Microsoft announces plans to make its Xbox consoles carbon neutral as part of a climate change initiative that is being supported by numerous major tech companies. So too, console rival Sony also indicates that its PS5 will use less power than the PS4 when in rest mode.
In a post on the official Microsoft blog, the company said that while its business operations have been carbon neutral since 2012, it would now like to make its products and devices carbon neutral too. As part of a pilot program, 825,000 Xbox consoles will be made carbon neutral. The number may seem small, as Xbox One sales have reached more than 41 million units, but Microsoft does say that it is "already looking at what [it] can do to further reduce and neutralize carbon across devices in the future." The company also hopes to reduce its supply chain emissions by 30% by 2030.
Microsoft was one of several companies to announce that it is part of the United Nation's gaming climate group. Others include Google, Clash of Clans developer Supercell, Twitch, and Pokemon GO developer Niantic. Ubisoft, which announced that it had gone green by reducing packaging in 2010, will also be creating games with green themes and will be using materials from eco-friendly factories.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer says that the company feels strongly about climate change. In a statement to the UN, Spencer said that "Climate change is impacting each industry and every sector, and we believe technology can play a critical role in enabling and empowering the response to this challenge." He also said that programs like making the Xbox carbon netural "provide a great opportunity to tap into Microsoft’s technology sustainability and gaming community to make a difference in this key area of our business."
While it does seem that Microsoft believes in doing something about climate change, the move is likely about more than just doing good. A Nielsen study revealed that 81% of global consumers look for companies that are environmentally conscious. Microsoft has said that it is interested in getting as many people as possible to play its games, with services like Xbox Game Pass, and being a green company may assist with that.