After dozens of interviews, I quickly learned that behind every initiative and commitment Darden has made to become a more sustainable enterprise are literally thousands of people. People who wake up every day to not only “nourish and delight” our guests, but seek to bring a larger purpose to what we do.
- It’s Jack McNertney and dozens of Facility Managers who increased our waste diversion rate 14% and added single-stream recycling to more than 500 more restaurants.
- Or it’s Todd Taylor and his team of designers who are opening smarter and greener restaurants in communities all across the United States, reducing our energy and water use per guest.
- It’s Angela Woods and the Foundation team who provided over 1,700 restaurant community grants for the first time, supporting food banks, youth centers, and the environmental health of our neighborhoods.
- Or it’s the efforts of Bill Herzig and Roger Bing who have continued to advance seafood stewardship on a global scale, seeking to educate, engage and improve industry standards for the long-term economic and environmental health of the wild fisheries and aquaculture.
- And most importantly, it’s the thousands of Darden team members who champion sustainability in our 2,000 restaurants, reducing water consumption by 17% and energy by 8% in three short years.
The common theme throughout this report and all of our sustainability efforts has been and continues to be collaboration. Thanks to each person’s efforts, we are continuing to become a company that matters with people who matter.
But we aren’t finished yet. While we are proud of our success, we know sustainability is a journey and there are many challenges we must address. But our strong corporate values and culture drive us to continue to fulfill our commitments and consider innovative new solutions.
This report is about our commitment to our People, to the Planet, and the food we place on every Plate. But in the end, every effort is about being a Company That Matters.
Brandon Tidwell is Manager of Sustainability for Darden Restaurants. In this role, he is responsible for the development and implementation of corporate sustainability strategies and policies across all of Darden. Brandon joined Darden from FedEx and is a candidate for a Master’s in Business Administration at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business. He also holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Baylor and a certificate in Philanthropy from New York University.