Actions speak louder than words. In 2008, Darden committed itself to an initiative in environmental sustainability. Our goal was to be a leading business school for teaching and research in sustainability by 2013 and waste and carbon neutrality by 2020—our aspirations were embraced in the tag line: Sustainability: How we live and how we learn. Lots of enterprises make general claims in favor of sustainability. But talk is cheap. Actions are expensive. Where does Darden stand on behalf of its aspirations? Let me give you a quick summary of our progress.


· Grand prize winner of the Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business Curriculum for Innovation for Sustainability academic concentration (2012).

· Top 16 Green Business School by The Princeton Review/Entrepreneur Magazine (2011)

· #3 globally in Corporate Social Responsibility by the Financial Times (2011).

· Three Darden faculty, Ed Freeman, Greg Fairchild and Mike Lenox are winners of the prestigious Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award for sustainability teaching and research impact. (2009, 2001)


This four-minute video provides an overview on sustainability coursework.

Darden offers 17 elective courses that include sustainability and ethical leadership, and which count toward the Innovation for Sustainability concentration.

1. Business and Sustainability

2. Business Ethics through Literature

3. Business-Government Relations

4. Creative Capitalism

5. Entrepreneur as Change Agent

6. Faith, Religion and Responsible Management Decision Making

7. Leadership and Diversity through Literature

8. Leadership and Theater: Ethics, Innovation and Creativity (video)

9. Leadership, Values and Ethics

10. Markets in Human Hope

11. Social Responsibility and Entrepreneurship

12. Sustainable Innovation & Entrepreneurship (required course for Concentration)

13. Sustainability In-Depth

14. Systems Design & Business Dynamics

15. Brazil- São Paulo, Amazon, Rio de Janeiro

16. Israel: Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Israel

17. South Africa: Proudly South Africa – Leadership & Organizational Change – From Apartheid to BEE




Darden is home to the 14-university Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS). Professor Mike Lenox is President of ARCS and Erika Herz is the Managing Director.

Curriculum development is strengthened by four other research entities that conduct sustainability and ethics research:

1. The Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

2. The Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics

3. The Initiative for Business in Society (IBiS)

4. The Olsson Center for Applied Ethics

OPERATIONS: Progress Toward Zero Waste, Carbon Neutral by 2020

Darden has reduced waste to landfill by 32% and energy use 13% relative to 2007 baseline. Approximately half of Darden’s waste is now composted.



Darden sources up to 60% local produce during the height of the growing season. To increase this, in 2011 Darden Hospitality provided interest-free capital to construct a 2,600 square foot hoop-style greenhouse at Appalachia Star Farm in Nelson County near the School.


· Follow Sustainability at Darden on Twitter

· Listen to The Darden GreenPod, interviews with sustainability scholars and business leaders.

· Visit the Sustainability@Darden web site

· Read the Sustainability at Darden Blog: How We Live and How We Learn


These data suggest that Darden has been making a serious investment of time, talent, and treasure in pursuit of its sustainability goals. We’ve made solid progress, gauged by activities and outcomes. And sustainability enjoys broad support in the Darden Community. For us, sustainability is a matter of works, not mere words.

Yet there is more work to do. This update reports milestones, not a destination. Our momentum on behalf of sustainability presages continued progress, which my colleagues and I look forward to reporting over the years to come.