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In an era where the global consciousness is increasingly tuned into environmental and social issues, the concept of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) has risen to the forefront of corporate responsibility. As businesses across various sectors embrace ESG principles, the gaming industry stands as a dynamic example of this transformative journey.  

While the “S” in ESG, emphasising social aspects, has garnered significant attention for its role in fostering diverse, inclusive and responsible gaming communities, it is vital not to overlook the pivotal importance of the “E” – the environmental element. 

The Environmental Challenge in Gaming: Balancing Entertainment and Sustainability 

While the gaming industry’s evolution has been nothing short of remarkable, it faces a pressing issue that cannot be ignored, the environmental impact of gaming. As players immerse themselves in virtual worlds, game developers constantly push the boundaries of technology, the energy consumption, electronic waste and carbon footprint associated with gaming continues to rise. 

Online gaming companies are mostly focusing on reducing their carbon emissions generated by servers and offices, whilst land-based casinos need to also consider other environmental matters such as waste reduction, water usage, responsible sourcing, and conserving biodiversity. 

Some initiatives being adopted by online gaming companies to reduce their carbon emissions are: 

  • Engaging suppliers of cloud services that have a green strategy and a goal for renewable energy. 
  • Implementing a travel policy that encourages the use of video conferencing when possible, and obliges employees to fly economy class, use public or shared transport and use green taxis when travel is considered essential.  
  • Ensuring that all properties are certified with ISO 50001:2018, which specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system. 

On the other hand, initiatives being adopted by land-based casinos to reduce their carbon emissions are: 

  • Obtaining necessary certifications for properties such as BREEAM certification. 
  • Installing onsite PV panels. 
  • Installing electric vehicle charging units. 
  • Installing high-efficiency LED lighting throughout the properties. 
  • Installing green roofs. 
  • Tinting on all window-glazing to reduce heat transfer in buildings. 

Land-based casinos are also focusing on reducing waste, water usage, responsible sourcing, and conserving biodiversity. 

Initiatives being done by land-based casinos include: 

  • Replacing all single-use plastic containers and utensils with biodegradable, sustainable alternatives. 
  • Rainwater harvesting.  
  • Implementing leak detection systems to expose water leaks. 
  • Consulting with ecologists and environmental experts before undertaking large-scale construction.  
  • Reviewing and updating their supplier code of conduct to maintain accountability and transparency in decision-making across their supply chain. 
  • Sourcing guidelines on certain materials such as cotton, chemicals, seafood and eggs. 
  • Expanded plant-based and alternative protein dish offerings. 

Embracing a Sustainable Future 

As we navigate the landscape of the gaming industry’s environmental impact, it is evident that both online gaming companies and land-based casinos are taking strides toward sustainability. Online gaming companies have embraced renewable energy, energy-efficient travel policies, and virtual conferencing to minimize their impact. Meanwhile, land-based casinos are not only reducing their carbon emissions but also championing waste reduction, responsible sourcing, water conservation, and biodiversity conservation.  

Mark Wirth


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