Avalanche Studios are taking steps towards more climate-neutral offices

In 2018 Avalanche studios opened their offices in Malmö, Sweden. The new office manager, Sara Ponnert, had it as one of her values to explore how to create a sustainable office. Opening this office became a step on avalanches journey to become more climate neutral. 

“There are so many easy targets around the office. Living sustainably is a passion of mine. It’s easy to find places to begin.” Sara Ponnert, Studio Manager and Sustainability Coordinator

Every little thing counts

The greatest emissions from Avalanche Studios Group, are not from their offices. Travelling and hosting are the largest contributors, according to the initial calculations from Sara Ponnert. But everything counts. 

“We need to clean our own house before we tell others to clean theirs, therefore we also need a focus on our offices. Furthermore, everything counts – also the small things.”

Sara Ponnert, Studio Manager and Sustainability Coordinator

Some of the things Avalanche have done in and around the Malmö office are: 

  • Buy second-hand furniture
  • Primarily buy local and organic food
  • Using 100%  green energy 
  • Choosing a sustainable office building
  • Placed central to allow commuting with trains and bikes

But the journey for Avalanche Studios Group has just started, Sara Ponnert still looks for places in the office that can become more sustainable. 

Success depends on our colleagues 

There are several things that can be done by managers alone like choosing green energy, choosing an environmentally friendly building and stuff like that. But many other initiatives are driven by all employees. 

“Sorting garbage is easy for native Swedes they know the system and used to it. But this is different for many internationals. There is a task for me to get them to understand the importance of sorting garbage and how to do it. Other initiatives – such as turning off the computers when leaving the office – seems to be hard for everyone. I don’t want to go around nagging everyone, but I don’t have to if they understand why”

Sara Ponnert, Studio Manager and Sustainability Coordinator

Changing the culture takes time. It is necessary to create knowledge amongst all employees of what to do and understanding of why you should do it. Avalanche Studios Groups have created guides and nudges to help employees make the right decisions. But as things move forward they are planning on doing seminars to further increase understanding. And most probably,  the employees will also have great ideas that could help the company becoming more climate neutral. 

“It has been quite easy to get my colleagues on board with the project. Most people want their workplace to be sustainable, so when you give them the tools they willingly participate.”

Sara Ponnert, Studio Manager and Sustainability Coordinator

One office as a petri dish

The overall vision is to make the company as a whole more climate-friendly. The plan is to make a sustainability strategy together with a set of goals. However, it can be hard to make a strategy without experience and knowledge of what works. Therefore Avalanche Studios used their knew office in Malmö to test out initiatives and get experience in on the carbon footprint. This knowledge will then become the basis of their coming strategy which is to be implemented in all of their offices where possible. 

Avalanche Studios are in the beginning stages of becoming more climate friendly, besides what they do in their offices, they are also looking into how to cut down on travelling and have begun measuring their overall emissions. However, they started with the low-hanging fruits to test out what works before initiating more complex initiatives. 

Three takeaways

  • Making an office sustainable is an iterative process. You need to test, implement and revise. Try initiatives out and ask your colleagues how it works for them or if they have ideas for improvement.
  • A change in culture takes time and understanding. Even though your colleagues are on board with the project it takes time to changes routines. And remember, sustainability is not natural for everyone. You need to give your colleagues tools and guides for them to participate.
  • Start small and expand when ready.

About Avalanche Studio Group

Avalanche Studio Group is a parent company that includes Avalanche Studios, Expansive Worlds, and Systemic Reaction. They had early succes with the first Just Cause game – which later on became a series. They have offices Stockholm, New York and in 2018 they opened an office in Malmö.

Established: 2003
Released titles: Just Cause Series, theHunter Series, Rage 2, Generation Zero and the coming in Malmö developed game Second Extinction
Employees: 350+