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Last year we made an eco pledge to go carbon neutral in 2022. Going carbon neutral means making sure we are tracking our CO2 emissions (created by both our business and from the playing of our games) and offsetting them using schemes that reduce or remove carbon dioxide / greenhouse gases. We also pledged to do more when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint (i.e not JUST offsetting what we already emit). And with 2022 now in full swing we wanted to give you an update on our progress...

Calculating our carbon emissions

The first part of our journey was to calculate our carbon emissions across the business. This was a laborious process! It made most sense to work out our historical emissions first, and with the help of Climate Partner we’ve now collated all of our data from 2011-2019. And we’ve already offset these emissions (see further down for more details on this).

We’ve now moved onto calculating our carbon emissions for 2020/21, which we expect to be lower due to more working from home during the pandemic and less work travel for events etc. Here’s our new plan for offsetting the rest of our historical carbon emissions:

2023 - We will offset carbon emissions for 2020 & 2021

2024 - We will offset carbon emissions for 2022 & 2023

2025 - We will offset carbon emissions for 2024

This is a little behind our schedule of being carbon neutral in 2022, and is mostly due to sorting out our historical emissions first. It ended up making more sense to do it this way round as it helped us to establish a baseline for future emissions data. But this means that in terms of actual offsets, being carbon neutral year on year will take us a little longer.

How accurate are the calculations?

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to pinpoint the exact figure for our emissions as there are just far too many factors that influence each section of the total. Wherever possible we overestimate to ensure that we’re definitely covering what we need to. So, wherever we are unsure of something, or data is missing, we work with Climate Partner to find a solution; either a spend-based estimate or average. On top of this, we apply a +10% safety margin on top of the total emissions to ensure we are offsetting enough.

How will we track carbon emissions going forwards?

We’ve learnt a lot from gathering data on our historic emissions and will use those learnings to help us log new data on an ongoing basis. So for 2022, we are logging our emissions monthly. This will improve the accuracy of our data.

We will be calculating how much we emit each year from now on and once we have dealt with all of our historic emissions, we will offset every January for the year prior (starting in 2025). This includes the +10% safety margin for any potential calculation overbites, as it’s almost impossible to accurately calculate exact tonnage due to a number of factors.

How are we offsetting our carbon emissions?

We work with a company called Climate Partner to decide on the best way to offset. They have suggested a number of schemes that would best suit the level of emissions we have.

For our current offsetting we have selected to invest in Brazilian Wind Energy. For those who may wonder why we haven’t invested in a UK scheme, since we’re dealing with the global issue of global warming and also because we have players all around the world, a UK location did not feel essential. Also, there is an argument for investing in projects based in countries that rely far more heavily on non-sustainable energy where our offsetting can have a bigger impact.

We’re also looking into the possibility of giving our Hutch staff a say in which offsetting schemes we invest in. We hope that this will allow for a sense of ownership over our collective goal and our impact will be greater as hopefully they’ll adopt some of our practices at home.

You can see stats on Hutch offsets so far here (this will update as we offset more): https://fpm.climatepartner.com/tracking/16756-2201-1002/en

The importance of reducing emissions

As well as offsetting our emissions, it’s also important to us to reduce our carbon footprint. Offsetting isn’t enough on it’s own as the emissions are still being created in the first place and that’s not ideal! If we are to successfully do our bit in keeping the global temperature from increasing beyond 1.5°C, we need to offset and reduce, hand in hand.

To get an idea of what constitutes a tonne of carbon emissions, check out this sliding scale visualisation from Climate Partner: https://ftp.climatepartner.com/static2/co2-vergleich/en/html/

We’ll also be encouraging Hutchies to use this tool to help track and reduce their individual carbon emissions.

Update on pledge elements

For full transparency here’s how we’re stacking up against the pledge we made last year.

  • Measure our carbon emissions and achieve a net-zero carbon footprint in 2022 (and onwards) by offsetting those emissions.

    • We’re a bit behind on this due to sorting out our historical emissions first, but we’re getting there! (see full details above).

  • Commit to reducing our carbon footprint and going carbon negative, as well as removing our historic carbon footprint.

    • We’ve made great progress and have a clear plan for carbon offsetting over the coming years.

  • Join the Playing 4 The Planet alliance to hold ourselves accountable - https://playing4theplanet.org/join-the-alliance/

    • We haven’t done this yet, but plan to this year.

  • Use our platforms to share our journey and educate our communities on how they can reduce their carbon footprint.

    • This blog is the first part of this! We’ll be looking into other ways we can share our experience with the wider community.

  • Help and educate staff on how they can reduce their carbon footprint outside of work.

    • We’re starting to engage Hutchies with what they can do individually and as part of Hutch (more details above)

That’s everything we have to share for now! We’re excited to continue our journey, keep improving and ultimately run our business in a way that’s good for both people and the planet.

And finally, we’ve included some links below for any companies that might be on a similar journey. Good luck - we’re in this together!

NOTE: Where we talk about carbon emissions, this does not refer purely to carbon emissions, as methane, nitrous oxide, water vapour, ozone and fluorinated gases are also emitted as well as CO2. In the world of carbon neutrality, kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (kgCO2e) are used as the common measurement to make calculations more manageable.

Useful links

Climate Partner - https://www.climatepartner.com/en

Space Ape Going Green Guide - https://spaceapegames.com/green

Playing 4 The Planet Alliance - https://playing4theplanet.org/join-the-alliance/

Heart of the City: Climate for SMEs, 4 Steps to Action - https://theheartofthecity.com/membership/climate-for-smes-4-steps-to-action/

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