At the Climate Action Summit in September 2019, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres summed up our situation with these words:
“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win. The climate crisis is caused by us – and the solutions must come from us. We have the tools: technology is on our side.”
During this summit, Ubisoft joined other leading videogame companies as a founding member of the Playing for the Planet Alliance, an initiative facilitated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
In 2020, Ubisoft leveled up its commitment to actively contribute to global carbon neutrality* with a long-term plan to play green. The plan focuses on two areas: reducing the company’s emissions and encouraging our communities and stakeholders to do more for the planet.
To enact real, lasting change, we will continue to put in the time and energy to learn and test new ideas, setting up strong foundations for our environmental initiatives in years to come. Committing to global carbon neutrality is not a one-time achievement - it’s a journey that we are committed to in the long term.
* see the Executive Summary: A Framework for Collective Carbon Neutrality by the Net Zero Initiative and the 2021 advisory report from the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME).
REDUCING OUR EMISSIONS
Ubisoft’s carbon footprint in 2020 was 141.7 kilotons CO2-equivalent**. This number includes scope 1, 2, and 3 upstream emissions, covering all direct and indirect emissions necessary to our organization’s operations, from upstream emissions from our suppliers to downstream emissions stemming from the distribution of our products to physical retailers and digital platforms.
** Reporting of our emissions is based on guidance from the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, with a market-based method. This reporting is certified by an external auditor and declared to the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME) and, later this year, to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
Our short-term goal is to decarbonize our direct operations to reduce our emissions by 8.8% per employee, based on 2019 levels, by 2023.
The three areas of focus to reduce our carbon footprint are:
Electrification: Transition to 100% electricity from renewable sources.
Restraint: Improve behaviors and habits to be more sustainable.
Increase efficiency: Review and redesign our processes and operations to reduce related emissions.
More concretely, Ubisoft’s decarbonization plan will focus on the following actions:
Maintain a low level of international business travel by continuously developing better remote collaboration tools.
Ensure environmentally sustainable teleworking processes and systems.
Optimize the power consumption of our buildings (heating, air conditioning, lighting, computer equipment).
Aim to eliminate single-use plastics, and reduce overall waste while optimizing recycling in all our workspaces.
Reach 100% electricity from renewable sources (vs. 74% in 2020).
Update our procurement policy and motivate our suppliers to decarbonize their products and services.
Improve the management policy for IT hardware by extending the average lifecycle of our top assets and giving a second life to hardware (through reuse, recycling and/or donations when relevant).
Reduce the energy consumption of IT hardware by selecting low impact assets and developing programs to turn off assets remotely.
Engage our data centers in an environmental management program and investigate ways to reuse the heat and liquid cooling of our servers.
Continue to digitize the distribution of our games to limit material waste and carbon impact.
Ubisoft is also working on a carbon footprint reduction plan for 2030, which will be submitted to the Science-Based Targets initiative for validation, in line with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
In addition to these commitments, Ubisoft is making voluntary contributions to external projects across the world that reduce third-party emissions or develop carbon sinks; these contributions will cover an amount of CO2 equal to the emissions resulting from Ubisoft’s operations. Ubisoft is financing a dozen projects, including the reforestation and protection of existing forests and peatlands, a solar energy farm, a plastic recycling initiative, biogas development programs, and hydroelectric plants.
These investments are complementary to our efforts to reduce our own emissions. The projects we finance contribute to global carbon neutrality and can also benefit the communities where they are located, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. All the projects we finance respect internationally recognized norms and certifications (Gold Standard, VCS, Plan Vivo, and CCB Standards).
INSPIRING TEAM MEMBERS, PARTNERS, AND PLAYERS
Ubisoft has a role to play to help increase awareness for environmental issues among its communities. This important work is taking place through several local partnerships (like Ubisoft Future Games of London’s campaign with the nonprofit ocean conservation organization Oceana) and internal initiatives such as the Ubisoft Green Days, in France.
As a major media and entertainment company, Ubisoft can also inspire its audiences with the content of its games. Our open-world games immerse players in beautiful environments and can instill a greater sense of connection with our natural world. When discussing the upcoming Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, whose first trailer was recently revealed, David Polfeldt, the Managing Director of Massive Entertainment – A Ubisoft Studio, stated that the game “fits very well with many of the things we are interested in: ecology, sustainability, fighting for what you believe in.”
Some of our titles, such as Anno 2070, help players learn to manage resources, understand the value of cooperation, and solve complex problems. In Hungry Shark, a series of mobile games, players are sharks, acting as protectors of the oceans in the face of pollution by humans. It’s a lighthearted concept that can also be a vehicle for environmental messages.
As part of the Playing for the Planet Alliance, Ubisoft is pursuing its commitment to harness the power of its games to inspire action in response to the climate crisis. “Having seen the contributions from five Ubisoft studios for the Green Game Jam 2021, with the goal of implementing in-game activations that highlight the restoration and conservation of forests and oceans, there’s clearly a big appetite from Ubisoft teams to inspire action on the environmental agenda,” said Sam Barratt, Chief of Youth, Education and Advocacy at UN Environment, which facilitates the Playing for the Planet Alliance.
Ubisoft’s teams look forward to building on these commitments and initiatives, and work with partners in the industry to continue increasing our positive impact on the planet.
ABOUT THE PLAYING FOR THE PLANET ALLIANCE
With the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Playing for the Planet Alliance was founded in September 2019, and now includes 30 of the biggest companies in the video gaming industry.
The Playing for the Planet Alliance was created to support the video gaming industry to achieve four core objectives:
To rally the industry to reduce its carbon footprint so that it has the tools to measure and reduce its impact, and to set targets to decarbonize.
To inspire environmental action through green activations in games.
To share the learnings of the initiative so that others within the industry can follow suit.
To explore new strategies for the future around new games and approaches to storytelling.
Learn more by reading the Playing for the Planet 2020 Annual Impact Report.
For more details about Ubisoft’s commitment to environmental sustainability, visit the dedicated page on Ubisoft.com.