MeadWestvaco Joins the Darden School of Business Initiative for Business in Society (IBiS) as Founding Corporate Partner

19 November 2012

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business today announced that the MeadWestvaco (MWV) Foundation has provided founding support for Darden’s Initiative for Business in Society (IBiS). MWV’s CEO and Chairman John A. Luke Jr. will serve on the IBiS Advisory Committee.

The Darden research Center of Excellence, launched in October 2011, explores business’ role in society and the issues that impact the dynamics between business, government and society. The center’s mission is to be a leading global catalyst and convener of thought, information and action at the interface of business and society.

“We are incredibly grateful for MWV’s support as a founding corporate partner and look forward to our important work ahead,” said Darden Dean Bob Bruner. “IBiS is the first center of its kind at a leading global business school to focus on the intersection of business and society in alliance with global corporations. MWV’s insights as a global packaging solutions company will be highly valuable as we execute an ambitious research agenda.”

MWV is widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability and its commitment to the communities in which it does business. In 2011, the company was listed for the eighth consecutive year on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for its commitment to and success in integrating sustainability into core business objectives and performance. Since 2003, the MeadWestvaco Foundation has given more than $36 million and employees have volunteered half a million hours to sustainable communities, environmental stewardship and education. The company’s size and global reach position it at the leading edge of business; MWV works closely with customers, consumers and communities around the globe.

“As a global company, we work with our customers to develop innovative packaging solutions that address challenges shaped by economic, cultural and political forces in more than 100 countries around the world,” said John A. Luke Jr, chairman and CEO, MWV. “Beyond sustainability and corporate social responsibility, truly understanding the interconnectedness of business and society is essential to drive profitable growth, encourage innovation and benefit communities. MWV is honored to partner with Darden to continue to evolve our understanding of the role of business in society.”

In addition to developing new knowledge, IBiS will prepare leaders to better understand how business and society mutually engage in value-added opportunities. The center will equip these leaders with the skills they need to navigate challenges and deliver value in an increasingly complex world.

Luke will serve on the IBiS Advisory Committee, along with executives of founding corporate partners — including Amgen and Northrop Grumman — Darden Dean Bob Bruner and members of Darden’s faculty. The committee shapes IBiS’s suite of activities, which include:

  • Conferences and events with a wide range of leaders that will present insights, strategies and leading practices
  • New case studies published by Darden Business Publishing and used in classrooms and organizations around the world
  • New courses taught in the three formats of the Darden MBA: MBA, MBA for Executives and Global MBA for Executives, and in Darden Executive Education
  • Research that will explore how business, government and society can work together toward common goals, such as addressing risk and creating value for society

Since its founding, IBiS has published new case studies, sponsored U.Va. conferences for students, executives and policy thought leaders, and developed a multimedia series, Viewpoints on Business in Society, featuring perspectives from a cross section of Darden’s top-ranked faculty.

“The corporate support and close collaboration of MWV will provide critical insights into the issues and leading practices of the consumer goods sector and the packaging and container industry,” said Dean Krehmeyer, executive director of IBiS. “Together, we will work to expand IBiS’ influence and make a real-time, positive impact on the areas where business, government and society intersect.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia