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21 game companies join Playing for the Planet Alliance to combat climate change

21 game companies join Playing for the Planet Alliance to combat climate change

September 23, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

Sony, Microsoft, Google Stadia, Supercell, Ubisoft, Twitch, and several more have committed to working alongside the UN to combat climate change and raise awareness of environmental issues.

All in all, the UN Environment Programme says that 21 game companies, including console makers, developers, and others, have committed to take action against climate change either by shifting their own polices, putting awareness campaigns into motion, or working “green nudges” into future games.

Several of those involved have published their own blog posts on their own plans, including the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Football Manager developer Sports Interactive.

The UN Environment Programme has its own rundown of how different companies plan to participate that includes everything from switching to sustainably-sourced packaging, developing conservation-focused video games, initiatives to offset their studio’s carbon footprint, and research into other sustainability-focused actions.

Both Sony and Microsoft, for instance, have committed to work to offset their own carbon footprint, and pledged environmentally-driven changes to their console manufacturing pipeline as well. For Microsoft, that means reducing the Xbox’s related carbon emissions by 30 percent by 3030. For Sony, plans are in motion to assess its carbon footprint and introduce a low power suspend mode to its upcoming PlayStation generation.

Google’s Stadia, the other major game platform among those involved with the initiative, plans to create a sustainable development guide and fund research in effectively using green nudges in games. Others involved are looking toward green-focused game jams and campaigns that partner with games like Minecraft or Pokemon Go to take action against climate change.

"Video gaming might seem like an unlikely ally in this battle, but this Alliance is a critical platform where all of us can play our part to decarbonize our impact and bring the issues into gameplay,” said Mathais Gredal Norvig, CEO of Subway Surfer developer Sybo, in a statement. “I am a strong believer in sparking curiosity and conversations wherever people are, and with 2 billion people playing games, this platform has a reach that’s second to none.”

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