"Stanford University fully engages in sustainability challenges through research programs, projects and partnerships; campus buildings and student residences; energy, water, dining and transportation operations; and many courses, academic programs and learning activities. The Stanford community aspires to the goal of human wellbeing across generations and around the world, and is committed to including social, ethical, economic, ecological, environmental and resource considerations in decision making. We hope every student at Stanford shares this goal and learns how to engage effectively in reaching it."
-Former Provost John Etchemendy, January 2017
To achieve this goal, the university has established the following core sustainability principles related to academia, planning, and operations.
Advance sustainability knowledge
- Ensure that all Stanford graduates, regardless of degree received, understand how the work they do can contribute to creating a sustainable world.
- Achieve excellence in research that can help solve the complex problems involved in creating a sustainable world.
Establish sustainability as a core value
- Lead sustainability by example.
- Integrate environmental awareness into campus culture, and make sustainable practices a part of everyday life.
- Incorporate considerations of sustainability into all aspects of campus purchases of products, services and food.
Minimize environmental footprint and preserve the ecosystem
- Dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations by reducing energy use in existing buildings, minimize energy use in new buildings, and greening our energy supply process and procurement.
- Use water resources efficiently, minimizing total water demand by continuing to implement water conservation measures and incorporating infrastructure for future water-saving measures into new facilities.
- Construct and renovate buildings to provide safe, productive indoor environments that use energy, water and other natural resources efficiently.
- Reduce the number of drive-alone commuters, and avoid increasing the total number of trips taken during peak commuting hours.
- Conserve resources through reuse, recycling, source reduction and composting – moving towards a zero waste campus.
- Preserve and manage environmental resources to allow the functioning of natural ecosystems and the long-term persistence of native species.
- Preserve and manage heritage resources to retain their historical and archaeological value and maximize their usefulness for producing knowledge.