Jay Golden

Jay Golden

Associate Professor of the Practice of Sustainable Systems Analysis

Jay Golden is the faculty chair of the Business and Environment Program.  He is an Associate Professor of the Practice for Sustainable Systems Analysis in the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences in the Nicholas School of the Environment and holds a secondary appointment in the Civil & Environmental Engineering at the Pratt School of Engineering. His research covers sustainable systems and production consumption systems of earth resources using risk analysis and life cycle modeling. Golden is well published in the area of both Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Sciences where he currently focuses on the nexus of the unique role of global supply chains.

Global corporations actively seek partnerships with Dr. Golden in regards to firm and product sustainability.  Golden founded and directed the Sustainability Consortium, which includes many of the worlds largest retailers and manufacturers in addition to supporting the development of life cycle tools for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition which comprises two thirds of the world’s footwear and apparel brands. Jay Golden is the director of the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce. In this role, he directs research and engagement activities across the Duke campus on pressing global sustainability issues in partnership with global corporations.  Golden served as Duke University’s Associate Vice Provost for Research and as Executive in Charge of Duke Corporate Relations.

Dr. Golden received his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Cambridge, and his master's degree in environmental engineering and sustainable development from a joint program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge. He also holds a Professional Mastery of Project Management Certificate from Stanford University, an MLE from Harvard and has a bachelor's degree in management. 

Golden founded and served as CEO of a multi-state engineering consulting firm in the Western United States that supported the hard rock, coal and energy sectors with engineering, compliance and construction services.  In 1988 they were awarded the National Reclamation Award Winners by the US Dept. of Interior.   He also served as Vice President of a fortune 500 company directing operations and sales for the Western United States with a $250M/year budget.  In 2009, Golden was presented the Faculty Pioneer Award by the Aspen Institute for his leadership in the field of sustainability education & research and named by Ethisphere as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics. 

He was appointed to the UN Life Cycle Management Task Force and was named an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow. Golden has testified before Congress, served on the Advisory Council to the Pew Center on Corporate Energy Efficiency, World Economic Forum, American Council on Renewable Energy Higher Education Committee, the Board on the Urban Environment and currently serves on the editorial board of Logistics and has served similar roles for multiple journals. Prior to arriving at Duke, Golden was an assistant professor and honors faculty member at Arizona State University in the School of Sustainability and the Supply Chain Department. He directed an EPA designated National Center of Excellence lab on SMART innovations.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor of the Practice of Sustainable Systems Analysis
  • Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
  • Director of the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. University of Cambridge (UK), 2006
  • M.Phil. University of Cambridge (UK), 2003
  • A.B. Arizona State University, 1991


business and the environment
earth surface processes
environmental systems analysis

Courses Taught

  • ENERGY 395: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects
  • ENERGY 396: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects
  • ENERGY 638L: Environmental Life Cycle Analysis & Decision
  • ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects
  • ENERGY 796: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects
  • ENERGY 811: Business and Environment
  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 638L: Environmental Life Cycle Analysis & Decision
  • ENVIRON 811: Business and Environment
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 999: Duke Environmental Leadership: Master's Project
  • EOS 393: Research Independent Study
  • EOS 394: Research Independent Study
  • EOS 791: Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Ugarte, GM; Golden, JS; Dooley, KJ, Lean versus green: The impact of lean logistics on greenhouse gas emissions in consumer goods supply chains, Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, vol 22 no. 2 (2016), pp. 98-109 [10.1016/j.pursup.2015.09.002] [abs].
  • Morrison, B; Golden, JS, Southeastern United States wood pellets as a global energy resource: a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment derived from empirical data, International Journal of Sustainable Energy (2016), pp. 1-13 [10.1080/14786451.2016.1188816] [abs].
  • Phelan, PE; Kaloush, K; Miner, M; Golden, J; Phelan, B; Silva, H; Taylor, RA, Urban Heat Island: Mechanisms, Implications, and Possible Remedies, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, vol 40 no. 1 (2015), pp. 285-307 [10.1146/annurev-environ-102014-021155] [abs].
  • Nowacek, DP; Clark, CW; Mann, D; Miller, PJO; Rosenbaum, HC; Golden, JS; Jasny, M; Kraska, J; Southall, BL, Marine seismic surveys and ocean noise: time for coordinated and prudent planning, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol 13 no. 7 (2015), pp. 378-386 [10.1890/130286] [abs].
  • Handfield, RB; Golden, JS, The Biobased Products Industry: Reflections and Insights from a Multi-Year Empirical and Modeling Evaluation for the Congress of the United States, Industrial Biotechnology, vol 11 no. 4 (2015), pp. 183-187 [10.1089/ind.2015.29006.rbh] [abs].

Additional Information