|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 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 concentrations, 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. The majority of these courses also count toward the Innovation for Sustainability concentration [video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clG32ObivqA&feature=youtu.be], 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. Climate Change: Science, Markets & Policy (taught at UVA Law School adjacent to our Grounds; Darden students may register)
4. Creative Capitalism [video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VJMYu-_2TM&feature=youtu.be]
5. Darden Capital Management: Rotunda Fund (Sustainability Investment Fund)
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f13hoP1VBA]
10. Leadership, Values and Ethics
11. Markets in Human Hope
12. National Debt
13. Philosophy and Business: Business in Society
14. Supply Chain Management
15. Sustainability In-Depth: Studies in Innovation
16. Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship [video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ufR3VgdsSM&feature=youtu.be]
17. Systems Design & Business Dynamics
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
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. Managing Innovation and Product Development
Darden’s first year required coursework includes case discussions on sustainability and ethical leadership challenges. For example, in Strategy, students grapple with a case centered on BP’s evaluation of its long-term renewable energy portfolio. They must use strategy analysis tools to analyze what is best for the company in light of not only its core strengths and future projections, but also public perception after the oil spill.
Other academic areas such as Accounting, Finance and Leading Organizations, similarly integrate cases addressing environmental and social issues.
Research Enhancing Curriculum
Darden’s curriculum development is strengthened by five major research entities housed at Darden that conduct sustainability and ethics research geared toward both academic and business audiences.
1. The Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS)
2. The Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
3. The Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics
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. Eastman Tritan: Case on launching a new BPA-free plastic and the associated supply challenges and opportunities. (Case was First Place winner of The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Case and Materials Competition.)
2. 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 (http://store.darden.virginia.edu/environment-and-sustainability?orderby=15).|
|Research Opportunities in Sustainability: ||Yes|
|Description: ||In the 2013-2014 academic year, students’ for-credit research projects include:
1.GreenBlue: create a business plan for a new service offering by an international non-profit focused on reducing packaging waste and chemical content in consumer products.
2.Darden School of Business: write a case on new options for reducing paper use in course material distribution.
3.Local Food Hub: Generate strategic recommendations for the organization’s business model as well as detailed market and financial analysis. The Local Food Hub is a nationally-recognized, revenue-generating, nonprofit food distributor focused on supporting small farm viability and improving access to local food in Central Virginia.
4.Concordia Summit: Develop a three to five year strategic business plan, including operational and financial analyses, that will guide the organization’s transition from producer of events (i.e. the Summits) to a more established non-profit in the public-private partnerships area. The Concordia Summit convenes the world’s most prominent business, government and non-profit leaders on the subject of public-private partnerships.|
|School's environmental commitment: || |
|1: ||1.Refreshing First Coffee
Through our student-led Refreshing First Coffee project (http://refreshingfirstcoffee.wordpress.com/blog/), 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.
Their efforts are instrumental in Darden’s effort to be zero waste to landfill by 2020. To date we have reduced our waste by 59%. 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 2013 Darden reduced solid waste generation by 59%, 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 2013 Darden reduced our carbon emissions by 19%, 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.|