On campus


Sustainability must become a core value in everything we do. As a community we are committed to developing our core campus in a sustainable fashion that preserves what we cherish, that demonstrates leadership in the university’s commitment to be a good environmental steward and that safeguards the ability for future generations to thrive at Stanford.

—John L. Hennessy
President, Stanford University

In pursuing its academic mission, Stanford University is committed to being a leader in research, teaching and action (institutional practice) of environmental sustainability.

Stanford is deeply engaged in cutting-edge research and innovative teaching on the environment and sustainability. Stanford schools and departments offer an array of courses and degree programs focused on sustainability. Central to this endeavor was the Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability, which concluded in 2011. It supported interdisciplinary research and teaching involving all seven of Stanford’s schools as well as centers, institutes and programs across campus, in recognition of the fact that solutions to complex challenges demand collaboration across multiple fields. The effort was one of eight initiatives of The Stanford Challenge, a campus-wide effort aimed at seeking solutions to the world’s most pressing problems and educating students for leadership in the 21st century. To learn more, visit Teaching and Research.

Sustainability is a core value in campus action, and the campus continues to make significant investments in and strides toward sustainability at the operational and programmatic levels. The Department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) within Land, Buildings & Real Estate (LBRE) leads initiatives on campus physical infrastructure and programs in energy and climate, water, transportation, building operations, and information systems. The Office of Sustainability connects campus departments and entities and works collaboratively with them to steer sustainability-specific initiatives. To find out about campus actions, please visit Campus Action.

Sustainable Stanford is a university-wide effort to reduce our environmental impact, preserve resources, and show sustainability in action. We’re determined to lead in researching, teaching, and practicing environmental sustainability. Our vision: create a healthier environment now and richer possibilities for generations to come. Dedication to outreach and a culture of innovation have been central to Stanford’s mission since its founding in 1891, when Jane and Leland Stanford exhorted university leaders to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” That sense of purpose drives our commitment to incorporating sustainability practices and thinking into every aspect of campus life.