For some years now, ecology has become a subject of growing concern for citizens, politicians, but also businesses. This is particularly the case of Microsoft, which strives to find solutions to support sustainable development. The manufacturer is today an update on its commitment.
Three major objectives to be achieved by 2030
Microsoft is obviously aware that video games have an impact on the environment, but still wants to bring this hobby to everyone via its gaming branch. Thus, the American giant directs its environmental policy around three ambitions by 2030: a negative carbon footprint, a positive water footprint and a zero-waste policy.
Xbox product design, manufacture, delivery, use and end-of-life management have an impact on the environment, an impact multiplied by the increase in sales related to the pandemic. Thus, this acceleration contributed to the increase in category 3 emissions over the year 2021 according to Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.
Xbox is thus more determined than ever to achieve its goals by pursuing its commitments, despite progress that is not always linear and hindered by various factors.
The eco-design of consoles
Reducing Xbox’s carbon footprint starts with reducing the energy consumption of consoles, but also of the hardware needed to operate Cloud Gaming.
On the console side, the manufacturer has included a system for monitoring power consumption in a low fleet to collect telemetry data anonymously. They thus make it possible to identify the best solutions to help players save energy.
The design of the Xbox Series S is also part of an eco-design approach since it has become the first Xbox console to integrate recycled resins into its casing and some internal components. We learn that at least 28% of the plastic used for the console comes from recycled resins.
Savings thanks to software
Achieving Microsoft’s objectives also involves software updates for the consoles. That’s why since last year the energy saving mode of the consoles has been improved to consume about 20 times less than when the standby mode is activated or when it updates. We also learn that system and game updates can now be performed in energy saving mode!
When a purchaser first installs their console, it is set to power saving mode by default to save money across the entire Xbox ecosystem.
Towards a green Cloud Gaming
Cloud Gaming also has its share of responsibility to take in the fight for ecology. Thus, the manufacturer claims that it is no longer necessary to necessarily buy new equipment to enjoy its games, but it can instead move towards Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Soon, this gaming solution will run entirely on renewable energy since Xbox Cloud Gaming uses Azure servers, which will soon be powered by 100% renewable energy. This transition is expected by 2025.
The bespoke Xboxes on Microsoft’s servers use the same architecture as those in our living rooms. Thus they can reach hundreds of players during their life cycle.
Reducing Xbox Waste
Achieving Microsoft’s objectives for 2030 obviously also involves reducing its waste. That’s why by 2030, Xbox products and accessories and all Microsoft packaging will be 100% recyclable in member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Added to this is the fact that Xbox Series X|S consoles are 97% recyclable in OECD member countries according to the UL 2789 Environmental Claim Validation procedure, which measures the recyclability of electronic products according to the material used.
Reducing waste also involves accessories such as Xbox gift cards, which is why they are now made of cardboard, which represents 500 tonnes less plastic per year.
The design of the controllers is also affected since recycled resins are incorporated into them, while guaranteeing their durability and performance.
Thus the Daystrike Camo and Electric Volt controllers were the first affected and many others followed, including color controllers and limited edition controllers. The icing on the cake, the Xbox Design Lab also allows colors using these resins to a minimum of 25%, and this figure should reach 28% by May 2022.
Sustainable worlds in our video games
Finally, this desire to be concerned about sustainable development is also present in certain productions signed Xbox. Lessons are offered in Minecraft about sustainability and climate. They are accessible in the Education Edition and in the Bedrock Edition via the Minecraft Marketplace.
In Forza Horizon 5’s Mexico, players can also drive electric cars, which are said to be the most durable vehicles in the world.
We are all aware that playing video games has an impact on our environment, but it is good to know that manufacturers are working today to reduce this impact as much as possible. We leave you with these wise words from Dave McCarthy, Corporate Vice President at Xbox.
“All this is part of a bigger story, we will do more in the coming year and beyond to respond to this major challenge.
Our ambitions are great, we are aware that there is still a long way to go, we want to commit ourselves, it is an important fight for the planet. The work will never be finished. We are therefore committed to continuing to learn, improve and evolve. You represent a crucial element of this adventure. We will continue to share our progress with you. »