As well as providing the best place to play, at PlayStation we have made a number of ambitious commitments to address the environmental footprint of our products and business activities. Read on to find out more.
We are committed to a number of government policy initiatives addressing global environmental concerns.
PlayStation is part of the UN's Playing for the Planet Alliance (‘P4P’) which was launched as part of the UN Secretary-General's Climate Action Summit in September 2019. The alliance is a consortium of video gaming companies (30 and growing) formally committed to taking action on climate change, using the reach of the industry.
Road to Zero is Sony's global environmental plan, striving to achieve a zero environmental footprint throughout the life cycle of our products and business activities by 2050.
PS4: Maintain progress and avoid 30 million* tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions for PS4 (as compared to PS3) by 2030.
* Around 1.8 MtCO2e of this is due to compliance with standby and networked standby requirements within the European Union standby directive (EC 1275/2008 as amended by EU 801/2013) within EU countries.
PS5: In addition to low power resume mode (consuming 0.5 W or less), we will introduce further new energy efficient technology to PS5 that will avoid an estimated 32,300 – 39,000 tonnes CO2 per year for every million consoles sold, including new efficient USB charging mode (consuming around half the power of PS4 once charging is complete), chip architecture, solid state drive, and 7 nm chipset.
We will develop and launch a specific VR application to raise awareness of climate change, available free of charge to our consumers.
We will participate in the P4P 2021 games jam, inviting our consumers to participate to design actual playable game content using Dreams.
We will participate in and demonstrate our progress and new content as part of P4P at selected gaming and United Nations events.
Within the European Union, PlayStation, together with Microsoft and Nintendo, are signatories of the Games Console Voluntary Agreement (EU Directive 2009/125/EC). Formally recognised by the European Commission in 2015, the Voluntary Agreement (VA) sets out measures to improve the energy and resource efficiency of games consoles, including:
Over the lifetime of UHD capable generation consoles (including PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro), it is estimated that the VA will drive energy savings of 48 TWh (equivalent to the annual electricity production of Portugal). Additional energy savings of 38 TWh are estimated over the lifetime of 8K capable consoles (including PlayStation 5), based on technological improvements made to improve energy efficiency compared to Ultra high-definition consoles. The agreement is reviewed every two years to ensure continuous improvement.
Trucking and air freight are the two modes of transport with the highest carbon emissions. Across our global operations, we transport goods by water and rail in bulk wherever possible in order to keep transport emissions as low as possible.
The majority of our peripherals are bulk shipped from China and packaged locally, which substantially reduces the number of shipping containers used to transport them.
We have developed site-specific targets and activities to reduce the environmental impact of our office-based operations. So far, we have undertaken the following activities:
Energy efficiency initiatives have been delivered across many of our global sites. Across all of our UK offices, we purchase 100% renewable electricity, and have reduced total energy consumption by 12% since 2015 (following Sony’s five-yearly green management plan).
In our London offices, we have completed a major refurbishment programme which has reduced energy consumption by 19% since 2015 — despite adding 15% more floor space and a staff gymnasium.
In North America, we are investigating using 100% purchased renewable electricity at all sites. For our largest sites: San Mateo, CA has already moved to 100% clean energy and our Sorrento Valley, CA site is purchasing renewal credits. We are advancing this initiative throughout all our sites in North America. We are also installing energy-saving devices at all sites, including LED lights and motion-detection systems as part of our ongoing office refurbishment programme this year. We also have Electric Vehicle charging stations present at our sites.
In Asia, our staff are encouraged to save energy through good practices, and energy saving technologies are considered and included in office refurbishment works.
Across our UK offices, 74% of all waste produced in 2018 was recycled. We also achieved zero waste to landfill — with waste either being recycled, sent to aerobic digestion, or incinerated to create energy. In addition, we are targeting waste reduction and have so far removed all water bottles and Tetrapaks from our London, Liverpool, and Amsterdam offices, and provide reusable coffee cups for use in our office cafés. Now, just one in every five coffees purchased in our café in London are done so using a single-use disposable cup (based on 2019 data).
In America, we have reduced plastic in all our cafés, encouraging the use of reusable beverage/food containers, only obtaining single use beverages in glass, cans, or boxes, and encouraging the purchasing of food items that are from local sources. We also employ the root to stem initiative, whereby we use all parts of the food, leaving little waste in the kitchen, and donate any extra food to charitable groups within the local area. In 2019, we increased the quantity of our waste diverted from landfill from 63% to 90% in our San Mateo, CA corporate offices.
Our offices across Asia have also introduced recycling systems to segregate recyclable materials to drive their recycling rates in the region.