It’s becoming increasingly clear from research that people want to see the companies that create the games they play make serious commitments to environmental responsibility and social impact. And the same goes for our employees too. Julie Piedrabuena, Head of People and Culture at our Corporate Ambassador ustwo games, offers her thoughts…
The latest Annual Impact Report from the UN’s Playing for the Planet Alliance clearly showed gamers are ‘keen for green’, both in the games they play and from the companies that make them.
And, just as importantly, this trend is being tracked in the employment market too, with B Corp’s research showing that 66% of British employees consider a company’s impact on people and planet when looking for a job. Worryingly, only 20% believe all the claims their employer makes towards social and environmental causes.
There’s certainly more we can all do as an industry to be more effective and transparent in our environmental and social endeavours. But the good news is that there are many organisations who can help us on our individual studio and collective journeys, and many more we can partner with to help achieve the goals you may set out.
One such initiative is B Corp, which is a global initiative to create an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy – you can find out more about it here.
We first earned our certification as a subsidiary of our parent company ustwo in 2019. Very quickly, our status as a B Corp in the games industry became a critical aspect of who we are, the games we make and how we treat our team members.
So we decided to begin the journey towards certifying ustwo games directly. And in August last year, we became a certified B Corp as a standalone entity. As such, we are officially committed to using our platform as game creators to drive social and environmental change.
I would encourage all games companies to take a look at B Corp to see how it can complement your existing approaches to the above issues and, perhaps more importantly, provide a framework for you to ensure targets are met and new ones set.
For ustwo games, our B Corp status has served as a launch pad into numerous initiatives with partners such as Women in Games, Youth UK, Playing for the Planet, Ecologi and Eden Reforestation Project.
Internally, meanwhile, we are always striving to create an environment where creativity and diversity can flourish and our team can grow in their careers.
In 2022, we implemented an EMI Option scheme, which allowed us to better align long-term growth of the company with the financial outcomes of our founders and employees. In a similar vein, in the first quarter of 2023 we distributed our annual profit share, meaning all our full time employees received 20%+ of their salaries in a bonus payment.
And while it may not have contributed to our certification, we launched our Juno wellbeing programme that provides every team member the flexibility to make use of wellbeing services and products tailored for their individual requirements. This was an important step in evolving our benefits to be more inclusive and aligned with our hybrid and remote ways of working.
We are inspired by the framework and best practices that B Corp provides, and we’re always looking for opportunities to work with the wider games industry to see how we can collaborate more effectively – organisations like Women in Games are a crucial part of this.
With that in mind, we’ll be happily sharing our 2022 B Corp Impact Report – and we welcome questions or feedback from this community. If you’d like to find out more about this, please get in touch. Together, we can collaboratively make a lasting difference.
Women in Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman offered: “Women in Games very much welcomes the endeavours of ustwo games in the importance it places on the people within its organisation – and the wider society and planet. ustwo games is one of our newest Corporate Ambassadors and we’re very happy that this community-driven organisation is part of the Women in Games family.”