Sustainability at Darden

Sustainability at Darden - About the Darden School of Business


At Darden, sustainability is incorporated into everything that we do — from curriculum grounded in business ethics to faculty research and our commitment to carbon-neutrality on Grounds.

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:

  1. Continue to be a preeminent educator and thought leader in sustainability, innovating new offerings and scholarship that lead our peers.

  2. Endeavor to minimize our footprint while empowering all members of our community to flourish.

How We Live Goals

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 
How We Learn

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 

In support of these goals, we launched a new ESG Concentration in 2023. Visit the Sustainability Initiative website to learn more about Darden student offerings.

Research Initiatives

The Forum Hotel

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.

Thomas Jefferson

History and Context

Sustainability Timeline

You can view a larger version of this timeline here.

Sustainability 2030 Steering Committee

Dean Krehmeyer

Chief of Staff, Co-Chair

Michael Lenox

Senior Associate Dean and Chief Strategy Officer, Co-Chair

Rachel Dudzik

Associate Director Events and Scheduling

Rebecca Duff

Senior Research Associate, Batten Institute

Christy Julien

Darden Office of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Larry Murphy

President & COO, Executive Education & Lifelong Learning

Dan Murphy

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Niki Schur-Narula

Executive MBA Candidate | Class of 2021

Austin Widner

Future Year Scholar/Dean’s Fellow

Lila Wilmerding

MBA Candidate | Class of 2021

Erika Herz

Sustainability Strategic Planning, UVA Office for Sustainability, Ex-Officio

Andrea Trimble

Sustainability Director, UVA Office for Sustainability, Ex-Officio

Sustainability Advisory Council


Carolyn Miles (chair), Toni Irving, Bobby Parmar


Mike Lenox, Christie Julien, Dean Krehmeyer, Shaele Culbreath, Ashley Williams, Rebecca Duff, Maggie Morse


Alex Smith, Jess Kim Schmid, Clare Atzert, Elizabeth Belair


Pablo Ciano (MBA ’00), Katherine Neebe (MBA ’04), Chinesom Ejiasa (MBA ’09), Ali Melshak (MBA ’16)

Board members

Mark Kington (MBA ’88), Kim Moorish (MBA ’93)

Learn More About Our Efforts.

Interested in learning more about the environmental sustainability goals of UVA as a whole? Have a question for the team here at Darden? We're ready to connect.