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PlayStation, Xbox, Stadia and more sign up to United Nations climate change initiative

Platform holders pledge to save the planet with carbon neutral Xbox units and low-power suspension mode for PlayStation 5

Some of the biggest names in games have partnered with the United Nations in an effort to reduce the industry's impact on the environment.

A initial 21 companies have joined the UN's new Playing For The Planet Alliance, a group that has formally pledged to use their platforms and audiences to raise awareness of climate change and embark on ventures that will reduce pollution on more.

On board so far are Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, Google Stadia, Ubisoft, Sports Interactive, Twitch, Niantic, Supercell, Playmob, Rovio, Sybo, Space Ape, Wild Works, Green Man Gaming, Creative Mobile, Reliance Games, iDreamSky, E-Line Media, Strange Loop, Pixelberry and Internet of Elephants.

The UN estimates these companies have a combined audience of 970 million players and the initiatives they announced at the recent Climate Action Summit will reduce CO2 emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2030.

The UN Environment website has a round-up of everything these companies have pledged. Among them is the revelation that the next generation PlayStation console will have a low-power suspend mode -- something president and CEO Jim Ryan says will consume much less power than PS4.

"If just one million users enable this feature, it would save equivalent to the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes," he wrote on the PlayStation Blog.

Meanwhile, Microsoft set itself a new target of reducing supply chain emissions by 30% by 2030 and to certify that 825,000 Xbox consoles are carbon neutral as part of a pilot programme.

The Google Stadia team will be producing a guide to sustainable game development, as well as funding research into implementing "green nudges" into gameplay.

Ubisoft has promised to source materials from eco-friendly factories, while Sports Interactive has previously announced its new recycled packaging is expected to save 20 tonnes of plastic this year. You can read more about this in our interview with studio director Miles Jacobson.

The Playing For The Planet Alliance follows a UN-commissioned study of the same name that explored how the games industry -- and the 2.6 billion people it reaches around the world -- can assist with efforts to protect the environment.

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