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Serious Game To Reduce Corporate GHG Emissions While Optimizing Business Performance

Image credit: Sustainability Management Simulation: Net Zero


Two Serious Games designed for Higher Education use won Gold in the 2022 International Serious Play Awards Program - Sustainability Management Simulation: Net Zero is one of them.


The overall purpose of the simulation is enabling learners to experience how large cuts in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions is feasible and does not need to occur at the expense of business performance. Developed by Tim Rogmans, the game is available through Harvard Business Publishing


In Sustainability Management Simulation: Net Zero, learners play the role of the General Manager of a 500-room, 4-star city-center hotel who needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% over the next 7 years and at the same time optimize financial performance. 

Image credit: Sustainability Management Simulation: Net Zero


At the start of the game, players choose a location and name for the hotel. They then review information about climate change, and the hotel that they will manage.


The hotel can be located in New York, London or Singapore. Facilitators can also customize key settings of the simulation such as the location of the hotel and other model parameters to tailor the simulation to specific local conditions.

Image credit: Sustainability Management Simulation: Net Zero


Each year, you select up to three initiatives from a wide-ranging and evolving list that can help the hotel to reduce emissions. You also decide how much to spend on staff training and guest communication. Initiatives cover multiple sources of emissions and relate to both technical solutions and behavior change. Each year several new initiatives become available.


After entering decisions for the year, results are shown in the dashboard to understand and improve players’ performance. The dashboard contains feedback on all decisions made in the previous year. Feedback is provided to players in terms of the hotel's emissions and their underlying drivers, as well as the hotel's financial performance.


Altogether, the hotel's emissions are reduced through a combination of technical solutions and behavioral changes by staff, customers and suppliers. Business performance is impacted through investments in initiatives, changes in operational costs, and potential improvements in revenue per available room (REVPAR).


The Sustainability Management Simulation: Net Zero is an integral part of the course "Corporate Sustainability Strategy" from Harvard Business Publishing.