IHG Green Engage: Saving the world one hotel at a time! A user-centred global sustainability management system

A little background

Sigma conducted a complete root and branch redesign of this pioneering sustainable hotel application to massively improve usability and deliver a world-class product that has seriously reduced the carbon footprint of the world’s largest hotel company. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is the world’s largest hotel company with over 4,500 hotels around the world operating through well-known brands such as Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo and Crowne Plaza.

Scored 96.6 on the System Usability Scale (SUS) as independently tested at the Usability Center at Southern Polytechnic University in Georgia. Carol Barnum, Director of the Center said they had “yet to see a score this high”.

Carol Barnum: Director of the Usability Center

The project

We can all cut down on our own consumption, but imagine how much greater the impact if a hotel did the same; or if many hotels took real steps to become more sustainable. Now imagine if the world’s largest hotel group rolled this out to over 4500 hotels globally.

IHG’s pioneering environmental web application Green Engage helps hotels to meet the sustainability challenge by allowing them to monitor their usage and implement measures that help them to reduce energy and water consumption and raise awareness of sustainable development.

Although the Green Engage programme had been launched prior to Sigma’s involvement, the first version of the application was very basic, the user interface was confusing, and few hotels had signed up. Our remit was to radically revamp and improve the User Experience, starting from the ground up and involving users in every stage of the design, development and testing process.

What we did

  • User research and engagement
  • Creative design and solution architecture
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Development in Java and GWT
  • Usability testing

The bottom line

  • Reduced carbon footprint in owned and managed hotels by 19%. That's over 76,000 metric tonnes of carbon
  • Estimated $31M of operating cost savings across the estate
  • More than 3000 hotels are now signed up to the system, up from just a few hundred with version one
  • Green Engage now has the US Green Building Council’s prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) endorsement: the global benchmark for sustainable buildings

Related Work

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