GTG Links No. 20 – April 21st

Rolling green hills, studded with cloud shadows, are covered in large white wind turbines.
Photo by Tyler Casey / Unsplash

We're celebrating Earth Week by poring over new environmental data from some of the biggest games companies in the world

ESG season 2023 has properly kicked off

Lots of releases since we last checked in (and a few we hadn't swept up yet). Haven't had the chance to dive too much into the details but they will all go into the 2023 snapshot later this year (expecting most reporting will be done by September-ish? Snapshot by October?). Expect some early highlights in future posts as well.

Tencent '22 ESG report

Direct download link is here [PDF] and the page with all past and present reports is linked below.

ESG Report - Tencent 腾讯
腾讯于1998年11月成立,是一家互联网公司,通过技术丰富互联网用户的生活,助力企业数字化升级。我们的使命是“用户为本 科技向善”。Founded in 1998, Tencent is an Internet-based platform company using technology to enrich the lives of Internet users and assist the digital upgrade of enterprises. Our mission is “Value for Users, Tech for Good”.

SEGA Sammy '22 ESG report

Covers all their 2022 data. Direct download here [PDF].

INTEGRATED Report/Annual Report|IR Library|Investor Relations|SEGA SAMMY HOLDINGS
INTEGRATED Report/Annual Report of SEGA SAMMY HOLDINGS INC. are described.

Keywords annual report for '22 (with embedded ESG reporting)

Direct link. [PDF] One highlight I've already spotted:

Reduced carbon intensity by 16% [...] In a number of countries, including Spain, Japan, Germany, Australia, the UK and Italy, most studios are now on 100% renewable electricity.
You are being redirected...

NetMarble ESG report '22 also out

Direct link [PDF].

Netmarble Company
Netmarble Games, the No.1 online game publisher, and various top development studios will band together to become a global game company to be reckoned with.

The wide variety of timings in corporate ESG reporting makes for a bit of a jumble and we're still checking for reports manually. Please feel free to reach out and let me know if/when your own reports go live (and thanks to those who have!). Tax deadlines in the US (for the fiscal half-year, I think?) are approaching – expecting a flood of new reports for next month (which just so happens to line up with GTGs first birthday).

Hong Kong implements mandatory ESG disclosure for listed companies

Hey look, it's that pesky transition risk we've been talking about. I believe we're still waiting on those new US SEC rules around ESG disclosures, but it seems pretty obvious which way the wind is blowing.

Hong Kong to make climate disclosures mandatory for issuers
The Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEX) plans to make it mandatory for companies listed there to make climate-related disclosures, as the city strives to stay competitive as a green and sustainable financial centre.

GDC talks are starting to make their way to the Vault

A few of the sustainability focussed ones from this year are up already. Check out this one about teaching sustainability and game design by some European colleagues.

Educators Summit: Teaching Sustainability and Game Design: From the Low-Hanging Fruits to the Root of the Problem

Europes net zero industry act & new 'Green Claims Directive'

Wanna know how much investment the EU needs in core net zero technologies? There's some working papers on that now:

Part I estimates investment needs associated with boosting EU manufacturing capacity for a part of strategic net-zero technologies, focusing on wind, solar PV, heat pumps, batteries, and electrolysers.
For each scenario, the assessment estimates the cumulated investment needs over the period 2023-2030 to obtain the corresponding additional manufacturing capacity.

I know the games industry is only a small, tiny part of this picture, but aligning spending with this sort of stuff – on heat pumps, EVs, solar and battery storage, etc – helps everyone. Keep it on your radar, anyway. One of the things that the Project Drawdown framework identified was the relatively unrealised potential of aligning finance (in this context, pensions, 401K and superannuation) with net zero pathways by the games industry.

Net Zero Industry Act
Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework of measures for strengthening Europe’s net-zero technology products manufacturing ecosystem (Net Zero Industry Act)

The other big news is the European Commission publication of its new directive on  'Green Claims' aka anti-greenwashing rules – which I've also yet to really get across. Compensate did a well-subscribed webinar on it that I'm planning on watching, and they seemed to view it as a bit of a missed opportunity.

Europe falling short on 2030 reduction targets

Progress toward the European Green Deal – DW – 03/17/2023
Under pressure to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the European Union is pushing policies to clean up its economy.

Pair that with Adam Tooze on the gulf between Chinese and Western investment levels in renewables

And its the west that’s falling behind! By quite a bit! The era of China-bashing on climate is now firmly behind us. If only the rest of the world were moving as fast.

Carbon Note 2: The “Western” energy transitions - narcissism of small differences.
Did Putin’s war on Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis lead to a retreat from the energy transition in Europe? Did Russian aggression expose the vanity of green ideology? Was a war what we needed to relearn the “basic math” that modern societies cannot do without some combination of fossil fuels a…

Renewables finally displacing fossil fuel electricity? Maybe???

See Ember's global electricity review for the full details

Global Electricity Review 2023
Wind and solar reached a record 12% of global electricity in 2022, and power sector emissions may have peaked.

Real-zero checklist for net zero claims

This seems quite good – really details focussed on claims around environmental mitigation and specific claims. Absolutely agree with this assessment of the confusing range of things that are often meant by the big umbrella of net zero:

Net-zero can mean everything from a small number of residual emissions balanced out by protected and restored ecosystems or plans for ongoing fossil fuel emissions offset or netted out by either technology or land-based removals. The latter is a huge problem since overreliance on land and risky, unproven technology-based removals are dangerous for communities and likely won’t deliver as many removals as promised. It’s then too late to “undo” those emissions.

Overwhelmingly, net-zero pledges thus far have relied far too heavily on offsets and netting out. There haven’t been nearly enough policies or plans put in place for the needed just and equitable fossil fuel phase-out. So when you hear net-zero terminology, that’s the time to really pay attention and demand details instead of assuming real ambition behind the rhetoric.

Direct link to the PDF document.

Net-Zero Toolkit: Resources to Spot Greenwashing in the Dangerous Net-Zero Framing - ActionAid USA News
Net-Zero is one of those terms that makes climate action seem more complicated than it is. It’s the type of term that is vaguely scientific, and makes

And in case you were still hoping that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) was going to solve for emissions, I've got some bad news. Every major CCS project in Australia has overpromised, overrun budgets, and still under-delivered. We've been trying for decades too. Pure insanity.

Emissions from WA gas project with world’s largest industrial carbon capture system rise by more than 50%
Chevron development off Pilbara coast was approved on condition the company store about 4m tonnes of CO2 a year

Research on (green) edge networks and mobile gaming

Published mid-last year, here's the interesting bit:

...we analyze a wide variety of realistic configurations at the edge, studying how the performance depends on (i) whether the games have a static or dynamic workload, (ii) the distribution of renewable energy through nodes and time, or (iii) the topology of the edge network.

Don't forget! If you want access to research, usually you can just email the authors and they'll share it with you. Publicly funded research should be free (and for everything else, there's always Sci-Hub/Library Genesis).

Energy efficiency considerations now impacting telcos network build decisions

This might not come as a huge surprise, but its yet more signal around the importance of the shift to efficiency:

“a survey of telecoms operators around the globe... found that sustainability goals such as energy efficiency are materially affecting hardware choices.”
Energy efficiency affecting 5G infrastructure choices
And not only because not considering their options makes them look bad

Energy/electricity costs factoring into consumer CPU reviews

Linus Tech Tips has an interesting video out about the new AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, and makes a point to highlight the extremely low power use of the chip vs a similar Intel one. They point out that it adds up to a serious cost of ownership consideration over the life of the device: $70 over 5 years, vs nearly $150 for the Intel. For the budget conscious, could be quite an important saving.

It’s great to see these sorts of considerations get highlighted, even if it’s just from a cost rather than climate perspective.

Bitcoin energy use is ~85% fossil energy in the US 😬😬😬

Ebike battery trade-in program in NYC

Helped by Uber, of all companies – found this really interesting!

Finally! Uber Helps Fund Two Battery Buy-Back Programs
The San Francisco-based tech giant, which so far has remained relatively silent on an issue that has blazed through the city, is helping fund the two separate pilot programs both aimed at improving…

The Spanish countryside is deeply affected by drought

Just a little preview of the climate chaos coming if we don't cut emissions fast.

Drought will cause crop failures in Spain, farmers warn
The main Spanish farmers’ association says drought now affects 60% of the Spanish countryside and is causing “irreversible losses” to more than 3.5 million hectares of crops. the Coordinator of Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Organizations said in a report issued on Thursday that wheat and barley are expecte…

Artisanal Gold Mining in the Sahel

Here’s a new-ish one to me, highlighted by (who else?) Adam Tooze's excellent Chartbook newsletter: the rise of artisanal gold miners in the Sahel over the last decade or so – echoing similar concerns as artisanal coltan mining in the DRC. Gold is one of the four key 'conflict minerals' (Tantalum, Tungsten, Tin and Gold), and is a critical component in device manufacturing (see Ch.7 of DGACC for a discussion of some of the intense enviro impacts of gold mining, and its uses in gaming devices).

That'll do – plenty to keep you busy this week/end

Don't sleep on the XR planned action in the UK this weekend – "The Big One". If you're in and around that part of the world, get along.

Thanks for reading Greening the Games Industry – we hope it's plenty food for thought, and always worth receiving in your inbox every week.