GTG Links 48 – ESGalore! Unity, Tencent, 37 interactive, +PS5 boxes lose 8K logo ++Climate impacts on food prices

GTG Links 48 – ESGalore! Unity, Tencent, 37 interactive, +PS5 boxes lose 8K logo ++Climate impacts on food prices
Screenshot from 37interactive's ESG report. Consistently the best looking reports in the biz.

This week's links are short and sweet but packed with goodness. Lets dive in.

Unity’s ESG report is out – in a new web-based format, allowing for some neat interactive charts (see that "Cloud" footprint doubling from 22-23! phwoarr) and overall a 6.5% increase in absolute emissions.

Revenue intensity is down almost 30% but hitting net zero targets requires more than just efficiency improvements – decoupling profitability from emissions remains elusive...

Tencent's 2023 ESG report

The Chinese mega-company's annual ESG report is out [PDF] and it shows in 2023 they increased overall emissions by a (relatively) miniscule 1.36% which is... not a bad result? For a company as big as they are, that's actually something.

Scope 2 emissions (electricity consumption) make up a whopping 44% of their total – and as the company only purchased 12% of its power from renewable sources, that leaves a ton of room for very rapid improvement if Tencent decides to fund massive power purchase agreements.

Note though that the all-important Category 11 "Use of sold products" is not being calculated in their Scope 3 – which is probably why it's not a lot bigger. Lot's of massive, unpleasant levers to pull in the coming years.

37Interactive ESG report is out (如果你能读懂中文)

Once again 37Interactive has only published their reporting in Chinese (and what a shame that is, as it's consistently the best-looking report in the entire industry! I'm a connoisseur of ESG art OK!). The Chairman's statement at the start calls out a 37% reduction in emissions – let's see where that's coming from though, shall we?

Here's my annotations of the key tables to help make sense of it. Sorry it's a bit of a mess.

A couple of observations – firstly, they're counting -200 tonnes of emissions from forestry credits against their Scope 1 emissions, which is... not standard accounting practice, let's just say that much. So in my comparisons, I will not be counting that as a real emissions avoidance, and neither should you.

Scope 2 has come down a lot in the past year (-42%!) based on purchasing a bunch more renewable energy (66%-80%, nice!). That's an unalloyed positive.

But Scope 3 is up, if only by a small amount after recalculating 2022 figures. That the recalculation resulted in such a big decrease is odd though. My records from their previous report have Scope 3 figures closer to 30k tonnes – now they're saying they're only 10k tonnes? Very strange. If only we could all recalculate our emissions to be 1/3rd what they used to be. Without being able to (easily) probe this change though, I don't have much else to go on, so we'll have to take their word on it (for now).

So how do they get to this claim of 37% reduction in emissions? I can only see that it's by saying Scope 1 & 2 are the only parts that matter – which, again, is not really a standard approach. Given that the China Ministry of Finance is currently soliciting comments on possible new climate disclosure rules for Chinese business... (closing June 24th) well, I'd be second-guessing the current strategy and thinking about whether focussing claiming on mere reductions across Scope 1 & 2 is going to cut it.

Remember when I said two years ago that 8K would never make sense in a lounge room? Looks like the marketing department has finally caught up with the inevitable.

Sony Appears to Remove 8K Tag From PlayStation 5 Boxes - IGN
Sony appears to have removed the 8K tag from PlayStation 5 boxes that has been clearly visible on the front of them since launch.

Untangling Carbon-free Energy Attribution and Carbon Intensity Estimation for Carbon-aware Computing

This is some cool looking research.

Untangling Carbon-free Energy Attribution and Carbon Intensity Estimation for Carbon-aware Computing | Proceedings of the 15th ACM International Conference on Future and Sustainable Energy Systems

Climate food price impacts are here already

Steam business update presentation from Nordic Game

This is an interesting look at the back end of Steam – with the amount of data they collect, I'm looking forward to seeing their mandatory climate disclosures when California's new legislation affects them. Just a couple more years...

Apple’s Private Cloud Compute offloading user tasks to Apple’s cloud…

Really interesting thread here, and like much that Apple does it's both impressive and deeply questionable in about equal measure. My main question though is what it will do to Apple’s footprint. Does the company evaluate new products and ideas for what they'll do to its emissions bottom-line?

More junk offsets

Turning up in some of the biggest greenwashers around:

...for 33 of the top 50 corporate buyers, more than a third of their entire offsets portfolio is “likely junk” – suggesting at least some claims about carbon neutrality and emission reductions have been exaggerated according to the analysis. The fundamental failings leading to a “likely junk” ranking include whether emissions cuts would have happened anyway, as is often the case with large hydroelectric dams, or if the emissions were just shifted elsewhere, a common issue in forestry offset projects.
Corporations invested in carbon offsets that were ‘likely junk’, analysis says
Analysis of the carbon offset projects used by top corporations including Delta, Gucci and ExxonMobil raises concerns around their emission cuts claims

Thanks for reading GTG – and I hope you have a great weekend.