Microsoft had in the past developed strong environmental, social and governance policies around itself but with the latest news on the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the American multinational technology corporation could yet face years of work to bring the gaming titan in alignment with its sustainability policies.
The company is also planning to compensate its entire greenhouse-gas emissions, and despite this, the PC maker might encounter certain challenges in mirroring its ambitions with Activision.
Activision Blizzard, Inc., an American video game holding company based in Santa Monica, California on its part has not shown its intention of following the lead of some of the biggest tech companies riding the wave of minimizing their detrimental effect on the planet, with the company barely disclosing any environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information, while placing far less sustainable policies than some of the sector’s most significant tech names.
With the deal still uncompleted as it’s requires regulatory approval, Microsoft Inc. on its own will have to heavily invest into Activision to reciprocate its sustainability policies and be applicable.
According to data service provider Morningstar Inc, Sustainability-driven funds by January 19 exceeded $53 billion of the tech giant’s shares, effectively placing it at the top when it came to such funds.
The data in comparison with Activision Blizzard’s $869 million in funds shows that Microsoft will have to push harder as it has a long way to actually fulfil its vision in interlocking its capabilities with those of the gaming giant.
Microsoft move to acquire Activision were as a result of many factors, and sustainability is one of them. Activision Blizzard ESG problems, allegations of sexual harassment, and work-environment waywardness detrimentally affected the company’s share prices, with its shares having a 6 percent drop by the end of 2021.
Microsoft in its investors’ call highlighted its investing efforts into setting ground-breaking rules to reshape Activision’s workplace culture, placing it as a priority.
With the two companies working to fill in specific gaps and mismanagement issues in Activision, the gaps between both companies has to be effectively managed.
According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Microsoft on its part has openly conveyed many topics in its reports, ranging from “corporate social responsibility, environment, and diversity and inclusion”, with the Washington-based company covering the amount of energy it employs from both renewable and non-renewable sources based on the region and the type of sources. The tech giant announced that it purchased and consumed more than 6.8 million megawatt-hours in 2020 in North America alone, in parallel to a number exceeding 186,000 MWh from non-renewable sources.
Activision in another part, released its first-ever ESG document last year but fell shot of divulging any environmental metrics to support the report’s data.
“At this time, we are unable to collect data related to the energy and water footprint associated with our offices,” the gaming firm stated.
The report is an indication that Activision is not armed with the tools needed to obtain primary environmental data on its conduct.
“It will take a significant effort to collect Activision’s environmental data required to get its reporting to the same level as Microsoft,” said Joe Holman, leading the ESG practice at WithumSmith+Brown PC.