Social Impact

About Darden

Social Impact - About Darden

Social Impact

We don't merely want you to do well in business. We want you to do good in business.

Darden has made significant contributions to society through its commitment to responsible management, ethical leadership, social responsibility and inclusive excellence. We're interested in making a positive impact on the people and communities around us.

Ethics Are Not a 'Nice to Have' at Darden

  • As one of the first business schools to require an ethics course in the curriculum, business ethics have been integral to Darden's identity for over half a century. Darden integrates ethics, responsible leadership and corporate social responsibility throughout its teaching.
  • The Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, founded in 1968, is a global leader in the field of ethics that serves as a critical resource for integrating ethical thinking into business decision-making.
  • The Institute for Business in Society engages students and prepares leaders to positively impact society through business.
  • Stakeholder Theory, originally detailed in 1984 by R. Edward Freeman, is a view of capitalism that stresses the interconnected relationships between an organization and those who have a stake in it.
  • A community of trust, Darden adheres to the University's of Virginia's student-run Honor Code

Service through Education 

  • Partners for Leadership in Education (PLE) collaborates with schools, educators and community leaders to improve educational opportunities for underserved students. 
  • Resilience Education, a nonprofit founded at Darden in 2013 as the Prison Reentry Education Program, invites Darden MBA student volunteers to teach business courses at correctional facilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The program provides incarcerated individuals the skills and knowledge they need to open new doors upon reentry to the workplace. The program is now offered by other leading business schools.

Environmental Sustainability: How We Live and How We Learn

  • Sustainability at Darden means the School is intentional about its choices to balance the impact of our operations on the natural environment, resources and human beings. Our 2030 sustainability goals inform those choices. 
  • The Sustainability Initiative provides a space for discussion about the environmental, economic and social issues businesses grapple with today.  
  • Darden was one of the first top business schools to reach carbon neutrality in 2019. 
  • Student clubs like the Darden Energy Club and Net Impact strive to inspire, educate and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.
  • The Global Water Initiative plays a leading role in research, policy and education in water management that balances demand with supply of this precious resource.

Courses to Inspire Social Impact