Food Initiatives



Sustainable food sourcing:

Stanford Dining purchases sustainably raised foods from the region as much as possible, supporting a diverse farming economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from transportation, and protecting natural resources. A partnership with the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA Organics) helps support about 30 small farms that grow organic produce for Stanford.

Stanford Dining promotes vegetarian and vegan meals, which require less energy and fewer resources to produce. About 40 percent of our produce is organic or regionally grown (within 250 miles). Fish offerings follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendations; beef is locally, humanely and pasture raised; organic milk from a local dairy is available; eggs are cage-free from a local rancher; and all coffees and teas are Fair Trade certified.

Campus gardening:

The one-acre Community Farm and over ten community herb-and-vegetable gardens on campus provide organic produce and education about sustainable agriculture for our dining halls and student row houses. The Farm Educator in the School of Earth Sciences teaches students about organic farming both in the classroom and at the Farm. The The produce grown on campus is also sold weekly at the student-run Stanford Produce Stand. To learn more, go to the Stanford Dining Produce Stand website.

Composting:

All dining halls and many cafés collect food waste, which is composted and returned to campus for use in the gardens, farm and landscaping. In 2007, Stanford composted just over 1300 tons of food waste. In addition, we give leftover usable food to programs such as SPOON (Stanford Project on Hunger) to distribute to community organizations. We are working with the Zero Waste Sustainability Working Team and student organizations to collect food waste and compostable serviceware at all campus cafes.

Waste reduction:

Stanford Dining reduces waste and recycles whenever possible and educates students through our “Love Food, Hate Waste” campaign. We provide compost and recycling bins and use compostable to-go containers and serviceware. We reduced plate sizes as well as food portions, implemented a voluntary trayless campaign, and hosted a food waste competition to raise awareness and reduce food waste on campus. Waste oil from dining halls and cafés—about 10,000 gallons a year—is converted to biodiesel fuel. Meal plan students receive reusable beverage containers to reduce the use of disposable water bottles and coffee cups.

Education:

Raising awareness about sustainability is key to changing behavior. Our education efforts include Sustainable Seafood Week, Environmental Faculty Dinner Series with over 12 faculty members and 150 students in 2008/09, a partnership with the Ethics in Society Program to bring outside experts like Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle to campus, visits to local organic farms with both staff and students, and hands-on workshops in campus gardens.

For more information, go to the Stanford Dining Sustainable Food System website.

Download the Food & Dining fact sheet.

“If we are to leave our children a better world, we must take steps now to create a sustainable environment. So it is critical that we model sustainable citizenship on our own campus.”
— John Etchemendy
Provost, Stanford University
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993—and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
About 60 percent of Stanford’s total contiguous land remains undeveloped.
Recycled paper is less expensive than virgin paper under the campus-wide office supply contract.
From 2002 to 2010, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 48 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Effective August 1,2014:
Irrigation in Faculty & Staff Housing may occur only on Tuesday and Saturday nights for even numbered addresses, and Wednesday and Sunday nights for odd numbered addresses, between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
Stanford invests IN sustainability through a broad range of initiatives in research, education, efficiency improvement, conservation systems, new technology, student-led projects and more.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
From 2002 to 2008, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 51 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993—and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Stanford completed 50 major water efficiency retrofit projects from 2001 through 2008, pushing down average domestic use from 2.7 million gallons per day (mgd) in 2000-01 to less than 2.3 mgd in 2007-08, despite campus growth.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.