Video game companies pledge to go greener

September 26, 2019

At the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday, 21 gaming companies pledged to do their part in ending climate change through the Playing for the Planet industry-wide initiative.

Sony, Microsoft, Supercell, Rovio and Ubisoft are among the companies that pledged to take action by reducing supply chain emissions by 30 percent by 2030, which will prevent up to 30 million tons of CO2 emissions.

Other components of the initiative include Microsoft’s renewed commitment to carbon neutrality, and tree-planting initiatives announced by companies like Wild Works and Green Man Gaming.

The gaming industry contributes significantly to environmental issues like dangerous mineral mining, e-waste and CO2 emissions, according to Kotaku.

PC gamers alone use up to 75 billion kilowatts hours of electricity annually. Furthermore, gaming consoles are created using mining techniques that pollute local water systems and ultimately create e-waste when they’re replaced with newer models.

Some critics of the initiative worry that Playing for the Planet will not take an aggressive enough approach to combat the impact of the industry.

According to Kotaku, the initiative goes easy on companies that create consoles and games, putting more emphasis on how the content of games can make consumers more aware of environmental issues, rather than how the industry can reduce its carbon footprint.

“There’s a question of accountability,” wrote senior Kotaku reporter Cecilia D’Anastasio, “Commitments are good, but not without follow-through.”

The full Playing for the Planet report details each component of the initiative.

Video game companies pledge to go greener