Cardinal Green Buildings

Stanford operates and maintains hundreds of campus buildings. While advanced systems ensure these buildings operate efficiently, a critical tool in helping further reduce Stanford’s energy use is the collective action of building occupants. The Cardinal Green Buildings campaign was created in 2013 to advance energy reduction programs operated by the department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM). Since then, Office of Sustainability (OOS), in partnership with Facilities Energy Management (FEM) and Zone Management, has continued to develop additional opportunities for targeted energy reduction. Cardinal Green Buildings engages and educates our campus community in energy conservation measures that can have a significant impact on building sustainability. In an effort to optimize opportunities identified through the plug load inventory and other data analysis, Cardinal Green Buildings includes these targeted measures to help maximize energy conservation this fall. Participate in a Cardinal Green Training to learn about all the ways that you can help save.

Get Involved

Building Managers

Check out your building’s sustainability rating on the Sustainable Stanford Map. The Building Sustainability Ratings recognize high performing buildings, identify where additional resources need to be invested, and motivate action. The rating evaluates a building’s sustainability performance in energy, water, waste, transportation, purchasing, and occupant engagement.

The annual Winter Closure program engages occupants at a building and individual level to continue Stanford’s decade-long history of resource-conscious building operation while the university is unoccupied over breaks. At the building level, the program targets a shutdown of heating and ventilation systems, as well as custodial services, to conserve energy. FEM and OOS also work with specific buildings to facilitate a shutdown during Thanksgiving break.


Support your building's sustainability rating, by participating in all of the Cardinal Green campaigns. Completing the suggested actions on the pledge forms supports both your building's score in the relevant category and occupant engagement scores.

What's In It For You?

The Cardinal Green Buildings campaign is an excellent opportunity to connect your community to Stanford‘s sustainability mission. Realized savings may even improve your building’s Energy Conservation Incentive Program (ECIP) performance. By helping your department conserve resources, you'll boost your building's sustainability rating, and will also be eligible to win participation prizes. All individuals who pledge to Turn Down for Break are entered into a gift card raffle!

2016 Results

The 2016 Cardinal Green Buildings campaign proved to be a success, with the number of buildings shut down or converted to shortened schedules for Thanksgiving Closure doubling from 2015 to 60, and 196 buildings participating in Winter Closure energy curtailment. The resulting savings from both closures totaled more than $384,000 in avoided energy costs – which represents 1.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, or 982 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided. This would be like removing 200 cars from the road for a year!