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.
SEGA Sammy '22 ESG report
Covers all their 2022 data. Direct download here [PDF].
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.
NetMarble ESG report '22 also out
Direct link [PDF].
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Renewables finally displacing fossil fuel electricity? Maybe???
See Ember's global electricity review for the full details
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.
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.
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/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!
The Spanish countryside is deeply affected by drought
Just a little preview of the climate chaos coming if we don't cut emissions fast.
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.