The culmination of months of work collecting, scrutinising, and entering data from ESG reports from across the entire games industry is now complete. The AfterClimate 2023 Net Zero snapshot is now live on the website.
I'll keep this bit brief, because I want you to go read the actual snapshot itself, which is full of tasty details. But here's some of the key bite-sized takeaways:
- Game development emissions are in the 10s of millions, larger than many small countries
- 2022 saw no new net zero targets but several new disclosures and a lot of new activity (which you knew already if you've been reading GTG for a while!)
- 2022 was a return to pre-pandemic emissions levels for many companies, with few able to avoid increasing their emissions
- Absolute emissions show few signs of reducing, but more importantly no sign of decoupling revenue from emissions – this is the scary bit, as we need to decouple growth from emissions for long term sustainability. Otherwise... well, things fall apart pretty quick.
- 14 out of the 32 biggest games companies are still not disclosing any emissions, and even more are not disclosing all relevant categories of Scope 3
- Physical and transition risks from climate change have never been clearer, more present, or more dangerous to business
What does this mean for the long term outlook of the games industry? Well it means we've come a long way in 12 months, but there's a hell of a long way to go.
As part of our effort to accelerate progress in this area, we're preparing a more detailed and definitive game industry sustainability benchmark report that will add more metrics and analysis to the big-picture context in the snapshot. We hope that it helps more games businesses (those included in the snapshot and others) as well as institutional investors, governments and other interested stakeholders drill down into the numbers in even greater detail, and come away with the most accurate picture possible. We will be particularly focussing on the issue of climate risk – both physical and transition risk – which investors are increasingly aware of when making long term decisions, as well as adding more analysis along the new intensity metrics we have introduced into the snapshot.
Please consider sharing a link to the snapshot with your teams, colleagues, friends, journalists, your pet dog – anyone and everyone who plays games should be interested in what the International leaders of this massive field are doing to demonstrate responsible action on climate.
Disclosures on their own don't mean a whole lot if no one looks at them, and asks the obvious question: "well what are you gonna do about it?"