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Cardinal Green Office Program

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Through everyday actions, occupants of campus buildings directly impact Stanford's sustainability and bottom line. The Cardinal Green Office Program utilizes a building evaluation process to recommend simple steps occupants can take to reduce their environmental footprint, and offers support in implementing those changes. Through the program, individual actions have saved up to 20 percent on electricity bills in some campus buildings.

The program includes an audit of your building, tailored recommendations, and access to an online resource center. Office of Sustainability (OOS), in collaboration with the Woods Institute, various units in Sustainability and Energy Management, and Zones Management, launched the Cardinal Green Office Program as a platform for Stanford's Schools and Departments to educate occupants and implement sustainability practices at the building level. This past year, more than 30 buildings enrolled in the program. 

Contact the Office of Sustainability to express your interest in enrolling your building or floor in the Cardinal Green Office Program.

Program Components

After enrolling in the program, we will guide you through the following process to increase sustainability performance on your floor.

  1. Schedule an audit of your building or floor: OOS will work with you to visit your office space and audit for potential energy saving opportunities, such as equipment timers or smart strips. Auditors will also look for opportunities to improve recycling, composting, and water efficiency, and will engage a sample of occupants in targeted conversations about barriers to sustainable behavior in the workplace. After going through the audit process, OOS will provide the necessary tools and resources to implement changes in your space.  OOS can offer energy and water conservation devices, like smart strips and faucet aerators, at no cost, and may be able to provide other types of financial support
  2. Gather interested colleagues and schedule a kick-off meeting: To successfully incorporate sustainability into everyday operations, a passionate team lead and representatives from purchasing, event planning, and building operations will be encouraged to collaborate and share information during this meeting. Together we will brainstorm 1-3 specific actions that the office can spend the next quarter working on. The team will work directly with OOS and building occupants to create shared goals and foster community engagement and spirit around the selected initiatives. 
  3. Schedule a training: Choose between a tailored waste training or an energy conservation training. At least ten people must be able to attend the training. This is a great opportunity to involve and educate the entire office and introduce the shared sustainability initiatives selected during the kick-off meeting. 
  4. Action implementation and progress monitoring: Take the targets and goals selected in the kick-off meeting and put them into practice over the next quarter. The green office team (with help from OOS) will develop a communication strategy and monitor progress. Please contact us for educational materials.
  5. Celebrate success: OOS will present the office with a certificate and a digital email signature to celebrate the achievement of their sustainability target goals. 
  6. Follow-Up: OOS will follow up with the green office team to review additional targets and discuss feasibility of implementation after six months. 


Savings will vary from building to building, but some have realized a 20 percent decrease in monthly electricity usage. Nearly 100 buildings have gone through the Cardinal Green Office Program for a total energy reduction of more than 160,000 kWh, or $32,000 annually.