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​Stanford incorporates sustainability practices and innovation into every aspect of campus life. As a critical measure of sustainability progress, the university remains focused on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all operations. The effort is primarily facilitated through the Stanford Energy System Innovations project, which has already significantly reduced emissions from peak levels by electrifying campus heating and cooling systems to incorporate a robust renewable portfolio. Since emissions were reported in the Sustainability Year in Review, annual emissions for several source categories for years 2011 through 2016 have been updated slightly (by between 0.5 and 2.2 percent) to be more accurate, reflected below. All years now include non-CO2 emissions, such as emissions from research gases. Additionally, the emissions factor used for calculating emissions from California’s electricity grid matches the reporting year.  The chart below depicts Stanford's Scope 1  and Scope 2 GHG emissions over time. This includes the university's emissions, which are third-party verified and publically reported each calendar year, as well as emissions associated with Stanford Hospital and Clinics (SHC) for their steam plant and portion of heating and cooling production from the Central Energy Facility. 


The university has undertaken major ongoing initiatives to reduce energy and water use, apply stringent environmental standards to all new buildings, encourage sustainable living, promote low-impact transportation, conserve natural resources, and decrease waste, even with continued campus growth. Stanford continues to analyze the effectiveness of its sustainability programs and identify opportunities for improvement. In addition to tracking absolute consumption and intensity trends, Stanford considers annual per capita resource use. As the university continues to grow to support its academic mission, responsible growth is both a priority and a tool for informing long-range strategic planning. Stanford is dedicated to driving resource conservation at the individual and operational levels, and the suite of efficiency and conservation programs implemented by the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management and its partner organizations ensures that each individual footprint shrinks. For a full review, please view the Sustainability at Stanford: A Year in Review 2016–17 annual report.