Greening Of The Gaming Industry: A Supply Chain Imperative, Part 1
G3 ‚Äď The Green Gaming Gathering, proved to be an unprecedented summit of the video game industry publishers, retailers, service providers, NGO, packaging companies, research organizations, management consultants and thought leaders. The stakeholders of the industry who had come together on June 1 in Burbank under the auspices of MESA and EMA, exchanged ways to collaborate to address the unprecedented challenge of ensuring the sustainability of the environment for our natural assets are depreciating and global warming threatens our long term quality of life. The prevailing consideration was that the business world and the natural world are inextricably linked.
Darin Dickson, buyer of video games and PC software for the Wal-Mart, reminded the executives of the commitment the former President and CEO of Wal-Mart Lee Scott had made in 2005 “to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy; to create zero waste; and to sell products that sustain our resources and the environment”. I remember the pioneer of sustainability; Lee Scott had argued that “being a good steward of the environment and being profitable are not mutually exclusive. They are one and the same.” A 15-year veteran of the retailer, having handled DVDs and video games, Dickson explained how the employee response to the Katrina hurricane at a grassroots level inspired the CEO of the behemoth mass merchant to make ‚ÄúSustainability‚ÄĚ the cornerstone of the 21st Century Leadership of the enterprise.
Dickson enumerated the specific goals of Wal-Mart as:
* Double our fleet efficiency by 2015 from 2005 levels
* Reduce GHG from existing stores, clubs and DC‚Äôs by 20% by 2012
* Send zero waste to landfill in the US by 2025
* Reduce global plastic shopping bag waste by an average of 33% by 2013
* 5% packaging reduction by 2013
* Make the most energy intensive products 25% more efficient, and
* Create scalable end-of-life programs for used electronics”
In his illuminating and solution-driven speech, Dickson suggested considerations for the video game industry in the broad areas of hardware, software and accessories. He demonstrated how Energy Star Standards, RoHS compliance, product size optimization and packaging reconfiguration could lead to significant impact on sustainability. Citing specific successes achieved in the DVD industry, in the area of software he recommended examination of case and printed material weight reduction, recycled materials and sustainable materials usage, slip sleeves and adoption of guides/instructions. From his holistic approach, he identified that accessories offer major improvement opportunities when you address package size, “Vampire” energy chargers, elimination of protective master packaging and utilization of recycled materials.
A major take away for attendees was the acknowledgement made the Wal-Mart executive that achieving sustainability cannot be the sole responsibility or opportunity of an enterprise and low hanging fruits exist today where solutions exist and costs of change do not have to increase. As a matter of fact the creation and support of Sustainable Value Networks by the retailer is an overwhelming testimony to the pursuit in 12 areas to address, namely
1. Greenhouse Gas, 2. Sustainable Buildings, 3. Global Logistics, 4. Alternative Fuels, 5. Waste, 6. Packaging, 7. Textiles, 8. Electronics, 9. Agriculture and Seafood, 10. Wood and Paper, 11. Chemicals, and 12. Jewelry.
G3 will be specially remembered for the commitment, direction, solutions and support provided by the Wal-Mart executive who believes in the profitable growth of video games in a sustainable World we leave behind for generations.
The spirit of the Gathering imbibed what Dan Esty‚Äôs had written in his book, Gold To Green, that by building environmental thinking into the business strategies, companies can generate lasting value cut costs, reduce risk, increase revenues, and create strong brands. Let nothing stop us from collaborating for the benefit of our individual companies, the betterment of our industry, as well as for the greater good of mankind.
Chief Strategy Officer
Media and Entertainment Supply Alliance (MESA)