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Playing for the Planet issues new guidelines to reduce carbon impact

Playing for the Planet Alliance has issued a new report to reduce carbon emissions in the games industry.

The paper by climate consultancy firm Carbon Trust is a survey of ten gaming firms about their methods for reducing emission impact. Trade body UKIE also supported the project by assisting with the initial project outline and getting the wider games industry involved.

The guidelines suggest all game makers should measure their emissions and set climate targets aligned with 1.5° C.

Additionally, players must be personally involved with reducing carbon emissions, and the studios recommended joining climate action networks to learn from a community of people.

“Video games are unique in that they combine interactive storytelling, artistic expression and the latest technologies to create fun, challenging and engaging experiences,” said Carbon Trust’s Matt Anderson.

“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.”

The paper says that purchased items and services and energy used by video game products account for most of a gaming firm’s total carbon emissions.

Additionally, it said, “Accounting for the energy use of video game software was found to be a point of uncertainty, so video game companies should apply the relevancy principle to evaluate how to treat these emissions. If not already included in a company’s footprint, at a minimum, these emissions should be reported separately.”

The paper adds to make emission reporting easier the industry should follow three efforts: reports should be consistent, results should be more granular by the business sector, and findings/methodologies should be as transparent as possible.

Studios continue to join industry efforts to track and reduce emissions.

Last week, spoke with Die Gute Fabrik CEO Hannah Nicklin and AfterClimate’s Benjamin Abraham. The Saltsea Chronicles maker published a report alongside the release of its newest title, sharing its carbon impact during its development.

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