Green Monopoly – a game with a future

It is not the luck of the dice that is decisive here, but strategic thinking: Which of the many proposed measures will lead to the goal of reducing CO₂ emissions by 15% in the entire organization?

Green Monopoly - a game with a future

We developed the simulation game for social work students as part of the ERASMUS project eco3. Participants take on the roles of management for four different sub-organizations: a kindergarten, a retirement home, a care organization, and a job integration organization. The sustainability data is based on the common good matrix, which is probably the most appropriate for social organizations.

In order not to make the challenge too easy, in addition to the tight budget, conflicting goals are also incorporated: at the same time as the climate protection measures, the satisfaction of various stakeholders must be kept in mind.

After all, management means constantly looking at many different effects and deriving the right measures from them.

Green Monopoly - a game with a future
Source: TR /

Does the e-car of the care organization lead to the goal…

In June 2023, prospective kindergarten teachers from the Catholic University of Eichstätt successfully tried out our simulation game. Two additional challenges were present in this test run: On the one hand, the students did not complete the introductory lectures on “Sustainability Management” and “Green Controlling”, in which a learning version of the ESG cockpit is embedded as an eco3 tool. On the other hand, the simulation game did not take place as a block course but as a normal course and the team phases were given as homework.

The test results were encouraging, as the participants dug into the tool’s functionalities without any prior knowledge. In addition, the test run revealed that fine-tuning in the specifications is still necessary, as they were able to achieve a – unfortunately unrealistic – CO₂ savings of 44%.

Green Monopoly - a game with a future
Source: Solar PV panels on the roof above the playground of Ringmer college in East Sussex.

…or the photovoltaic system on the roof of the kindergarten?

Fortunately, it was possible to package the complexity of sustainability in the lightness of a game. The competitive situation leads to ambition, playfulness and curiosity, so that the diversity of the learning content is hardly noticeable: understanding the multi-layered common good matrix, demonstrating negotiating skills, grasping extensive content and transforming it into comprehensible presentations, selecting the most suitable options from a multitude of possible options and, on top of that, learning to deal with very complex software.

The revised Green Monopoly simulation game will be freely available on the project website from fall 2023 and is suitable for anyone interested in sustainability reporting.