At Darden, we believe business must create equitable value for all its stakeholders. Sustainability as a business practice balances social and environmental resources with direct financial benefits and is core to value creation. Sustainability must be embedded into decision making at all levels of the enterprise to have meaningful impact. Responsible leaders weigh short term gains against longer term benefits to the ecosystem in which the company operates.
As a sustainable enterprise, Darden is intentional about making choices that balance the impact of our operations on the natural environment, resources, and human beings. As a leading voice on sustainable business practices, we are committed to helping our MBA students understand their role in contributing to the betterment of society and engaging practitioners in critical dialogue that transforms global business and ensures a more sustainable future.
Darden’s 2030 Sustainability Goals
Darden’s 2030 Sustainability Goals address "how we live" (our internal operations) and "how we learn" (our educational and research efforts around sustainability).
The goals build on Darden’s previous achievements in sustainability, including reaching carbon neutrality in 2019 through a partnership with University of Virginia and Dominion Energy on the Hollyfield Solar Plant — making Darden one of the first top business schools to reach carbon neutrality.
Following that achievement, a steering committee led an inclusive process to define new goals for sustainability by 2030. These goals are driven by the following commitments:
Continue to be a preeminent educator and thought leader in sustainability, innovating new offerings and scholarship that lead our peers.
Endeavor to minimize our footprint while empowering all members of our community to flourish.
Goals for 'How We Live'
Our key objectives for our internal operations by 2030 related to carbon emissions, waste and material use:
- Identify, reduce and offset GHG emissions to achieve net zero for scope 1, 2 and targeted 3
- Electrify all fossil fuel infrastructure on site at Darden, such as kitchens and hot water heaters
- Reduce water use by 30% of 2010 baseline
- Reduce waste to landfill to 30% of 2010 baseline
- Sustainably source 50% of our food
- Increase supplier diversity by increasing purchases from local and SWAM businesses
- Eliminate single use plastics such as bottled water
Goals for 'How We Learn'
We aim to achieve the following goals for curriculum development and faculty scholarship:
- Develop 100 new teaching cases and notes on sustainability topics
- Publish 100 new articles on sustainability topics
- Deliver 100 courses on sustainability topics
A Sustainable Hotel and Conference Center
In 2023, Darden and Kimpton Hotels opened the new Forum Hotel on the Grounds in Charlottesville! The hotel is compliant with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and meets UVA’s current green building standards. The property features a five-acre arboretum and botanical gardens that will connect the Darden Grounds, UVA School of Law Grounds and the Rivanna Trail ─ providing an oasis for learning.
In the environment, every victory is temporary, every defeat permanent.