator tailored for studios and developers that takes away some of the headache of footprinting by focussing on where the emissions are largest and in need of greatest attention. 

The Alliance is aiming to build the calculator by Spring 2024 which will be aligned to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the de facto corporate carbon footprinting standard for industry and will offer consistent results that studios can trust and use to focus on the most important part of your climate strategy; taking action.

This calculator builds on last year’s collaborative report, Untangling the carbon complexities of the video gaming industry, authored by The Carbon Trust with input from Playing for the Planet members. The report tackled some of the most challenging parts of carbon footprinting for video game businesses, with guidance and recommendations from carbon accounting and industry experts. 

The new carbon calculator will incorporate the learnings and recommendations from the Untangling report which was developed with inputs from ten major studios. Emission sources covered by the calculator will include business operations (like office energy use and company vehicles), and the value chain (like emissions from data centres, advertising services and emissions from playing the games you make). Together, these make up what are known as scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

Accompanying the tool will be a public methodology document, to transparently describe the calculation approach, and user guidance to help users with collecting data, navigating the tool and understanding how best to use the results for decision making. Also, consultation with those making other carbon calculators, such as Jyrios, will be undertaken so that a common approach can be shared and in 12 months time, the aim will be to develop a calculator that will be publicly available for all. 

The calculator is being made with and for studios as at the beginning of this year, The Carbon Trust held a workshop with Playing for the Planet’s decarbonisation working group to get input and feedback on the tool design and calculation methodology. This was a collaborative session with great insights shared by footprinting experts and newbies alike, so we received a well-rounded view of the specific challenges faced by video gaming businesses in this area.

Built by experts from The Carbon Trust, a global climate consultancy with more than 20 years’ experience in this area, development of the calculator is well underway and our next step will be to pilot the tool with a small group of Alliance members. We’ll continue to keep you posted as we progress and work towards a launch of the calculator in the coming months. 

Matt Anderson is a Senior Consultant for The Carbon Trust, an expert partner helping businesses, governments, and organisations decarbonise and accelerate to Net Zero around the world.