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Building Sustainability Ratings

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Stanford has developed a rigorous internal building sustainability rating system to identify high performers and target buildings for improvement. The system evaluates a building’s sustainability performance across six categories, which are measured and analyzed on an annual basis. This is intended to provide greater visibility into building performance, beyond simple meter data, to motivate action and inform where additional resources need to be invested. 

While specific opportunities may vary by building, the actions of building occupants are critical to its overall performance. You can earn points toward your reward in My Cardinal Green for taking these measurable steps to help improve your building rating: 



More than 150 of Stanford's large utility consuming  and core campus buildings are evaluated through the sustainability rating program. In FY20, sustainability ratings were based on data spanning from September 2019 through March 2020 to eliminate variability from atypical building operations due to the global pandemic in the second half of the year.  Average scores in each category range from nine to 99%, with overall scores averaging 66%. Explore the map and click on your building to learn more.

If you are interested to learn more about your building's sustainability rating, the Office of Sustainability and SEM Business Services can provide a comprehensive report for your building. You can view a sample. A performance summary is included below.

Campus building performance summary, 2020

Performance Categories and Targets

Performance targets are informed by national industry benchmarking programs, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System. The overall building rating is based on a weighted average of the individual performance categories.  

Performance CategoryWeighting AllocationPerformance MetricTargetData Sources
Energy40%Energy use/square foot/ yearBuilding specific (based on technical potential of economically feasible efficiency measures in building)Electricity, chilled water, and hot water building meters, and non-Stanford utility data
Water15%Annual potable water consumption and % low-flow water fixturesBuilding specific (based on feasible percentage of low-flow water fixtures)Domestic water building meters
Waste10%% waste diverted from landfill90%Volume of waste recorded by hauling staff
Transportation20%% employees that utilize sustainable commutes70%Annual employee commute survey
Purchasing5%% spend that meets the Responsible Purchasing Guidelines50%Office  supply purchases, provided by Procurement
Occupant Engagement10%% of building occupants that participate in My Cardinal Green50%My Cardinal Green