A new report from the Carbon Trust (a UK not-for-profit company that provides energy-saving and carbon-cutting advice to businesses) has highlighted challenges that the games industry faces when it comes to cutting down on carbon emissions and is urging gamers and those in the industry to do their part to hit climate targets.
The report is also encouraging further research into next-gen console development, and what can be done there to reduce environmental impact.
According to a press release, the report - titled Untangling the carbon complexities of the video gaming industry - was commissioned in support of the Playing for the Planet alliance and supported by UK trade body UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie - which helped scope out the project and bring in engagement with the games industry).
The report aims to provide “practical advice” to businesses within the industry when it comes to knowing the scale of the ‘scope three’ emissions (indirect emissions that are a consequence of a company’s activities) they produce. Using this advice, they can get an accurate picture of their total emissions, enabling them to set targets in order to align with climate goals set by the Paris Agreement - an international treaty that aims to limit the increase in mean global temperature 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels.
Elsewhere, the report encourages further research into the design of the next generation of consoles in order to encourage developers, manufacturers, and publishers to consider decarbonization goals and environmental performance in the production of future hardware. It also provides a list of steps that gamers can take to do their own bit, such as checking out their system settings and enabling energy-saving modes.
“Video games are unique in that they combine interactive storytelling, artistic expression, and the latest technologies to create fun, challenging, and engaging experiences,” the report’s lead author, Matt Anderson, said in a statement. “All of this combines to make a complex landscape for video game businesses to understand and apply carbon accounting frameworks in a critical first step towards taking climate action.
“We hope that this report serves as a helpful way for businesses to level up to hit speed and scale in their climate action goals with players also engaged on this agenda.”
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Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.