Business Innovation and Climate Change Initiative

Centers & Initiatives

Business Innovation and Climate Change Initiative

What is the Initiative?

Climate change, coupled with other urgent threats to our natural environment, poses one of the most significant and singular challenges faced by society in the 21st century. The world's ability to generate solutions will require substantive and disruptive innovation across a broad spectrum of sectors such as energy, transportation and the built environment.

How can we motivate leaders to address and mitigate these challenges? What role does government policy play to empower or restrict innovators and entrepreneurs? How should businesses best approach the clean innovation risks and opportunities before them?

The Business Innovation and Climate Change Initiative, spearheaded by UVA Darden's Batten Institute, aims to answer these questions through:

  • Research — exploring the opportunities to decarbonize key industry sectors by 2060 with the goal of limiting global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, avoiding significant disruptions to the global economy.
  • Stakeholder Discussions — bringing together senior executives and decision makers from diverse industries to address issues related to climate change and identify opportunities to catalyze clean technology innovation and adoption.
  • Education  preparing Darden School students for the clean technology future. UVA Darden is pleased to offer a new Business and Sustainability elective starting Q3 2020.  A description of the course is provided below.

The Business and Sustainability Elective aims to familiarize students with key environmental sustainability challenges and enable them to think critically and creatively about the role of business in contributing to the development of a sustainable society.  Topics to be covered include:

  • Concepts and frameworks of environmental sustainability
  • The role of business in relation to major environmental challenges
  • Legal and competitive considerations affecting sustainability strategies
  • Sustainable business operations
  • Analytical tools and metrics for business sustainability, and
  • Green product development.

After completion of the course, students will be able to develop and critique business sustainability strategies, understand the legal, institutional and market-based constraints and opportunities for continued improvement in business sustainability, and be equipped to assess business operations and new product development plans from the perspective of sustainability.


The Decarbonization Imperative

The Decarbonization Imperative

Time is of the essence. Climate change looms as a malignant force that will reshape our economy and society for generations to come. In a new book titled The Decarbonization Imperative: Transforming the Global Economy by 2050, Darden professor Mike Lenox and senior researcher Rebecca Duff make the case for disruptive innovation and individualized multi-sector policy action to avoid the worst effects of climate change.  Learn More

Can Business Save the Earth?

Can Business Save the Earth?

A bright green future is only possible with dramatic innovation across multiple sectors at the same time. In a new book titled Can Business Save the Earth?, Professors Michael Lenox and Aaron Chatterji explain just how the private sector can help. Read More


Sustainability at UVA Darden: How we Live, How we Learn

At Darden, sustainability is incorporated into everything that we do. From our award-winning faculty and curriculum grounded in business ethics to our research and commitment to carbon-neutrality on grounds, students with an interest in sustainability will find a home here.

Policy Playbook Cover

Policies for Catalyzing Clean-Tech Innovation

UVA Darden's Batten Institute publishes new policy playbook that identifies six policy actions to catalyze clean technology innovation.  Read More


Contact Us

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-434-924-1335

Mailing Address 
Batten Institute
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, Virginia 22906-6550 USA

Shipping Address 
Batten Institute
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
100 Darden Boulevard
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 USA