Jul 8, 2021 - Technology

Ubisoft says energy use per employee was up last year due to pandemic

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Image: Ubisoft

Working from home increased the energy consumption per employee at gaming giant Ubisoft to 3,882 kilowatt hours per employee last year, up from 3,064 in 2019, according to a company filing.

Why it matters: The change demonstrates the challenge of a company trying to lower its carbon footprint while modernizing its approach to work.

  • Ubisoft attributed the increase to the need to power Ubisoft's facilities, even when less staffed, while workers also used energy at home.
  • On the other hand, COVID-19 restrictions cut travel’s portion of the company’s carbon footprint from 25% in 2017 to 2% in 2020, though the company expects those to increase.

The big picture: Ubisoft has pledged to reduce emissions by 8.8% per employee by 2023.

  • It has also committed to letting most workers split their time between working from home and the office.

Between the lines: The environmental data was included in Ubisoft's 2021 universal registration document, which contains a trove of data about the multi-national publisher.

  • Ubisoft says its annual "active player count" rose to 141 million for the 12 months ending March 31, compared to 117 million the year before.
  • The company has increased production costs on games and movies to $1.2 billion, 20% up from the year before.

Demographics: The average age of Ubisoft's 20,324 full-time workers is 33.7, with 79% of are between 20 and 39.

  • 23.5% of its workforce is women, though the percentage when just looking at production roles is lower (21.56%)
  • Headcount is up from 18,045 the prior year.
  • The company employs 13 teenagers.

Illness: Ubisoft says sick days fell considerably last year, citing the benefit of working from home and use of masks and other barriers for in-office work.

  • The total for the 12-month period ending this past March was 68,229, compared to 81,491 the year before.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the correct number of sick days.

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