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The Office of Sustainability connects campus organizations and entities and works collaboratively with them to steer sustainability initiatives to embed sustainability as a core value in everything we do.  The Office works on long-range sustainability analysis and planning, evaluations and reporting, communication and outreach, academic integration, conservation behavior and training, and sustainability governance strategy.  

Administrators, faculty, staff, and students throughout the university are working to research and implement sustainability, and President Marc Tessier-Lavigne recently laid out two critical targets as part of the Stanford vision to lead in developing "Solutions for Our Region and World": 80 percent carbon neutral by 2025 and zero waste (90 percent diversion from landfill) by 2030. Following are the key dimensions of the collaborative governance model for sustainability at Stanford.

Sustainability Design Team (2018-present)

As part of the long-range planning process, Stanford convened design teams to support fundamental and applied research, with a faculty team specifically focused on sustainability research. The team is working to develop transportable sustainability solutions for the region, nation and world; and to launch Stanford as a Living Lab. The team meets regularly in preparation to share its vision and ideas with the university community this year. Learn about who serves on the Design Team.

Provost's Committee on Sustainability (2012-2017)

An executive committee of deans, institute leads and senior campus leadership, the Provost’s Committee on Sustainability first convened in the 2012–13 academic year. The committee facilitates collaboration across schools, institutes, the Office of Sustainability, and students; exerts leadership across campus; brings campus-wide sustainability issues to the attention of the Provost and the President; and implements leadership recommendations. Formation of the Provost‘s Committee was an outcome of one of the many key recommendations derived from the year-long strategic exercise, Sustainability 3.0. The committee is presently dormant while many members are activated through the long-range planning process, in various design teams.

Sustainability Working Group (2006-present)

The Sustainability Working Group (SWG) prepares policy and program recommendations to advance and implement sustainability practices on campus. Goals include:

  • Continuously improve Stanford’s leadership in demonstrating environmental sustainability in campus operations.
  • Use faculty, staff and student expertise in the evolving field of sustainability.
  • Advance opportunities for hands-on sustainability-related learning and service in the campus community.

SWG, chaired by the director of the Office of Sustainability, meets the first Thursday of every month and involves representatives from all parts of the university.

Sustainability Working Teams (2008-present)

Sustainability Working Teams were first assembled in 2008 to develop program recommendations, assess progress, and help implement policy recommendations in major operational areas related to sustainability. The teams are composed of campus subject matter experts, representatives from key Stanford community groups, and individuals with authority to take action in the relevant operational areas. Teams are activated when a specific initiative is underway and may be dormant when a given project has been implemented. Many working teams have evolved into thriving programs now stewarded by the Office of Sustainability and partners across campus, including Evaluations and ReportingSustainable FoodGreen LabsGreen Events, and Sustainable IT.