Activision Blizzard releases its first ESG report

Our commitments to champion our people, advance more diverse and inclusive communities, and protect the planet

by Brian Bulatao - Chief Administrative Officer on Jun 11, 2021

Today I am honored to share Activision Blizzard’s first ever report on our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. This report is organized around new, public commitments that we are making as a company to champion our people, to advance more diverse and inclusive communities, and to protect our planet.

While our commitments are new, our work in these areas is not.

Our teams have developed some of the most diverse characters from any video game publisher in the world. Representation matters, and among many firsts our teams are proud to have created the fan-favorite Symmetra from Overwatch, our first playable character who is on the autism spectrum; Pelagos, the first openly transgender character in World of Warcraft; Tracer from Overwatch, the first LGBTQ character featured on a Blizzard game cover; Varden Dawngrasp, Hearthstone’s first openly non-binary character; and more recently in 2020, we featured Leo Baker in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, the first non-binary playable character in a sports game.

Another great example is the Call of Duty Endowment, the non-profit organization our CEO Bobby Kotick co-founded in 2009 to help veterans secure high-quality jobs. As a veteran myself, this is a cause that is dear to me. The Endowment has helped place more than 85,000 veterans into jobs since we started, including more than 15,000 in 2020 alone. Additionally, of those we helped place last year, 21% were women and an estimated 28% were Black, metrics in which we take great pride, considering that women veterans and Black veterans compose just 10% and 12%, respectively, of the U.S. veteran community.

We are proud to share those accomplishments – and many, many more – across all ESG disciplines in this report. We also spotlight our ongoing efforts throughout the enterprise to make good on these new commitments. For example, Activision Blizzard –

  • Saved over 5.5 million pounds of plastic waste over the last five years by our estimates, through changes to packaging and materials;
  • Invested in Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), which allowed the organization to double participation in its extraordinary career preparation program, equipping high-achieving Black, Latinx and Indigenous Americans with skills and coaching to accelerate their careers;
  • Partnered with The AbleGamers Foundation, a non-profit organization and foundation dedicated to improving accessibility in video games, to host their Accessible Player Experience certification program.

Finally, we share measurable targets for improved ESG performance over time. For example, we commit to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to reducing our packaging waste by another 50% over the next five years, using 2019 as a baseline. We are working this year to establish specific baselines and quantitative targets to measure progress and meet those goals.

While many of these initiatives emerged organically from employees of Activision Blizzard, it is essential to embed this work across our enterprise and to ensure that best practices are spread across all business units. We have therefore established an ESG Steering Committee – which I chair – to set our company’s ESG strategy, practices and policy, along with a cross-functional, enterprise-wide working group to identify ESG matters most relevant to our business.

Our mission has never been more relevant than during the pandemic. Our more than 400 million players needed us more than ever as they stayed home and explored our games and worlds. We responded, helping people around the world stay safely connected to friends and family while being apart.

At Activision Blizzard, we embrace our responsibility to ensure that our games reflect society – accurately, accessibly and aspirationally. Through our efforts, we want all our players to see themselves reflected in our games, and to feel safe and included in the worlds we create. This is a business imperative that also reflects our company’s mission – our true north – to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment.

We are using our scale and platforms and harnessing the pride, passion and purpose of our people and our communities to be better, every day.  I take great pride as I commence my journey with this team, and I marvel at the possibilities ahead.