|Courses in Sustainability: ||Yes|
|Sustainability course is: ||Required|
|Description: ||Business Ethics is a required first year course at Darden. Darden was one of the first business schools to incorporate such a requirement into the curriculum. The purpose of the course is to enable students to reason about the role of ethics in business administration in a complex, dynamic, global environment, often in the context of critical social and environmental challenges, and corporate social responsibility. Case discussions without easy answers focus on decision-making in situations involving multiple stakeholders, whether shareholders, employees, members of the local community, customers or governments. Students are encouraged to think deeply about the nature of business, the responsibilities of management, and how business and ethics can be put together. Students are pushed to consider how they make decisions and develop their capacity to defend these decisions to other stakeholders. This is important as a way not only to foster integrity and responsible decision making, but also to push them to take leadership roles in dealing with complex and difficult choices they will face in their careers.
The Darden School of Business MBA program teaches that the role of business is to create value for all stakeholders. Integrated throughout our case-method curriculum is the theme that while business has one true bottom line, profitability, it must be achieved in an ethical, and socially- and environmentally-responsible manner.
Darden is a general management program without formal majors. However, in choosing their second-year electives, students may opt for pursuing a concentration, one of which is Innovation for Sustainability.
Darden offers 20 elective courses that solely or partially focus on sustainability and ethical leadership/decision-making, and the role of business in society. Coursework includes tools essential for developing a successful sustainability strategy, such as stakeholder engagement and systems thinking. Specific courses are below, with hyperlinks to descriptions/video clips. The majority of these courses also count toward the Innovation for Sustainability concentration [video], which aims to:
1. Equip students with the ability to create and execute collaborative sustainability strategies to: increase firm revenues through innovative products and services; lower costs and raise profitability through efficiencies and design; create and enhance brands; better manage supply chains; and mitigate business risk.
2. Instill knowledge about the global and systemic impacts on natural systems and human well-being from accelerating trends such as urbanization, industrialization, climate change and population growth, as well as emerging scientific knowledge.
3. Inform students of regional and global institutions and policy instruments that influence business operations and strategy.
1. Business Ethics through Literature
2. Business-Government Relations
3. Creative Capitalism [video]
4. Darden Capital Management: Rotunda Fund (Sustainability Investment Fund)
5. Entrepreneur as Change Agent
6. Faith, Religion and Responsible Management Decision Making (includes segment on the environment with guest speaker, designer and architect Bill McDonough.
7. Global Economics of Water
8. Leadership and Diversity through Literature
9. Leadership and Theater: Ethics, Innovation and Creativity [video]
10. Leadership, Values and Ethics
11. Markets and Society
12. Philosophy and Business: Business in Society
13. Social Responsibility and Entrepreneurship
14. Special Topics Seminar: Income Inequality: Capitalism’s Big Challenge?
15. Special Topics Seminar: Impact Investing
16. Supply Chain Management
17. Sustainability In-Depth: Studies in Innovation
18. Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship [video]
19. Systems Design & Business Dynamics
Courses that are also recommended to enhance students’ ability to lead an organization effectively with an enterprise-wide perspective, capitalizing on sustainability risks and opportunities are:
1. Innovation and Design Experience
2. Leading Strategic Change
3. Management, Economic Growth, and Society
4. Managing Innovation and Product Development
Additionally, three of Darden's Global Business Experiences, one- or two-week academic trips to other countries that include classroom work as well as local company/NGO/government agency visits, are sustainability-themed, including Stockholm, Israel and South Africa.
1. Sustainability, Innovation and Design in Scandinavia
2. Israel: Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Israel
3. Lessons from South Africa on the Need for Cooperation between the Public and Private Sectors to Grow an Economy
Darden’s first year required coursework includes case discussions on sustainability and ethical leadership challenges. Other academic areas such as Strategy, Accounting, Finance and Leading Organizations, integrate cases addressing environmental and social issues to create a holistic approach to business management.
Research Enhancing Curriculum
Darden’s curriculum development is strengthened by five major research entities housed at Darden that conduct sustainability, ethics, and social impact research geared toward both academic and business audiences.
1. The Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
2. The Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics
3. The Darden Center for Global Initiatives
4. The Institute for Business in Society (IBiS)
5. The Olsson Center for Applied Ethics
Given that Darden is a case-method school, the case collection for Darden Business Publishing includes numerous cases written on the topic of sustainability. Examples include:
1. NaanDanJain: Every Drop of Water Counts: This case demonstrates the growing importance of water policy and water scarcity on key business decisions.
2. World Wildlife Fund and the Coca-Cola Company: A Global Partnership for Freshwater Conservation: This case is used in Darden's "Economics of Water" course elective and discusses the best practices of a public-private partnership that focuses on freshwater conservation and other environmental issues.
3. Chevy Volt: Pricing and Capacity Decisions in Response to Government Incentives for the Electric Vehicle Industry: Case in which GM executives assess production capacity they should allocate to the Volt, in light of consumer trends, government incentives, and GM’s internal cost structure.
Darden Business Publishing also has an online-store dedicated to cases on the environment and sustainability.|
|Research Opportunities in Sustainability: ||Yes|
|Description: ||In the 2014-2015 academic year, students’ for-credit research projects include:
1. Case-writing with faculty focused on sustainability and social impact issues
2. Financial Valuation of Renewable Energy Projects
3. Finance with Village Capital (Village Capital sources, trains, and invests in impactful seed-stage enterprises worldwide)
4. Ethics of Business School Education
5. Managing Growth Strategy Development for Emerging Market Social Ventures|
|School's environmental commitment: || |
|1: ||1. Refreshing First Coffee
Through our student-led Refreshing First Coffee project, Darden is transitioning from using approximately 600 compostable coffee cups per day to using reusable mugs, overcoming the challenges of students, staff and faculty wanting to take cups of coffee to class and back to their desks. First Coffee is a core tradition in Darden’s tight-knit community, making this a highly visible behavior change effort. Students have dedicated countless hours to leading the charge, designing and piloting new processes. They wrote a grant and secured $10K in funds through U.Va.’s Greening Initiatives Funding Tomorrow (GIFT) grant program in order to support the purchase of reusable mugs for a large pilot of 300. They have effectively engaged through discussions and mini-pilots all stakeholders along the way, from Hospitality to Housekeeping, from students to faculty, to ensure a superior and efficient experience.
Student leaders have also done what is challenging in student life: to carefully and effectively build upon the efforts of their student leader predecessors who co-wrote a case Embedding Sustainability: Refreshing First Coffee at Darden, and subsequently organized a case competition in which all five first-year sections competed for the ever-popular Darden cup points. Taking the best ideas from each of the case presentations, the current student leaders have carefully investigated options and brought them to life. During 2014, Darden was recognized as a “Top Innovator” by the Better Business Challenge for its Refreshing First Coffee project.
Their efforts are instrumental in Darden’s effort to be zero waste to landfill by 2020. To date we have reduced our waste by 64%. Changing our signature community event, First Coffee, will help us take another large step to zero.|
|2: ||2. Additional Progress Toward Zero Waste
Relative to our 2007 baseline, by end of 2014 Darden reduced solid waste generation by 64%, due to composting and recycling. We estimate that organics comprise approximately 50% of our waste stream, due to operating a very busy restaurant. Thus, composting has been the primary lever in effecting this change.
Darden also maintains a robust recycling program, which accepts e-waste, glass, metal, plastics #1-7 (including plastic bags, straws and utensils), paper and cardboard. Waste not separated into recycling bins goes first to a material recovery facility, where additional recyclables are removed, before the remainder is sent to the landfill. Our ultimate goal is to be “zero to landfill”.|
|3: ||3. Progress toward Carbon Neutral
Relative to our 2007 baseline, by end of 2014 Darden reduced our carbon emissions by 28%, even as our academic programs have expanded. This progress has been enabled by recommissioning our building systems, and has also resulted in significant avoided energy costs. To support our efforts, Darden is also a partner in the Better Business Challenge, a competition among 75 local businesses over 12 months to earn the greatest number of energy efficiency and waste reduction “points”. We have learned a great deal by helping design the Challenge, and sharing information with other businesses committed to achieving sustainability goals.|