News and Resources


Stanford to Divest from Coal Companies

Acting on a recommendation of Stanford's Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, the Board of Trustees announced today that Stanford will not make direct investments in coal mining companies. The move reflects the availability of alternate energy sources with lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal and is in line with Stanford's Statement on Investment Responsibility. "The university's review has concluded that coal is one of the most carbon-intensive methods of energy generation and that other sources can be readily substituted for it," said Stanford President John Hennessy. "Moving away from coal in the investment context is a small, but constructive, step while work continues, at Stanford and elsewhere, to develop broadly viable sustainable energy solutions for the future."

To learn more, please read the full Stanford Report article


Stanford Enacts Temporary 5% Water Reduction Plan

A Drought Response Plan has identified such university water-saving measures as improving efficiency in water systems and shortening the average length of showers. All measures are designed to cut domestic water use in light of the ongoing drought in California and much of the West. Stanford will reduce its domestic water use by an additional 5 percent for the foreseeable future as the university joins with other municipalities and organizations to respond to the ongoing drought affecting California and much of the West.

To learn more, please read the full Stanford Report article


Sustainability at Stanford: A Year in Review Wins International Communications Award 

Sustainability at Stanford: A Year in Review (2012-13) was just announced as the recipient of the 20th Annual Communicator Awards' Silver Award of Distinction for annual reports at educational institutions. Sustainability at Stanford: A Year in Review is an annual report on sustainability achievements and programs at Stanford, highlighting milestones and accomplishments from research, academic, student, and infrastructural groups across campus. View the winning annual report and prior years' editions at the Sustainable Stanford Publications & Reports site.  

Learn more at the 20th Annual Communicator Awards site


At Stanford, President Hennessy Focuses Campus Attention on Sustainability Progress

Sustainability progress – both academic and operational – was the focus of Stanford President John Hennessy's annual address to the Academic Council on April 17, 2014. The president also praised improvements in undergraduate education and recognized faculty excellence as he outlined university advancements over the past academic year.  Faculty, staff and students will likely begin to see solar panels appearing on about a dozen building roofs throughout campus as the university continues its efforts to embrace sustainability in campus operations.  Those installations are yet another step reflecting the emphasis Stanford has placed over the past several decades on enhancing both academic and operational programs in sustainability – from developing new centers for research and teaching to designing more efficient campus energy and water systems.
As a result of that progress, President John Hennessy focused campus attention on wide-ranging issues of sustainability through his annual address to the Academic Council on Thursday April 17.

To learn more, please read the full Stanford Report article


Good Weather Accelerates SESI Pipe Installation at Stanford

Significant progress has been made on the Stanford Energy System Innovations project, which will eventually cut Stanford water use 15 percent above the 21 percent already achieved since 2000. Underground piping installation is about 85 percent complete. SESI's piping installation is part of a massive project – on target for its $485 million price tag – that will reduce Stanford's carbon emissions by 50 percent and save $300 million over the next 35 years. Perhaps more importantly, given current water conservation needs, the project will reduce campus water use by an estimated 15 percent.  Since 2000, Stanford has already reduced by 21 percent its domestic water use, through building retrofits and other conservation efforts. With the completion of SESI, Stanford's water reduction will increase to 36 percent in just 15 years – a substantial savings that will likely exceed projected targets for organizations and municipalities throughout California.

To learn more, please read the full Stanford Report article 


New Stanford Facility Will Test Water-Recovery Technology

Ground will be broken Tuesday, March 25, on a new Stanford University facility that will test promising technologies for recovery of clean water and energy from wastewater.  The new facility is a collaborative effort among university water-resource specialists and faculty researchers from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Stanford-led Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt). The facility's mission is to accelerate commercial development of new wastewater technologies by testing at a scale large enough to demonstrate a process's effectiveness and stimulate investment for full-scale implementation. The center will also test technology that is mobile and can be deployed at remote locations.  Such new technology is eagerly awaited by water purveyors and wastewater utilities nationwide that struggle with the dual challenge of replacing aging wastewater infrastructure while coping with water shortages.

To learn more, please read the full Stanford Report article


Stanford Honored by Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation has honored Stanford University as a 2013 Tree Campus USA school.  To obtain this distinction, Stanford had to meet five core standards for effective campus forest management:  a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for the campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.  At Stanford, trees and their canopies play a significant role in campus sustainability.  The University Archictect/Campus Planning and Design office and Buildings and Grounds Maintenance department work together to manage and maintain the thousands of trees on Stanford's grounds.

Learn more about the Tree Campus USA program here


California Issues Declaration of Emergency on Drought

California has experienced below average precipitation during the past three years and this water year is exceptionally dry.  On January 17, 2014, Governor Brown issued a Declaration of Emergency for the State of California due to drought and severe water shortage conditions in various parts of the state.  While there are currently no mandatory water restrictions, the Governor is asking for voluntary reductions and Stanford is committed to doing our part.  View the official press release here.

Stanford is currently working with the local authorities to determine next steps for meeting a new water reduction target for California.  To learn more about what you can do to help now, check out the water supply fact sheet and Call to Action.

As plans develop for reducing Stanford's daily water usage, the campus may launch outreach campaigns with targeted reductions, conservation measures, and additional tools and resources that can help the campus collectively reduce water use during this critical time.  


Vice Chair & Chair Elect of AASHE Board

Fahmida Ahmed, who leads the Office of Sustainability, has been named Vice Chair in 2014 and Chair-Elect for 2015 of the board of the largest association of higher education institutions dedicated to advancing sustainability. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) works to convene and support colleges and universities to help lead the sustainability transformation. To learn more, visit the AASHE website 


Lynn Orr to be nominated by White House to head DOE energy research

Professor Franklin "Lynn" Orr, who has served as director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University since 2009, will be nominated by President Obama to serve as Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy, the White House has announced.  Orr would be responsible for overseeing all of the energy and science research programs of the Department of Energy, including the majority of the national laboratories. If Orr's appointment is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he will retire from Stanford to accept the post.

To learn more, please read the full Stanford News article.


Stanford Announces Inaugural Recipient of the Bright Award

Tasso Azevedo, a forestry manager and socio-environmental entrepreneur dedicated to preserving the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Bright Award at Stanford University. The $100,000 prize is given annually to an unheralded individual who has made significant contributions to global sustainability. It is the top environmental award from Stanford.  Azevedo founded the Brazilian non-governmental organization Imaflora to create alternatives to deforestation and was the first chief and director general of the Brazilian Forest Service. The Bright Award, issued by Stanford Law School in collaboration with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, is the only honor of its kind to recognize significant achievement in conservation in different regions of the world. The prize was made possible by a gift to Stanford Law School from alumnus Ray Bright. 

To learn more, please read the full Stanford News article.


Stanford Faculty Awarded $2.2 Million for Innovative Energy Research

Stanford University's Precourt Institute for Energy, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy have awarded 11 seed grants totaling $2.2 million for promising new research in clean technology and energy efficiency.  The seed funding supports early work on concepts that have the potential for very high impact on energy production and use. Through a competitive process, two committees of faculty and senior staff awarded the grants to Stanford researchers from a broad range of disciplines, including engineering, physics, economics, business, communication and education.  Among this year's funding recipients are projects focusing on advancing fuel cell technology, hybrid vehicle technology, and maximizing potential for wind farms. 

To learn more about the research projects selected, please read the full Stanford News article.


Stanford's First-Ever Entry in the DOE-Sponsored Green Building Competition Finishes in Fifth Place

Stanford's first-ever entry in the Department of Energy-sponsored green building competition finished in fifth place last week and was the top team among California-based competitors. The student-built Start.Home finished fifth among an international field of 19 similar projects. The students' solar-powered modular home is built around a Core unit that encapsulates the bulk of the home's electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems – an approach that helped make the home more energy efficient, and could also lead to assembly-line-like production of sustainable homes. The home also featured several design elements meant to guide homeowners toward self-selecting energy-efficient behaviors.  The Start.Home scored in the top five of six categories, including tying for first in "Affordability" – their house cost $234,000, significantly less than any of the projects that finished ahead of Stanford.  The team is now disassembling the house, which will be installed permanently at Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve as a home for the family of the preserve's ranger. 

To learn more, please read the Stanford News article.


Number of Compost Collection Points Doubles at Stanford

In response to hundreds of requests for greater access to composting on the annual R&DE Student Housing Survey, the number of compost collection points across campus will more than double starting November 1st.  Student Housing will be adding a compost collection cart to each dumpster enclosure in Graduate and Undergraduate Housing units with kitchens where one does not currently exist, including Escondido Village, Rains, Mirrielees, Cluster 1, 2, and 3, Lyman, Treat, Yost, Upper and Lower Row, Munger, Murray, and the Dining Societies in Governors Corner. Students will be able to collect compostables (all food, plants, napkins, etc.) in their kitchens with a personal bin and take them to the compost cart in the nearest dumpster enclosure, the same location as the landfill bin.  Students can use any personal container or purchase one easily from the Stanford Bookstore.  The compostables will be collected by PSSI, the campus recycling and garbage company, and taken to Republic's Newby Island compost facility in Milpitas to be processed and composted into soil for more food to grow.  With waste audits revealing that 30% of the materials going to the landfill from Stanford are compostable, this program will help the university to reduce the amount of landfill while increasing the production of soil.  Check out PSSI's website to find out more about campus composting and see what you can compost, and look out for more details in the coming weeks.

To learn more, please visit the PSSI website


Implementation Progresses as SESI is Awarded for Innovation

Installation of 20 miles of underground pipes, steam-to-hot-water conversion of 150 buildings and construction of a new energy facility continue on campus, while more enhancements emerge under the university's Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) program.  SESI is ahead of schedule, with 12 of the 20 miles of the new hot-water system now in place.  The comprehensive, campus-wide, $438 million energy system overhaul will reduce Stanford's carbon emissions by 50 percent, cut water use by 18 percent and save an estimated $300 million over the next 35 years.  When implemented in 2015, SESI will result in one of the most energy-efficient systems in the world - and is already garnering industry attention.  Earlier this month, the SESI project team accepted the Effective and Innovative Practices Award from the Association of Physical Plant Administrators.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.  


Stanford's Environment and Energy Building achieves 'Platinum' grade

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded the highest certification for sustainability in operations and maintenance to Stanford's Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2). Y2E2, the first large-scale, high-performance building at Stanford, was designed to conserve natural resources and offer a unique and extraordinary learning environment. Y2E2 continues to serve as a learning tool for both building occupants and the campus community and in summer 2013 earned a LEED-EBOM (Existing Building: Operations & Maintenance) Platinum certification, the highest rating awarded by the USGBC. 

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.  


Stanford Gets Highest "Green" Rating from Princeton Review

The Princeton Review has named Stanford to its “2014 Green Rating Honor Roll,” one of 22 colleges and universities selected by the education services company as the most environmentally friendly schools in the nation.  Stanford, along with 21 other colleges and universities, received the highest score – 99 – on the annual rating.  Under the green rating project, now in its sixth year, schools are scored on a scale of 60 to 99. The Princeton Review tallied “green rating scores” for 832 colleges.

The “green rating” scores are based on data the company obtained from the colleges in response to a 2012-13 institutional survey with 10 questions.  As part of its portfolio of evaluations work, Stanford's Office of Sustainability tracks key performance indicators related to campus resource use and trends.  This data is made available for third party evaluations like the Princeton Review.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Dish article.    


Earth Sciences Dean Pamela Matson wins Sustainability Science Award

The Ecological Society of America selected School of Earth Sciences Dean Pamela Matson and a team of 14 interdisciplinary researchers to receive its 2013 Sustainability Science Award for their work on the 2011 book, Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution. The award is given to the authors of a scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences.  Matson and a team of 14 interdisciplinary researchers, including seven affiliates of the Freeman Spogli Institute’s Center on Food Security and the Environment, documented 15 years of agricultural development in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, one of the most intensive agricultural regions of the world, and its transition to more sustainable management. 

To learn more, please read the Stanford Dish article.


Solar Car Project Unveils Luminos

The Stanford Solar Car Project has unveiled "Luminos," the sleek, new aerodynamic vehicle built to compete in the 2013 World Solar Challenge. Luminos is the Stanford Solar Car Project’s 11th vehicle since its founding in 1989. Nearly two years of planning, design, fundraising, logistics, building and testing went into producing the new vehicle.  Luminos features several innovative practices and technologies, including drive motors designed and constructed by the team.  The new motors have been verified to have a higher system efficiency than the team's competitors' motors by a significant margin, while still allowing for a significantly superior mechanical design.

To learn more about the new Luminos vehicle, visit the Stanford Solar Car Project's blog.


Give and Go Diverts Nearly 50 Tons of Waste From Landfill

This June, over 2,000 Stanford students took a simple step toward helping the local community and the environment by donating useable, unwanted items to charity during the "Give and Go" move-out.  The items were donated to local charities to benefit families in need. With more than 200 convenient donation sites made available across undergraduate and graduate housing, it was easy for students to take part in the campaign; ultimately diverting over 97,500 lbs (nearly 50 tons!) of materials that were collected by the Ecumenical Hunger Program, Goodwill, and InnVision Shelter Network. The cumulative donations  accounted for at least 15% of the total waste generated during move out being divereted from the landfill, saving R&DE between $2,900-5,000 in landfill and hauling costs and over $10,000 estimated in extra labor, not to mention the benefits of not sending those materials to landfill.  

To learn more, please visit the Give and Go campaign page.


Green Fund Wraps Up Another Successful Year

The Stanford Student Green Fund, now in its fifth year, recently concluded with final presentations where students showcased their accomplishments in eight different areas. Highlights of this year’s Green Fund projects include:

  • Stanford Food Project held 24 events in its "Farm to Fork" series of workshops, lectures, and cooking demonstrations.
  • The SSS Water Group released a revamped leak reporting iPhone app, and is preparing to install a rainwater harvesting system at Synergy House in early June.
  • SWEP held a design workshop for thirty students to create plans for a campus solar charging station. A demonstration station has been installed behind Mitchell Earth Sciences building and will be on campus through June.
  • GLC held another successful Water Wars competition and expanded into an Energy Wars competition as well.

To learn more about this year’s projects, please visit the Green Fund webpage, where the final report will be available in June.


Stanford Scientists Urge Action on Climate Change

Stanford scientists recently presented California Governor Jerry Brown with a consensus statement urging immediate and drastic action to address climate change. The document was signed by 520 scientists from 44 countries, including 48 from Stanford. The statement provides a number of specific policy recommendations, including actions to reduce global overpopulation, to replace fossil fuels with carbon-neutral energy sources, and to plan adaptation measures for climate impacts. In receiving the statement, the governor commented on the importance of communicating the science of climate change to the public, something a number of Stanford professors are achieving.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.


Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu Returns to Stanford

After serving four years as the secretary of energy, Nobel laureate Steven Chu is returning to Stanford University as a professor of physics and molecular and cellular physiology. At Stanford, Chu plans to engage students and faculty from across campus to develop ways to facilitate addressing the country's energy problems, focusing on new pathways to sustainable, carbon-neutral energy.


As the first scientist to head the Department of Energy, Chu launched several initiatives to encourage development of innovative new energy technologies. His efforts helped double the deployment of renewable energy in the United States. On May 15th, Chu spoke on campus about his experiences in the Obama administration at the 30th annual Bunyan Lecture.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.


Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve Celebrates 40th Anniversary

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford’s remarkable 1,200-acre field station where pioneering scientific research has been generated in more than a dozen disciplines. Since 1973, research conducted at the preserve has transformed fundamental ecology science. Now, interdisciplinary studies are providing more guidance than ever on how to apply that work to help conserve the planet. In honor of its 40th year, the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and Stanford Continuing Studies offered two programs, "Reviving the Science/Statecraft Dialogue" and a "Live Broadcast of National Public Radio’s Science Friday," with journalist, science educator, and author Ira Flatow.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.


Sustainable IT program named finalist in 2013 Green Enterprise IT Awards

Stanford will be honored on May 13 by the Uptime Institute as a finalist in their 2013 Green Enterprise IT Awards. Stanford ‘s case study featured server consolidation at the Clark Center, one of campus’ top energy-consuming buildings. IT was able to relocate servers from Clark Center, where research space is at a premium, over to a new centralized data center, where servers are able to operate at much higher efficiencies. The project will save annual energy costs of over $65,000.

To learn more, please read the award application.


Al Gore Speaks on Campus

Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore spoke to a capacity audience at Memorial Auditorium as part of the inaugural Stephen H. Schneider Memorial Lecture, in honor of the Stanford professor and world-renowned climate scientist who died in 2010. Schneider and Gore worked together on several projects and shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for "informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change."

In a far-reaching, impassioned call to civic and environmental action, Gore warned against a political system that fails to serve the majority's interest when it comes to climate change and other pressing issues. Gore urged students to become politically active in order to bring about positive environmental change.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.


Celebrating Sustainability Festival a Success

Stanford’s Earth Day festival, entitled “Celebrating Sustainability,” was a great success. Over 1,000 members of the campus community visited the event, held on the SEQ lawns, to learn more about campus sustainability achievements and how to do their part to reduce their environmental impact. Guests dined on local, sustainable food provided by Stanford Catering and received reusable grocery bags as well as other environmentally friendly gifts. The event was designed to be zero waste: all items, including compostable balloons and signage, were designed to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable. Electricity for the event was provided by a solar generator. The wide success of the event showcases Stanford’s commitment to sustainability as a core value.

To learn more and view photo highlights, please visit the event webpage.



In partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Princeton Review released its annual Guide to Green Colleges. The handbook profiles the 322 schools out of 806 that scored 83/99 or better on a 50-question sustainability survey. Stanford scored 96 points and has been included in the publication for the fourth consecutive year. A half-page profile highlights many of the university’s accomplishments.

For more information on the 2013 guide and the survey methodology, please visit the Princeton Review’s recent press release.


Start.home featured in Fast Company

Stanford’s Solar Decathlon team is already receiving national recognition for their entry into the DOE-sponsored competition, which will be held in October. Fast Company magazine recently featured the home on their website, emphasizing the novel modular design that has the potential to revolutionize the green building industry. The home is currently being constructed on campus behind Mitchell building and can also be toured at the competition in Irvine, CA in October.

To learn more, please read the Fast Company article.


Solar Decathlon Begins Construction on Net Zero Home

Stanford's Solar Decathlon team broke ground today on a model home powered 100% by solar energy. The home is part of a national competition put on by the U.S. Department of Energy, and marks Stanford's first year participating as one of 20 collegiate teams. Students have been working for over a year to design the home, which will be powered by a 7 kW solar array. Once fully constructed and tested, the home will be disassembled and moved to Irvine for the national competition in October. Public tours of the site will begin on Earth Day and in the meantime, you can check in on construction by visiting the site behind Mitchell Earth Sciences Building (across from Terman) or by checking out time lapse videos on YouTube.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.


Stanford's Transplant Program Relocates over 1,000 Trees

Stanford's tree transplant program was recently featured in The Stanford Report. The program began in 1996 with the construction of the university's Science and Engineering Quad. Instead of demolishing trees at construction sites, Stanford boxes them up, moves them to temporary homes, and returns them to the site once construction is complete. Stanford arborists closely monitor the health of transplanted trees, with an impressive 85% survival rate. Adding mature trees to new building sites also helps maintain a campus aesthetic and appeal. The transplant program is a testament to Stanford's commitment to sustainability in all realms of campus operations.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.


Green Fund Project Launches with Clothing Swap, March 10

Closetloop, one of the 2012-23 Green Fund recipients, will be officially launching on Sunday, March 10 with a clothing swap at Arrillaga Family Dining Commons from 12-2pm.

Closetloop seeks to promote waste reduction and reuse through a website that enables students to sell gently used clothing to one another. At the launch event, students can bring articles of clothing they no longer want and swap them for clothing brought by others. The event will also feature a DIY station where visitors can stud, sparkle, and revamp their clothes.

To learn more, please visit the event facebook page.


Film Screening: Chasing Ice Featuring Terry Root, March 4

On March 4, The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will host a film screening of acclaimed documentary Chasing Ice in CEMEX auditorium in the Knight Management Center at 7pm. The film follows photographer James Balog, a one-time climate change skeptic who set out to document our changing planet. It's "full of stunning images in addition to being timely ... as watchable as it is important," according to The New York Times. The film features Stanford Professor Terry Root, and will be followed by a panel discussion with the film's producer and director, Stanford alumnus Jeff Orlowski, as well as Stanford Woods Fellows Terry Root, Noah Diffenbaugh, Michael Wara.

To learn more, please visit the Woods event posting.


Stanford Launches New Water Efficiency Website

Stanford's Water Conservation group has launched a newly updated Environmental Quality and Water Efficiency website. The goal of the website is to make water conservation information more readily accessible to the campus community, and contains detailed information on a variety of useful topics such as storm water, wastewater, drinking water, and water efficiency. Resources include detailed information on renovations and design guidelines, environmental compliance guidelines, stats on Stanford's water quality and water consumption, maps of Stanford's water features and water efficiency projects, a water footprint calculator, and much more.

To learn more, please visit the new website.


New Campus Energy Facility Featured on Cover of Local Magazine

Stanford's SESI program was recently highlighted in a feature article in the Bay Area Building Management Resource Guide magazine, which placed rendering of the new campus Central Energy Facility front and center on the magazine cover. The feature article described the SESI program and how it is innovating Stanford's energy infrastructure. The magazine also profiled Joe Stagner, the concept lead for SESI and the Executive Director of the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management.

To read the SESI article, please click here.


SESI Featured in Today's Campus Magazine

The January/February issue of Today's Campus, a business magazine for institutions of higher education, features an article on Stanford's sustainability achievements. Written by Joe Stagner, Executive Director of Sustainability and Energy Management, the article explains how Stanford is leading sustainability by example through the SESI program, which converts the campus from steam to hot water, implements a new heat recovery system, and frees up the campus from fossil-fuel based cogeneration to procuring clean electricity from the grid. When complete in 2015, SESI will reduce Stanford's carbon emissions 50% and reduce campus potable water use 18%. The article also mentions the strides Stanford has made in topics such as water, transportation, energy efficiency, and sustainable food systems.

To learn more, please read the article in Today's Campus magazine.


New Searsville Dam Website Launched

Stanford has launched a new website dedicated to providing the latest news updates about Searsville Dam. The website also contains an FAQ and links to additional information about the work of the Searsville Steering Committee and Searsville Alternatives Study. Built in 1892, the dam has been owned by Stanford since 1919 and provides a source of non-potable water used on campus for landscape irrigation. A faculty and staff committee that includes Stanford scholars who specialize in engineering, environmental science, history, and law is studying alternatives for the future of Searsville Dam

To learn more, please visit the Searsville website.


Stanford Solar Research Project Honored by National Geographic

Since 2007, Stanford researchers have been evaluating the social and environmental impacts of using solar arrays to power irrigation systems for gardens in Northern Benin. The project started with funding from the Stanford Woods Institute's Environmental Venture Projects and recently received international recognition when it was named to National Geographic's list of "Five Most Hopeful Energy Stories of 2012." The Benin solar market garden project, led by Center on Food Security and the Environment Fellow Jennifer Burney, was heralded by National Geographic as a "solution in the developing world."

To learn more, please read the Stanford Woods Institute article.


Global Food Security Symposium To be Held on February 5

Members of the public and Stanford community are invited to attend a lecture and reception on February 5 focused on the topic of "Africa's Food Systems in 2030." Part of the Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium Series, the lecture will be from 3-5pm at Bechtel Conference Center and will includes two speakers. Paul Collier, Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University, will discuss how to manage the difference between helpful and damaging commercialization. Derek Byerlee, Director of the 2009 World Development Report, will lay out a number of models of inclusive agribusiness growth. The Symposium series brings the world's leading policy experts in the fields of food and agricultural development to Stanford to participate in an integrated, twelve-lecture series on pro-poor growth and food security policy.

To learn more, please visit the FSI website.


Winter Energy Seminar Schedule Announced

The weekly Energy Seminar, co-sponsored by the Precourt Institute for Energy and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, returned on January 7 with a talk by Arno Harris, the CEO of Recurrent Energy. The Energy Seminar is held each Monday at 4:15pm in NVIDIA Auditorium at Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center, and is free and open to all. Many Energy Seminars are followed by MAP Energy Socials from 5:15-6:15pm. Energy Seminars feature leaders in the energy field speaking on current events, new advancements, and exciting technologies that promise a cleaner energy future. Winter quarter topics include energy entrepreneurship, nuclear waste, and new energy materials. Video and audio of past energy seminars are available on iTunesU for free.

To learn more, please visit the Energy Seminar website.


Student Team Wins EPA Grant

The Stanford Dhaka Project, largely coordinated through Stanford’s chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), received prestigious federal recognition when their project was awarded a $15,000 grant through the US Environmental Protection Agency's People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability. The project aims to develop a cheap, low maintenance device to provide clean drinking water through chlorine disinfection. The prototype device is currently being tested in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The total capital cost of each device is a mere $5, and has the potential to improve water quality in urban areas with shared drinking water points. ESW will continue to refine and test their device in the coming year.

To learn more, please read the Stanford Report article.


Precourt Institute for Energy Debuts New Energy Portal

Precourt Institute for Energy (PIE) recently debuted a brand new energy gateway for the campus community. The new portal provides a jump-off point for all energy-related activities on campus, and includes searchable databases of energy courses, faculty, and research projects. PIE’s website also compiles Stanford energy news both on campus and in the wider media. The new website helps to cement PIE’s place as the hub of energy research and education at Stanford.

To learn more, please visit the new PIE website.


New Food Truck Policy Emphasizes Zero Waste

Stanford recently announced a new food truck policy on campus. All food truck vendors must meet new requirements which include adhering to Stanford’s zero waste guidelines. Trucks must provide clearly labeled bins for trash, recyclables, and compostables and must recycle and compost as much as possible. No Styrofoam is permitted on campus and use of plastic bags must be minimized. The trucks also must use recyclable or compostable serviceware and packaging. These guidelines will insure that Stanford’s sustainability goals are met by vendors, and represent an important step in cultivating a culture of sustainability campus-wide.

For more information, please read the Stanford Report article.


Sustainable Stanford Training Now Available

Earlier this fall, the first series of open enrollment training opportunities focused on sustainable choices launched through AXESS. The inaugural course module, SST-1000: Sustainable Office Spaces, reviews the Building Level Sustainability Program and actions that support the ongoing “Building Hero” campaign. During the October session, 15 staff members convened for hands-on lessons on Smart Strips, timers, and light meters. Subsequently, many class participants have completed audits of their buildings and are working to implement identified efficiency measures.

Slots remain for the December training. Enroll now in AXESS!


Campus Begins Preparations for Annual Winter Closure

Are you ready to turn off for break? As the winter season approaches, Stanford is preparing for the campus’s annual Winter Closure. Sustainability is a core value at Stanford and Winter Closure continues to be an excellent way to conserve energy and reduce operating expenses. Thanks to joint efforts last year, Winter Closure 2011 saved $266,000, nearly 25% more than the 2010 savings. We hope to build on that momentum and exceed prior savings by an additional 10% this year. Everyone can do their part –contact your building manager to see if your building is participating and check out our How To Turn Off For Break guide for tips on individual actions you can take.

For more information, please visit the Winter Closure campaign website.


Office of Sustainability Welcomes new Outreach Program Manager

Colleen Kredell recently joined the Office of Sustainability as the Outreach Program Manager. Colleen will be managing the ongoing development of the Office of Sustainability’s outreach, campus education and training programs. Her portfolio includes the design and management of the Office’s Cardinal Green campaign series, employee and student training materials, and online and print collateral materials. Prior to joining Stanford, Colleen served as a program manager for a sustainability engagement initiative at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions in Washington D.C. In this capacity, she developed and delivered educational outreach programs for employees and community members at Bank of America, Alcoa Inc., Entergy Corporation and Citigroup. Colleen’s previous experience in environmental communications includes roles at Worldwatch Institute, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Australian conservation organization Bush Heritage Australia.

Colleen can be reached at 650-723-2031, Welcome Colleen!


Case Study Released on Stanford's Energy Retrofit Programs

Stanford was once again featured in Greening the Bottom Line 2012, a publication of the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI). The report investigates the prevalence of green revolving funds on campuses across the US. As shown in SEI’s report, the Energy Retrofit Program, the Whole Building Retrofit Program, and the Water Conservation Program contributed to Stanford’s having one of the largest fund sizes and a significant number of sustainability projects on campus. Stanford's funds have cumulatively invested more than $41 million in energy-related projects on campus.

To learn more, please read the SEI report.


Stanford Community Invited to Learn More about SESI

On Monday, October 29th from 4:15-5:45 pm, representatives from LBRE will host a community meeting about Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) at NVIDIA Auditorium in Huang Engineering Center. Hosted in conjunction with the Energy Seminar, the meeting will include an introduction and background of the project and a panel discussion with Professors Chris Edwards, Lynn Orr, Jim Sweeney and John Weyant.

SESI is a collection of operationally distinct projects designed to meet the university’s energy demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. When completed, the current set of projects anticipated under the SESI program will reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, save 18% of campus potable water, open up the energy supply platform to future technologies, enable the campus to better manage its power portfolio, and yield utilities savings.

To learn more, please attend the community meeting.


Stanford Breaks Ground on New Energy Facility

Stanford University will break ground on Wednesday, Oct. 10, on a first-of-its-kind energy facility that will be key to reducing the campus' carbon emissions by 50 percent, cutting water use by 18 percent and saving an estimated $300 million over the next 35 years. The new facility is part of the Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI), a project scheduled for completion in 2015. When fully implemented, SESI will be among the most energy-efficient systems of any major research university in the world.

Under SESI, Stanford will transition from relying on fossil-fuel based cogeneration to a more efficient electricity-based combined heating and cooling process that utilizes heat recovery. The new all-electric central energy facility allows Stanford to procure electricity from any number of diverse sources, including renewable sources like wind or solar power. The facility will be operated by an automated control system invented at Stanford. The new facility also allows the university to regenerate the waste heat that the cogeneration plant discarded. An estimated 70 percent of the waste heat created by chilling water will now be used to supply 80 percent of the heating and hot water required for campus buildings.

For more information on SESI and the new facility, please read the Stanford Report article.


Stanford Students Invited to Sustainability Welcome Reception

Members of the Stanford community are invited to join the Office of Sustainability and partners at a sustainability welcome reception and open house on October 18 from 4-6pm in Old Union Courtyard. This event is designed to inspire students to explore environmental sustainability issues by featuring the ways in which they can participate through academic pursuits and campus action. There will be information on student groups, majors, course, off-campus programs, funding opportunities and more! The event will feature free food, live music, raffle prizes, and giveaways.

To learn more and RSVP, please visit the Welcome Reception page.


Third Annual Food Summit to be held on October 24

Stanford University researchers and scholars and local food activists are invited to Food Summit 3, a one-day symposium designed to unite people from all corners of the Stanford community who are interested in improving the quality of the food we produce, provide and consume.The symposium will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Arrillaga Alumni Center, with a public forum to follow that evening at Memorial Auditorium.

Food Summit 3 aims to connect Stanford faculty, graduate students and undergraduates who are interested in food-systems research with members of community-based food organizations. The symposium will present findings from three pilot projects that grew out of the Stanford-community partnerships established at the second Food Summit event in 2011. The projects, in the areas of farm-to-school food, hospital food and food-bank food, are just the first examples of what the organizers hope will become a larger effort to encourage food-systems research at Stanford.

To learn more, please visit the Food Summit Website.


Stanford Transportation System Highlighted in Metro Magazine

Metro magazine recently surveyed university campus transportation systems around the U.S. to learn what new improvements were being installed for the new school year. First on their list was Stanford. Parking & Transportation Services director Brodie Hamilton shared insights on campus transportation improvements, including adding additional bike racks on Marguerite buses, providing free in-vehicle Wi-Fi, adding additional hybrid buses, altering route timing to better match class schedules, and providing improved methods to track real-time bus progress and help the community figure out when the next bus will be arriving.

To learn more, please read the full article at Metro Magazine.


2012-13 Green Fund Application Now Available

The Stanford Student Green Fund, now entering its fifth year, is soliciting applications for student-led projects that improve the environmental sustainability of the physical campus. Past projects have led to the student freestore Union Underground, new labels for all waste bins on campus, drip irrigation systems for campus gardens, solar hot water heaters on dorms, and many more great campus improvements. Final reports from past years, including 2011-12, are available online. Project applications are due November 5th.

To learn more and apply, please visit the Green Fund page.


Sustainable Stanford Publishes Fourth Annual Year in Review Publication

Sustainability at Stanford: A Year in Review 2011-12 is now available online. This flagship publication of the Office of Sustainability presents noteworthy initiatives and accomplishments of both academic and operational departments from the past year. It summarizes operational, academic, and programmatic highlights, presents metrics and trends, and provides an in-depth review of featured topics. This year’s report features many notable changes from previous years: an in-depth look at several featured topics, and an additional emphasis on academic initiatives in sustainability, showing their remarkable breadth and contribution to Stanford as a living laboratory. Over thirty-five departments and groups from the entire campus community contributed content to this annual report, which highlights Stanford’s flourishing culture of sustainability.

To learn more, please download the 2011-12 edition of Sustainability at Stanford: A Year in Review.


Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Launches Redesigned Website

This week the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment launched a major redesign of its website, with a completely new look and navigation, enhanced functionality, and other features designed to showcase its research community and its work. A key milestone in the Stanford Woods Institute’s 2012-2015 Strategic Plan, the website redesign is the most significant change to its online home since 2006.

“Our strategic direction and core research areas have evolved and it’s time to reflect that progress in our online presence,” said Stanford Woods Institute Executive Director Debbie Drake Dunne. “We wanted a more intuitive website experience that makes our work accessible to the scholarly community, the campus at large, and the many stakeholders looking for solutions-oriented research when making decisions about the environment and sustainability.”

To learn more, please visit the Stanford Woods Institute website .


Stanford’s Sustainability Initiatives Featured in Silicon Valley Business Journal

Recently, the Silicon Valley Business Journal sat down with Joe Stagner, executive director of Sustainability & Energy Management (SEM) to discuss Stanford’s campus sustainability programs. The interview, published in the September 14 edition of the journal, highlighted Stanford’s efforts to reduce the campus footprint in topics of energy, water, waste, and transportation, through programs such as Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI), room temperature biological sample storage, and campus solar initiatives. The article also described some of Stanford’s student-focused sustainability programs, such as campus organic gardens, housing co-ops, sustainability tours, and off-campus academic programs with sustainable focuses, such as Hopkins Marine Station and Earth Systems in Hawaii..

To learn more, please visit the Silicon Valley Business Journal website .


Look for Sustainable Stanford at New Student Orientation Events

Sustainable Stanford will once again participate in the 2012 RA Resource Fair, New Student Athlete Orientation, Zero Waste Lunch, GOALIE, and the Engineering Student Services Fair. Representatives will share information about campus sustainability programs, upcoming campaigns, and other resources throughout New Student Orientation. Copies of the Tree’s Pocket Guide to a Sustainable Stanford, the Sustainability on the Farm Students’ Guide, Sustainability at Stanford: A Year in Review, and other materials, including Fact Sheets and “How To Guides” will be available.

To learn more, please visit the Publications and Reports page.


Incoming Students Receive Electronic “Sustainability on the Farm” Guide

For the fourth consecutive year, incoming and transfer students received a digital copy of “Sustainability on the Farm,” the Office of Sustainability’s guide to sustainable living practices for students. The publication was included in the students’ “Approaching Stanford” materials, sent electronically in advance of the academic year. The guide provides practical tips on best practices in dorms, dining halls, and classrooms.

To learn more, please download the third edition of Sustainability on the Farm.


Office of Sustainability Seeks Sustainability Outreach Program Manager

The Office of Sustainability seeks an experienced and committed Outreach Program Manager to lead and manage the outreach, campus education and training components of the office’s sustainability programs and services. This position will advance outreach and educational aspects of program management in sustainability campaign design and execution, print and media publications, staff and student training, within the framework of the strategic vision for sustainability at Stanford.

The ideal candidate will come from a sustainability communications and management background with proven industry work experience in program design and delivery. The individual must be self-directed, have a suite of creative skills, proven work portfolio and the ability to manage teamwork when appropriate. This is an advanced and exciting opportunity for a sustainability practitioner to be part of one of the top institutions consistently recognized for its leadership in campus sustainability.

To apply, please visit (Job ID # 49397).


Stanford Earns Third Place in Sierra Magazine’s Cool Schools Ranking

For the third consecutive year, Stanford was recognized in Sierra magazine’s “Cool Schools” sustainability ranking, which salutes U.S. colleges and universities that are helping solve climate problems and are making significant efforts to operate sustainably. This year Stanford earned third place, the best “Cool Schools” ranking to date for the university. Published in the September/October 2012 issues of Sierra, the feature story highlights Stanford’s organic gardens, which grow fruit, vegetables, and even wheat and barley used for bread and beer making classes. Other commended programs include transportation, water, planning, and innovation.

To learn more, please read the recent Stanford News coverage.


Stanford’s First LEED-EBOM Project Underway at Y2E2

Stanford recently began the formal process to seek LEED-EBOM (Existing Building: Operations & Maintenance) certification for its Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment + Energy (Y2E2) building, the first large-scale, mixed-use, high-performance building on campus. The Y2E2 LEED-EBOM certification project is a donor-funded effort initiated by Stanford Woods Institute faculty and coordinated through Stanford’s Office of Sustainability. As the first LEED-EBOM certification at SEQ and on campus, the Y2E2 project will allow Stanford to evaluate the benefits of the certification process and further investigate opportunities in the design and operation of high-performance buildings.

To learn more about Y2E2, please download the Environment + Energy building fact sheet and please visit the Y2E2 building dashboard.


Stanford Expert Testifies Before Congress on Climate Change

Stanford Professor Chris Field testified before the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works about the pressing need to address climate change. Field, a professor of biology and environmental Earth system science, founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and Faculty Director of Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, has led research for nearly two decades on the responses of California grasslands to climate change, and is a head member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The contentious committee hearing was intended to update lawmakers on the latest climate change science. Field’s testimony emphasized the impacts that climate change will have on local weather extremes such as heat waves, heavy rains, and droughts. Field’s testimony and extensive research on the subject aims to inform policymakers and help them to develop plans that mitigate damages from climate change.

To learn more, please review the recent Stanford News coverage.


Highlight Video from Celebrating Sustainability Event Released

A new video captures highlights from the Celebrating Sustainability event held in Monday, May 7th, 2012. Achievements of the past as well as an outlook for the future were shared during the landmark event, which culminated the recent and collaborative planning effort on campus that was undertaken to identify a shared and actionable vision for sustainability in the coming years.

To watch the video, please click here. To learn more about the event, please visit the Celebrating Sustainability website.



Former Secretary of State George Schultz, now a fellow at the Hoover Institute, has for many years been a strong advocate of renewable energy and bipartisan solutions to combat climate change. He holds leadership positions across Stanford, including advisory council chair of the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency. In a recent Q&A with the Stanford Report, Schultz explained why he believes energy is a pressing issue, how he leads by example in reducing his personal energy footprint, and the carbon tax proposal that his Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy has developed. Schultz believes that addressing climate change and the nation's energy future should be a bipartisan issue.

For further reading: Stanford Report, "Stanford's George Shultz on energy: It's personal"



Stanford’s overall sustainability performance has earned a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Data from campus operations, academics, and institutional programs was collated and submitted to AASHE’s Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS). The full assessment, publicly available online, represents input from more than 30 university departments and organizations. From AASHE’s membership pool of over 1000, Stanford is one of just 35 institutions to earn a gold STARS rating, the highest level awarded to date. As a Charter Participant in STARS, Stanford engaged in substantive dialogue with AASHE to influence future maturation of the rating system, now the main data source for all third-party sustainability evaluations.

To learn more about the AASHE STARS program, please visit:

To view Stanford’s complete STARS submission, please visit:

Read the Stanford Report's article, "Stanford earns gold rating for sustainability efforts."



The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment announced it has awarded five Environmental Venture Projects (EVP) grants, funding innovative research projects aimed at finding solutions to major environmental and sustainability challenges. The five funded grants total $833,000 over two years, and bring the total the project has awarded to $7.2 million since its inception in 2004.

For further reading: Stanford Report, “Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment announces 2012 Environmental Venture Project awards.”



For her work to promote sustainability in higher education, Fahmida Ahmed, director of Stanford’s Office of Sustainability, earned one of three individual prizes awarded at the 2012 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Including her prior work at UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley, Ms. Ahmed has been an active member of the consortium since 2006, and now holds the distinction of being the inaugural recipient of the Private College Sustainability Champion Award. The designation recognizes “an individual who has been a role model to their peers around the state; has promoted sustainability throughout their campus; achieved results; and who truly embodies the term ‘leader’.”

Since joining Stanford’s staff in 2008, Ms. Ahmed’s contributions to campus sustainability include development of Stanford’s Climate and Energy Plan, the CEE/ES 109 service-learning course, the Student Green Fund, and numerous publications and outreach materials. Most recently, Ms. Ahmed forged partnerships between the UC system and the Ivy Plus consortium to influence national sustainability evaluations. Ms. Ahmed’s future work includes the implementation of Sustainability 3.0, a collaborative effort between campus academics and operations that underscores Stanford’s status as a national leader in sustainability teaching, research, and action.

For a full list of award winners at this year’s conference, visit




Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) represents a revolutionary step in campus energy supply, and interested community members can now learn about the project at an interactive website, Approved by the Board of Trustees in December 2011, the SESI project is now underway to convert all campus steam piping to hot water, and to replace the current aging cogeneration plant with a new heat recovery facility. Once complete, SESI will reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and campus potable water use by 18%. The new website explains the SESI project in detail, including related articles, the new climate action video, and an updated project FAQ. Most notably, the new website contains an interactive campus map showing current and upcoming areas of construction.



The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosts an energy forum titled, “New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy,” at Stanford’s Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center. The forum will consider increases in North American supplies of natural gas and petroleum, and the effect on energy choices, climate change, and national security. Participants include staff from Facebook, Chevron, Duke Energy, Sun Microsystems, Farallon Capital Management; directors from the Global Climate and Energy Project, and Hoover Institute; former Michigan Governor Jennifer Grandholm, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Treasury, and State George Shultz.

To read more about the event, visit:



The Stanford University Medical Center (SUMC) was recognized for multiple awards and commendations from Practice Greenhealth, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing environmental solutions for the healthcare sector. A staff-driven initiative, the medical center continues to examine way to increase resource savings from composting and recycling, to utilizing non-disposable medical tools. This year, staff focused on efforts in its operating rooms, known to generate 20 to 30 percent of a hospital’s total waste. In addition to saving resources at Stanford’s medical facility, Stanford also became of member of the advisory board of the Health Care Plastics Recycling Council, aimed at expanding the medical industry’s sustainability.

Learn more about SUMC’s sustainability initiatives, including a YouTube video of green operating room practices.



The Stanford chapter of the Coastal Society presented several campus events this month designed to examine the state of ocean fisheries and the future of seafood. “Sustainable Seafood Month” events included film screenings of ‘Sushi The Global Catch,’ and ‘The End of the Line.’ The annual Cardinal Cook-Off, which partners students with Stanford Dining chefs featured sustainable halibut. An expert panel discussion titled, ‘The role of business and consumers in the future of sustainable seafood’ was held May 17. The series of events were co-sponsored by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford Dining, and Stanford Speakers Bureau.



On Thursday, May 10, 2012 the Stanford community participated in the Bay Area's 18th annual Bike to Work Day. More than 1,200 bicycle commuters were counted coming onto campus – approximately 100 more riders than last year. Nine Stanford Energizer Stations were sponsored by Parking & Transportation Services, and offered encouragement, snacks, and prizes for those who logged their mileage. The riders who stopped to log mileage reported an average round-trip commute of 10.3 miles, and a total of 2,330 miles, which translates to 2,213 pounds of CO2 emissions avoided. In addition to prizes offered for logging miles, Stanford community members could win a Fuji Crosstown 4.0 bike, donated by the Campus Bike Shop for taking the Stanford Bike Safety Pledge.



Stanford University will hold the first “Celebrating Sustainability at Stanford” event on May 7th, 2012. The event is designed to celebrate sustainability milestones and accomplishments at Stanford, as well as share achievements of the past and an outlook for the future. The event will culminate a recent and collaborative planning effort on campus that was undertaken to identify a shared and actionable vision for sustainability in the coming years. The event, open to all Stanford faculty, staff, students, and community members, will include Sustainability in Research, Curriculum, and Action – panel discussion, Next Steps in Leading Sustainability by Action, closing remarks by Provost and Acting President John Etchemendy, and a zero-waste reception to follow. To register for this free event, please RSVP online here.



The Office of Sustainability, PSSI/Stanford Recycling Center, and Parking & Transportation Services participated in the 8th annual Wellness Fair at the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation. In keeping with this year’s theme “Small Steps, Big Strides,” PSSI/Stanford Recycling gave participants free small trash bins, challenging Stanford employees to fit a week’s worth of trash into the bin. P&TS highlighted the multitude of alternative transportation options on campus and encouraged employees to record their favorite part of their commute. The Office of Sustainability offered participants “The Tree’s Pocket Guide to a Sustainable Stanford,” a new publication that outlines carefully selected simple sustainable actions that are easy to complete, yet make a big difference at Stanford when completed by everyone.



The Office of Sustainability carefully studied and identified key individual sustainable actions that are easy to complete, yet make a big difference by conserving resources, reducing costs, and engaging the campus community. Stanford students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to pledge to complete one, many, or even all of the actions over the course of the next six months and make sustainability part of their daily habits. Former Stanford Tree extraordinaire, Jonathan Strange, demonstrated each sustainable act, and the collection of photos and suggestions are published in “The Tree’s Pocket Guide to a Sustainable Stanford,” a publication intended for the entire campus community.

Read more about the Earth Day campaign, download the guide, and take the pledge.



On Monday, April 16, 2012, Stanford experts from a range of disciplines will discuss the interconnections and interactions among humanity's needs for and use of water, food, energy, and environment, in a symposium titled, "Connecting the Dots: The Water, Food, Energy, and Climate Nexus." Drawing on their own research, the speakers will illustrate and evaluate some of the ways in which decisions in one resource area can lead to trade-offs or co-benefits in others. Symposium attendees will participate in breakout sessions, led by Stanford students and faculty, on a range of challenges associated with sustainable freshwater.

Read more and register for this event at:



After retrofitting four campus buildings for greater energy efficiency, Stanford University has earned $1.6 million in cash rebates from PG&E. Upgrades to heating, cooling, ventilation, electrical and water systems were carried out over the course of two years. Altogether, the improvements are expected to save more than $1.8 million annually in energy costs.

Since 1990, Stanford has earned nearly $4 million through PG&E’s energy efficiency incentive programs. The retrofitted buildings include the Beckman Center for Genetic and Molecular Medicine, Gilbert Biological Sciences building, Cantor Arts Center, and Green Library West (also known as the Bing Wing).

Read more about the Whole Building Retrofit Program.



The Knight Management Center, an eight-building complex at the Graduate School of Business, has achieved a LEED Platinum® rating by the U.S. Green Building Council – the organization’s highest certification level. The buildings received 60 points, far above the 52-point threshold for Platinum. Among the energy-efficient features of the buildings are photovoltaic panels on the roof that produce enough solar energy to meet 12.5% of the complex’s annual demand.

Read the full story on the Graduate School of Business' website here.



Stanford’s BeWell Program sat down with Fahmida Ahmed, who directs the Office of Sustainability, to discuss the intersection of wellness and sustainability. Ms. Ahmed spoke about why sustainability matters, how personal wellness and sustainability intersect, and what individuals can do to make a difference in their personal lives and on campus. “Just as personal wellness is about long-term living and existence, wellness and sustainability are linked philosophically and in practice because they have the natural environment as the common denominator,” she says, “and what’s good for one’s individual health is also a strategy for saving natural resources.”

Read the full BeWell interview here:



The Office of Sustainability recently surveyed a very small but randomly selected sample of Stanford students, faculty, and staff. The survey, titled ‘Sustainability Practices at Stanford’ sought to identify baseline levels of environmental sustainability awareness and everyday practice on campus. Questions included habits and barriers focused on office and room lighting, computers, monitors, and printer use, air conditioners and heaters, refrigerators, reusable products, water, recycling and composting, food choices, and the influence of others.

Contributors to the design of the survey included the Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford’s Health Improvement Program (HIP), Stanford Dining, Students for a Sustainable Stanford, Green Living Council, and the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU).

For results, see: Stanford Report, “It’s like your mom said: ‘Turn off that light!’”



The RecycleMania 2012 campaign kicked off in early February and saw a record number of pledges, over 650 in its first three weeks. For each week of the campaign, students, faculty, and staff are asked to visit the RecycleMania campaign page and pledge to keep recyclables out of the landfill/trash bins. 2012 marks Stanford's sixth year in the national competition, a benchmarking tool for higher education recycling programs, with over 200 college and universities competing across the U.S. This year, the Office of Sustainability enhanced the existing campaign by offering $1500 in participation prizes.



For the ninth year in a row, Stanford University was recognized as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters by the National Center for Transit Research in 2011. Stanford also competed in the Best Workplaces for Commuters 2011 Race to Excellence. The award recognizes those who offer the highest levels of commuter benefits. Stanford was honored with the “Best Of” award, the top prize in the Race to Excellence.

Further reading: Stanford Report, "Stanford wins top honors among workplaces for commuters".



The Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability is one of eight initiatives in The Stanford Challenge that began in 2006. This particular initiative focused on teaching and research in five areas, freshwater, land use and conservation, climate and energy, oceans and estuaries, and the sustainable built environment, which resulted in $432.8 million raised. Led by Pam Matson, Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, with Jeffrey Koseff and Buzz Thompson co-directors of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, this initiative has brought great awareness to and investment in educational resources.

Highlights of the results for the Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability can be read here.

With a total result of $6.23 billion, The Stanford Challenge was “a five-year campaign aimed at seeking solutions to complex global problems and educating the next generation of leaders.” Read the final report here.



The Department of Sustainability and Energy Management and Zone Management announced the results and participation winners of the 2011 winter closure. Exceeding the performance goal of a 10% improvement in energy and cost savings, 168 total buildings participated and increased operating savings by 32%, with a cumulative net energy cost savings since 2001 totalling $2.5 million. The Juniper Building, Braun Music Center, and trades & crafts supervisor Scott Hofflander were participation raffle winners.

Further Reading: Stanford Report, "‘Turn Off for Break’ campaign nets $266,000 in savings." Additional energy saving results are available on the Winter Closure site.



The Stanford Commute Club celebrated its 10-year anniversary, and increases the Commute Club Clean Air Cash and Carpool Credit from $282 per year to $300. With nearly 8,000 members participating in the Commute Club, the program helps reduce peak-hour commute trips, a critical goal in the university's growth plan. For further reading, visit the Commute Club site.



To further engage users into its programs and campaigns, raise awareness of sustainable choices and resources, Sustainable Stanford launched news feeds on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.



Kristin Parineh joined Stanford's Student Housing as the Sustainability and Conservation Program Manager. Kristin received her Masters degree in Public Administration in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from Columbia University. She also completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Design and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from UC Davis. Kristin is a LEED Accredited Professional and has been an active member in the green building community in the Bay Area and nationally. She has advised design teams, and has provided technical review of building plans with a variety of green building standards and systems (LEED, CALGreen, BIG, CHPS, Energy Star Portfolio Manager, and HERS II).

Kristin's most recent professional experience was with the City of Palo Alto where she was the Sustainability Planner. Prior to her work with the City of Palo Alto, she worked as a Project Manager and Assistant Director for the Collaborative for High Performance Schools with Architectural Energy Corporation (CHPS). Kristin's office will be located at 672 Lomita Court, (next to the Housing Health, Safety, and Environmental Compliance Office).



As part of the ESPN Eco Challenge, the College GameDay Goes Green Crew visited Stanford during the Stanford – Oregon football game, and features Stanford’s sustainability efforts on this month. The GameDay Green Crew learned about Stanford’s guidelines for sustainable buildings, its plans for an innovative heat recovery system, Green Fund student project winners, its hybrid and electrical vehicle fleet, waste audits, food and water systems, energy-saving programs, and enjoyed a tour of Y2E2, including the building’s state-of-the-art energy consumption dashboard. The ESPN College GameDay Goes Green Crew travels with the ESPN GameDay show, explores sustainability features of universities visited, and trades fans ESPN gear for their used bottles and cans.



CleanTechies, a San Francisco-based online network hub for clean technology professionals, posted a Top-Ten Sustainability Initiatives for Stanford University, based on information from Sustainable Stanford. Featured were Stanford’s Office of Sustainability, Administrative policies, Climate and Energy Plan, Food and Recycling, Green Buildings, Student Involvement, Transportation, Students for a Sustainable Stanford, Green Living Council, and the Stanford Community Farm.



Stanford’s Board of Trustees gave concept approval to the Campus Energy System Innovations project (SESI), designed to meet the university’s energy needs through 2050. As part of Stanford’s Energy and Climate Action Plan, SESI involves many components, including building a new central energy facility that recovers waste heat from the campus chilled water system to meet the bulk of campus heating needs, converting the existing central steam system to a more efficient hot water system, and building a new and expanded electrical substation. Once completed, the campus will use 70 percent of the waste heat currently expelled from cooling towers to meet 80 percent of its heat demands, reduce campus water consumption by more than 18 percent, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to less than half of what they are today.

Further reading: Stanford Report, “Reducing Stanford’s carbon footprint.”  Additional background information is available at



With voluntary delamping complete, and Smart Strips and timers deployed throughout Bonair Siding, LBRE continues to improve its building-level sustainability. A pilot office composting program formally launched on December 5th, 2011 in all Bonair kitchenettes. PSSI will empty the bins three afternoons each week and the pilot will provide valuable information regarding the potential for office composting campus-wide. A poster display created to educate users about compostable and non-compostable break room supplies will rotate through each department to help encourage correct waste sorting.



Again printed for limited distribution, the Sustainable Stanford - A Year in Review: 2010 - 2011 report is now available online. Produced by the Office of Sustainability, this publication summarizes operational and programmatic milestones, presents metrics and trends, and provides a chronological snapshot of various noteworthy initiatives and accomplishments by academic and operational departments. The document highlights the numerous avenues through which sustainability has become a tangible part of the Stanford experience.



The Office for a Sustainable Campus at Japan’s Hokkaido University invited representatives from Stanford and several other PAC-12 universities to present on campus sustainability at the International Symposium on Creation of Sustainable Campuses held October 26th, 2011. This international information exchange provided an opportunity to discuss Sustainable Stanford’s work to integrate sustainability into the campus culture and make sustainability a tangible part of the Stanford experience. Japanese universities shared their campus sustainability perspectives, including the motivation for energy conservation resulting from the great East-Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011.



Jemal Diamond joined Stanford’s Office of Sustainability as the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator where he will work to advance awareness and implementation of campus-wide Sustainable Stanford programs. His portfolio will include publications, outreach campaigns, educational interfaces for the office’s programs and services, and green report cards for Stanford schools and departments.

Jemal comes to the Office of Sustainability from Stanford's Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), where he spent six years managing communications and campus outreach efforts, including developing and implementing their social media strategy. He was a key contributor to the application that led to Stanford Dining's receipt of the Acterra Award for Business Sustainability, and oversaw the production of Stanford Dining and Stanford Hospitality's first comprehensive sustainability report. Other highlights from his work at R&DE include outreach campaigns for Stanford Seafood Sustainability Week, 350 Climate Conscious Week, and the Love Food, Hate Waste program. Prior to working at Stanford, Jemal was the Instructional Resource Coordinator for The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he also earned his Masters in Fine Arts in Visual Communication.

Jemal’s office is located within the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management on the first floor of 327 Bonair Siding.



Sustainable Stanford joined with 32 other institutions to launch the Billion Dollar Green Challenge. The goal is to invest a cumulative total of one billion dollars in self-managed green revolving funds that finance energy efficiency upgrades on campus. The Challenge is inspired by the exceptional performance of existing green revolving funds, which have a median annual return on investment of 32%, as documented by Greening The Bottom Line, a report published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. “We’re transforming energy efficiency upgrades from perceived expenses to high-return investment opportunities,” said Mark Orlowski, executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, which is coordinating The Challenge along with 13 partner organizations. “Stanford University should be commended for rising to The Challenge and investing in energy efficiency improvements on campus.” The Billion Dollar Green Challenge launched publicly on October 11 at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference in Pittsburgh. With more than 2,500 participants, including representatives from Stanford, the conference was the largest gathering to date on higher education sustainability. Please visit the Billion Dollar Green Challenge website for more information.



We invite you to join Fahmida Ahmed from the Office of Sustainability, Dean of the School of Earth Sciences Pam Matson, and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Faculty Directors Jeff Koseff and Buzz Thompson on October 17th from 5-6 pm in the Y2E2 courtyard for a Sustainable Student Welcome Reception. This exciting event is designed to unlock the mystery of sustainability at Stanford and introduce you to the multitude of ways you can pursue environmental interests on campus and beyond. The event will feature speakers, giveaways, music, and food catered by eco-friendly local company Raw Daddy. Come learn about: sustainability-related majors and departments, sustainability student groups, and sustainability grants, internships, and research opportunities. Download the event flyer for more information.



The Aspen Institute awarded a first place ranking to Stanford's MBA program for corporate responsibility and sustainability. The strength of course content that emphasized for-profit ways of addressing social and environmental impact contributed to the top ranking, published in the online report, Beyond Grey Pinstripes.



Newsweek combined existing rankings from Sierra magazine, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, and College Power to determine its own list of the nation's greenest colleges. Stanford earned the second place spot in the ranking. The methodology for the Newsweek's scoring, as well as a list of the top 25 colleges and universities, can be found online. Stanford consistently performs in the top-tier on third-party evaluations, and a history of prior rankings can be viewed on the Recognition & Awards page.



The Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI), the organization responsible for the sustainability survey and evaluation scheme published annually in the Green Report Card, opted to take a sabbatical year this summer to focus on detailed investigation of Green Revolving Funds. As shown SEI’s report Greening the Bottom Line: The Trend toward Green Revolving Funds on Campus, the Energy Retrofit Program, Whole Building Retrofit Program, and Water Conservation Program contributed to the Stanford having the largest fund size of universities surveyed, as well as the largest amount of invested capital and the most number of projects. As a follow-up to the initial report, SEI published a Stanford-specific case study to explore these retrofit and conservation programs in much greater detail. With this case study publication, Stanford joins just nine other schools profiled for exceptional investment in efficiency.



For the second consecutive year, Stanford placed 5th on the Sierra magazine's "Cool Schools" sustainability survey, making it one of "The Coolest" schools in the country. On this year's survey, Stanford improved its scores on the Food and Purchasing categories, and maintained last year's perfect or near-perfect scores on the Academics, Waste, and Other Initiatives sections. To view the complete list of "Cool Schools" and Stanford's Top 10 feature, please click here.



Prepared by student associates working with the Office of Sustainability, the third edition of the Students' Guide to Sustainable Living at Stanford is now available electronically. The short guide provides an overview of campus operations, showcases tips and tricks to use throughout the year, and highlights sustainability campaigns in which student involvement is critical. A limited number of printed copies will be available during New Student Orientation and at sustainability events throughout the year.



A new bike safety repair stand, located at the front entrance to 340 Bonair Siding, opened on Monday. The new stand, the third installed on campus, enables bicyclists to make minor repairs and pump up tires for free, making it more convenient for the campus community to maintain safe bicycles. Multiple tools are securely fastened to the rack, which also serves as a bike stand. For more information, and to find the other repair stand campus locations, visit the bike safety repair stand website.



In its first week, the One Less, Save More sustainable purchasing campaign, the fourth offering in the Be Cardinal Green series, recorded record participation from the Stanford Community. The Procurement organization, in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability, launched the campaign to promote purchasing habits at Stanford that minimize negative impacts on the environment while appropriately supporting teaching, learning, and research needs. To learn more about the campaign and see how you can get involved, visit the campaign website where you can review the major goals, take the pledge and enter the weekly raffle, and watch a recording of the informational webinar.



Students for a Sustainable Stanford and the Green Living Council increased the visibility and quantity of events associated with the university’s green move-out. The Green Free Store event, publicized via a student-created video, encouraged everyone to bring things they could not keep over the summer and allow others to take them instead of buying new products. Items brought to the event included futons, bean bag chairs, books, movies, clothing, desk supplies, lamps and more. Partnerships to create the Green Free Store incorporated other student groups targeting reuse, including the new Clothes Loop and Project Kickback.



Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) recently launched the ERP Express for Office Equipment rebate program, which offers incentives to departments to purchase and install small energy-saving devices like Smart Strips and appliance timers. The new FY11 offering supports the Building Level Sustainability Program, a platform for Stanford's Schools and Departments to educate occupants and implement sustainability practices at the building level via individual action and engagement. For more details on available rebates, eligibility requirements, terms, and conditions please review the online application form. Questions can be directed to



On Thursday, May 12, 2011 the Stanford community participated in the Bay Area's annual Bike to Work Day. More than 1,100 riders passed one of nine Energizer Stations set up on campus. Those riders who stopped to log mileage reported an average round-trip commute of 6.7 miles and a total of 3,611 miles — translating to 3,430 pounds of CO2 emissions avoided. For a complete review of the results, and more information on the Bike to Work Day celebration, please visit the Stanford Dish article.



Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) and the School of Medicine (SOM) have again partnered to offer financial incentives to labs that put DNA and RNA samples into room temperature storage and dispose of old ultra-low temperature freezers. The FY11 Cash for Clunkers program makes it easier for researchers to try room temperature storage technology and earn rebates up to $13,000. Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis so visit the SOM sustainability page today to learn more about sustainable alternatives to frozen sample storage and download an application form. Researchers outside SOM can earn cash back through ERP Express for Lab Equipment. An application form with details and an FAQ sheet are available online. Please download the program flyer suitable for posting and distribution to all campus laboratories.



In partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Princeton Review released its annual Guide to Green Colleges. The handbook profiles the 311 schools out of 703 that scored 80/100 or better on a 50-question sustainability survey. Stanford scored 97 points and has again been included in the publication. For more information on the 2011 guide and the survey methodology, please visit the Princeton Review’s recent press release.



The next focus area in the Be Cardinal Green campaign series is water. For the next four weeks we invite you to help identify opportunities for improved landscape irrigation efficiency. Visit the Water Wise campaign page to learn more about the campaign and to “Tell Your Water Tale” by filling out a water action report. Raffle prizes are available for those who complete reports that contribute to positive change. Sustainable Stanford will host an open invitation webinar on Monday, April 25th, 2011 at 11:30AM. The 20-minute presentation will provide more information about the 2011 Water Wise campaign and explain more details about Stanford's water conservation programs. The session will feature a Q&A with Marty Laporte from the Environmental Quality and Water Conservation group within Sustainability and Energy Management. To sign-up for the webinar, click here and select "register" to complete the process.



Sustainable Stanford invites you to an Earth Day celebration in the main tent at White Plaza from 11AM to 12:30PM on Friday, April 22, 2011. The Office of Sustainability will give a brief presentation that will showcase program highlights and explain opportunities for the campus community to engage with Sustainable Stanford through the Be Cardinal Green campaign series. Student grants will be announced and dessert and networking will follow the presentation and discussion. For more information, download the Earth Day event flyer or consult the Events page. The celebration is offered in partnership with BeWell, Vision Earth, and the Haas Center for Public Service.



Stanford is embarking on a new era of sustainable energy management to further improve its operational efficiency and reduce its energy footprint, which is no small task for a growing campus! Speakers from the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management will talk about the three key prongs of the balanced approach that has shaped Stanford’s long range energy and climate plan — high energy efficiency standards in new buildings, energy conservation in existing buildings, and a greener and more flexible energy supply for campus. The plan intends to reduce Stanford’s GHG emissions well below 1990 levels by 2010. The presentation will also touch on the untapped potential of behavioral programs on campus to motivate individuals to conserve energy without compromising their quality of life at Stanford. The Energy Seminar will be held in NVIDIA Auditorium in the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center on Monday, March 28th from 4:15 – 5:30 PM. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit the Energy Seminar web page.



This week’s AASHE Student Diary Series highlighted Stanford’s new Green Events Consulting (GEC) team, a student-run group that provides peer-to-peer consulting for other student groups looking to host an event more sustainably. The diary entry chronicles GEC’s recent work with the Stanford Association for International Development on its annual conference. Click here to read the full story on AASHE’s website. Stanford’s official green event guidelines, Greening Events at Stanford, are also available online.



The League of American Bicyclists designated Stanford a Platinum-Level Bicycle Friendly University. This year marks the inaugural year of such designations by the League and Stanford is the first and only university to achieve the platinum rating. The League praised Stanford’s high percentage of bike commuters (21.7%), education and safety programs, incentive programs, and the campus’s cycling infrastructure. Announced at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., the full press release can be viewed here. The Bike Program website provides more details and resources about Stanford’s specific offerings.



Students from this quarter’s CEE/ES 109: Greening Buildings & Behavior course presented their final projects and sustainability recommendations to representatives from the Haas Center for Public Service, the case study building for the service learning course. Other audience members included operational staff and a delegation of visitors from UC Santa Cruz interested in developing a similar course. CEE/ES 109, an annual course developed in partnership with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, aims to engage students in employing sustainability within an institution. It featured a variety of Stanford faculty and staff who lectured on topics that included energy efficiency, water use, waste management, sustainable food, and transportation systems. The final class project required students to complete Building Level Sustainability Program audits and evaluations for the Haas Center, which had been identified as prime program candidate. Class participants can capitalized on the course’s momentum and joined the Office of Sustainability as Student Sustainability Coordinators to help further deploy BLSP within the Haas Center, turning their final project recommendations into reality.



An informational webinar and advertisements in the Stanford Report and on all Marguerite buses helped kick off the annual RecycleMania competition. This year, members of the campus community who pledge not to throw any recyclable items into the trash are entered into a weekly raffle drawing for sustainability-themed prizes! The campaign webpage has more information on Stanford’s goals for RecycleMania 2011 and a recap of the university’s past performance.



The Department of Sustainability and Energy Management and Zone Management announced the results of the 2010 winter closure. The campus exceeded the stated performance goal of a 10% improvement in energy and cost savings and increased campus-wide participation. To view the full performance results, participation raffle winners, and performance improvement champions, please visit the Winter Closure Campaign page.



Stanford’s landmark Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2) was honored with a first place ASHRAE Technology Award in the new institutional building category. Stanford representatives were on hand in Las Vegas at ASHRAE’s 2011 Winter Conference to accept the award, which recognizes Y2E2’s exceptional design and proven energy performance. Y2E2 currently consumes 44% less energy than code (ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004). For more information on the ASHRAE Technology Award given to Y2E2, please visit the ASHRAE pressroom.



Join skilled mechanics from the Campus Bike Shop to learn the basics of bike maintenance and repair. The event, co-hosted by Students for a Sustainable Stanford, Parking & Transportation Services and the Campus Bike Shop, will be held Friday, January 28th from 1 – 2PM in White Plaza. For more details, consult the electronic flyer, and please RSVP to by Thursday, January 27th, 2011.



A New York Times design feature titled “The Eco Look” included student photographs demonstrating the trend of sustainable fashion on campuses nationwide. Several members of Students for a Sustainable Stanford donned their environmentally conscious clothing selections and posed throughout campus. Materials featured on the students included vintage and thrift-store purchases, inventive repurposing of discarded items, and fabric from bamboo and other rapidly renewable sources. The slideshow was highlighted in the AASHE Weekly Bulletin and remains available online via the New York Times.


Turn Off for Break Featured in Stanford News

The Turn Off for Break campaign for winter closure 2010 was recently featured in a Stanford News article. The story highlighted the new features of the 2010 winter closure, including awards and recognition, as well as an increased emphasis on individual action. The full text of the article is available online.


Foreign Press Visits To Learn About Campus Sustainability

Fahmida Ahmed, Associate Director of the Office of Sustainability, spoke Friday to a group of international media representatives. The team visited Stanford to learn more about sustainability initiatives on campus. Ahmed’s presentation included an overview of sustainability programs, explanation of the Energy and Climate Plan, and a brief question and answer period. The journalists expressed the most interest in hearing about behavioral programs and which topics tend to get students most excited about sustainability. They also inquired about the relationship between Stanford and new ventures in cleantech and greentech.


Sustainable Stanford Hosts Turn Off For Break Webinar

Turn Off For Break! Sustainable Stanford hosted an open invitation webinar on November 18, 2010 to explain important changes to the university’s mandatory winter closure program. Subject matter experts within the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management led the discussion and reviewed both the procedures and goals for the 2010 winter closure. New program features this year include an increased emphasis on individual action and building-level recognition and awards. A recording of the short webinar is publically available and suitable for distribution to all building occupants.


Green Fund Deadline Extended

The Office of Sustainability extended the Green Fund application deadline to Thursday, November 11 at noon. Visit the Green Fund page for more information, and to download the application and by-laws.


Stanford Maintains "Overall College Sustainability Leader" Title for Third Consecutive Year on Sustainable Endowments Institute Survey

For the third consecutive time, and the fourth time in the last five years, Stanford received an “A-“ grade on the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card. As such, Stanford joins 51 other schools as Overall Campus Sustainability Leaders out of the 322 surveyed institutions. Stanford earned straight “A” grades in the following topic areas: administration, climate change & energy, food & recycling, green building, student involvement, transportation, investment priorities, and shareholder engagement. The “A” in climate change & energy represents a letter-grade improvement over the “B” earned in that category last year, and recognizes the formalization of the university’s Energy and Climate Plan, among other energy conservation programs. The full survey responses for all participating institutions can be found online.


Sustainable Stanford Publishes 2009 - 2010 Year in Review

Printed for limited distribution, the Sustainable Stanford - A Year In Review: 2009-2010 is now available online. This report is produced by the Office of Sustainability as one of the many deliverables that make sustainability a tangible part of the Stanford experience. Beyond an annual report, this publication catalogs the many efforts within a large campus that contribute to a steady pulse of sustainability milestones and accomplishments.



On Monday, Stanford released a video overview of the university’s Energy and Climate Plan. In addition to a historical perspective of Stanford’s environmental stewardship, the video highlights the technical differences between Stanford’s existing cogeneration plant and the proposed heat recovery “regeneration” facility. The potential associated savings in operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions are also discussed. Click here to view the Climate Action video.


Stanford Dedicates Huang Engineering Center in the Science and Engineering Quad

President John Hennessy joined several hundred members of the Stanford community to formally dedicate the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center (HEC) at a reception in the building’s outdoor amphitheater. Following the example of its predecessor, Y2E2, HEC epitomizes high-performance design and construction. Performance models suggest that aggregate energy use, including plug loads, will be 42% less than standard buildings. HEC features an enhanced building envelope with high-performance windows, makes extensive use of daylight and photocell technology, employs a combination of natural ventilation and active chilled beams, includes rapidly renewable materials in architectural woodwork and furniture, and uses the university’s recycled water system to flush toilets and urinals. A 30kW DC solar photovoltaic installation will be operational by the end of 2010. To complete the HEC auditorium, 316 seats were salvaged from the demolition of Kresge Auditorium, refurbished, and redeployed. Stanford News coverage provides more information about HEC and the dedication ceremony.


Graduate School of Business Wins "Green Project of the Year" from Silicon Valley Business Journal

The Silicon Valley Business Journal selected the Graduate School of Business’ new Knight Management Center as the “Green Project of the Year” in the private sector. The award recognizes the 360,000 square-foot project for its deep commitment to sustainability, from the photovoltaic panels that will supply 12.5% of the center’s annual electricity needs, to the 80% reduction in water use compared to similar campus buildings. The project is currently on track to receive a LEED-NC Platinum Certification upon occupancy in March 2011. Click here to read the full article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Click here to read the GSB announcement.


Office of Sustainability to Host Student Open House Friday, October 1st

The Office of Sustainability invites all students to come to an open house / town hall to see our new office location, meet sustainability staff, and learn about the Stanford Student Green Fund. Pizza and cake will be provided. The event will take place on the 1st floor of 327 Bonair Siding from 3PM – 5PM on Friday, October 1st, 2010. Please RSVP to, and we look forward to seeing you at the meeting! Click here for more details.


Sustainable Stanford Increases Presence During New Student Orientation

Numerous fairs during New Student Orientation (NSO) provide an opportunity for students and their families to interface with the university’s programs and services. This year Sustainable Stanford increased its presence with tables at four NSO events: the Residential Advisor Resource Fair, the New Student-Athlete Orientation, the Parent’s Resource Center, and the Graduate Orientation Activity Lunch and Information Event (GOALIE). Student interest at the events was strong, particularly at GOALIE, where many requested brief descriptions of the Energy and Climate Plan and took away information regarding the advantages of Smart Strips and Desktop Power Management. Freshmen and their parents frequently commented on receiving the updated Students’ Guide to Sustainable Living at Stanford, which Dean Julie Lythcott-Haims distributed electronically in August. Continuing the momentum of NSO, Sustainable Stanford will provide information and staffing at the School of Engineering Student Services Fair on September 29th in Packard Auditorium.


KQED Features Stanford's Energy and Climate Plan

QUEST, a KQED Multimedia Series Exploring Northern California Science, Environment and Nature, profiled Stanford University in the community science blog post, Go Big Green: Stanford Lightens Its Carbon Load. Since the late 1980s, Stanford has provided campus energy via natural-gas-fired cogeneration, a combined heat and power system which accounts for approximately 70% of Stanford’s carbon emissions. In October 2009, Stanford formalized an Energy and Climate Plan that outlines an approach capable of achieving a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. Achieving this goal requires a three-pronged approach: energy efficiency in new building design, energy conservation in existing buildings, and a greener energy supply. The university has a significant simultaneous need for both heating and cooling within buildings, which presents an opportunity to recover about 70% of the heat normally discharged from the cooling system and use it to meet up to 50% of the simultaneous heating loads, reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and water use. As a result, the Central Energy Facility will be converted from cogeneration to ‘regeneration’ with heat recovery, and the existing steam infrastructure will be converted to a hot water system. The opening of the university’s first regional heat exchange station this summer provides evidence that implementation of the steam to hot water conversion is underway. KQED highlights this and other developments in the comprehensive article.


Stanford Ranks 5th on the Sierra Magazine Cool Schools Sustainability Survey

Sierra Magazine released the 2010 Cool Schools sustainability rating today, and Stanford ranked 5th out of 162 schools surveyed. This represents an excellent overall improvement from Stanford’s 26th place ranking last year (out of 135 schools). Stanford earned perfect scores in the Waste, Investment, and Other Initiatives categories, and performed strongly in the Academics, Transportation, Purchasing, and Administration categories. Accomplishments highlighted in this year’s survey included the release of Stanford’s Energy and Climate Plan as well as the CEE/ES 109 Green Buildings & Behavior course.


Stanford Data Center Earns Rebate Check for Sustainable IT Efficiency Measures

Last week, Stanford received a $36,428 rebate check from PG&E for energy efficiency improvements in the Forsythe Data Center. Under the direction of the Sustainable IT program, the project included installation of a data center-wide environmental sensor network to track temperature, pressure, and humidity at each rack. Managers can log into the dashboard and review a visual display of conditions within the space. Alarms notify the team if sensors detect conditions outside the acceptable range. Existing Computer Room Air Handlers received variable speed drives to facilitate greater precision in temperature management, and the existing outside air economizer was reconnected so outside air directly supplies cool air whenever the weather allows. Additional modifications included floor and ceiling tile replacement to better direct and contain air within the data center. Compared to operations a year ago, Forsythe houses an additional 17% of IT load but uses only 10% more electricity and 8% less chilled water. According to PG&E, the implemented efficiency measures save 359,000 kWh of electricity annually, equal to approximately 147 tons of avoided greenhouse gas emissions.


Office of Sustainability Signs Open Letter to Evaluating Organizations

Stanford’s Office of Sustainability signed an Open Letter to Sustainability Evaluating Organizations outlining eight principles that define responsible rating programs, including transparency, consistent metrics, and an “opt out” feature. More than 30 colleges and universities have signed the letter with the hope that various evaluating organizations will raise their standards and improve the overall strength of rating systems. Detailed coverage is provided in the Chronicle of Higher Education and a discussion forum on the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education website.


Stanford Mourns Climate Expert Stephen Schneider

Stephen Schneider, Stanford biology professor, senior fellow of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and influential climate scientist, died Monday on a flight from Stockholm to London. Dubbed a “climate warrior” by the New York Times, Schneider was a vocal advocate for the veracity behind the science of climate change. He implored the media to deploy journalists trained in science to cover climate change stories and to allocate more time to explaining the complexities of climate change. He recently published a book chronicling his involvement with public debates, Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth's Climate. More information on Stephen Schneider’s life and work can be found in the Stanford News coverage.


Energy Star Rated Faculty Homes to Open in August

Energy and water efficiency were major targets in the design and construction of 39 new faculty homes on the Stanford campus. The Olmsted Terrace project earned an ENERGY STAR rating for exceeding existing standards. Families are expected to start occupying the homes in August 2010. Please see the complete Stanford News article for more details.


Stanford Woods Institute Announces Four New Sustainability Grants

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment has awarded grants totaling $787,013 to four interdisciplinary Stanford faculty teams working to promote global sustainability. The latest awards raise the Environmental Venture Project (EVP) grant total to $5.4 million since its inception in 2004. To learn more about the 2010 EVP grant recipients and their projects, please read the full coverage in Stanford News.


NY Times Features Responsible Investing at Stanford

The New York Times recently covered Stanford University's (CA) grassroots effort to pressure the technology industry to crack down on “conflict minerals.” In the Democratic Republic of Congo, armed groups force villagers to mine minerals like wolframite and cassiterite. Metals processed from these minerals are used in consumer electronics products like laptop computers and cell phones. Stanford’s trustees are considering a resolution to create a new proxy voting guideline for the University’s investments. The guideline would support shareholders’ efforts to make companies trace the supply chain of the minerals used in their products. See the NY Times article for the full story.


Stanford's Drive-Alone Rate Drops to 48 Percent

Stanford University’s employee drive-alone rate dropped from 72 percent in 2002 to 48 percent in 2010. If all university commuters (employees and students) are counted, the drive-alone rate is even lower at 43 percent. “Reaching this point where more than half of the university’s commuting employees choose alternative transportation instead of driving alone is a major milestone for Stanford,” said Brodie Hamilton, director of Stanford University Parking & Transportation Services. “The reduction in drive-alone commutes demonstrates a high level of commitment both from the university and from commuters. It’s even more significant in the context of the 78 percent drive-alone rate in the County of Santa Clara.” Visit Parking & Transportation alternative transportation page for more information on alternative ways to commute to campus.


Cash In On Freezer Replacement Program

The application deadline for the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management’s 2010 Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer Retirement Program is August 15th, 2010. Researchers at the University and the Medical School are encouraged to replace aging freezers with more efficient models, or remove freezers entirely by taking advantage of dry room temperature storage technologies. Cash incentives vary but typically range from $5,100 to $7,600 per retired freezer. More program details can be found in the Stanford News article. Interested participants should contact Shalini Singh at 650-721-1267 or


Stanford’s C3Nano Wins $200,000 MIT Clean Energy Prize

Congratulations to Stanford’s C3Nano for winning the MIT Clean Energy Prize and a $200,000 grant! A start-up lead by doctoral students Ajay Virkar, Melbs LeMieux and chemical engineering Professor Zhenan Bao, C3Nano designed an electrode that will both increase efficiency and reduce the cost of thin film solar photovoltaic panels. Crossover applications with the electronics industry make the team’s technology even more attractive. For more details, please see the press release from the MIT News Office and C3Nano’s recent coverage in the Stanford Daily.


May 13 is Bike to Work Day -- Stanford Promotes Biking and Walking

Join us in celebrating the greenest ways to commute on Bike to Work Day, May 13. By bicycling (or walking) instead of driving five miles a day, you could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,287 pounds annually. According to Bikes Belong, the energy savings is equivalent to replacing 13 incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or flying 2,429 fewer miles a year. On Bike to Work Day, Stanford is hosting eight Energizer Stations between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., where you can pick up a re-usable bag and snacks while supplies last. Remember to wear a helmet every time you ride. Pledge to wear a helmet and to follow the rules of road.


Sustainable Stanford Presents Climate Plan & High Performance Buildings During Walk the Farm Event

The Bill Lane Center for the American West selected climate change as this year’s theme for Walk the Farm, an annual 21-mile hike through Stanford lands. Participants spent twelve hours trekking a course that started and ended at Y2E2, wound its way to Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve by way of the Dish, Felt Lake, and Web Ranch, and returned to campus via the Stanford Linear Accelerator, Sand Hill Road, and Campus Drive Loop. The group stopped at regular intervals to hear presentations describing the effects of climate change on Stanford lands as well as the university’s response. Jiffy Vermylen, Sustainability Coordinator, summarized the 2009 Energy and Climate Plan at the cogeneration facility and highlighted high-performance building design at the Knight Management Center construction site. Also from the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management, Marty Laporte, Associate Director of Utilities for Water Resources & Environmental Quality, discussed the potential impact of climate change on Stanford’s water supply and requirements. Visit Stanford News to read the full Walk the Farm article.


Stanford Makes the Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges

Stanford is included in The Princeton Review’s first ever Guide to 286 Green Colleges, produced in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and released on Earth Day 2010. The Energy and Climate Plan, A Student’s Guide to Sustainable Living, and the CEE/ES 109 Green Buildings and Behavior course were a few of the new items Stanford highlighted in this year’s survey response. The Princeton Review specifically praises Stanford’s Transportation Demand Management program and building-level energy conservation programs in the half-page profile. The Guide to 286 Green Colleges is free and available to the public.


AASHE Weekly Bulletin Highlights Stanford Student Initiative to Include Sustainability in Curriculum

The Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Weekly Bulletin highlighted this month’s Stanford Daily article describing student efforts to formalize sustainability in Stanford’s curriculum. Members of Students for a Sustainable Stanford developed the proposal which calls for the addition of “Sustainable Citizenship” to the four areas of study that satisfy the “Education for Citizenship” general education requirement. The Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policies met April 9 to discuss the student proposal and are set to convene again April 23 for a formal vote. Pending that outcome, the proposal will move forward to the full Faculty Senate for review and further discussion.


Sustainability Coordinator Joins the Office of Sustainability


Jiffy Vermylen joined Stanford University’s Office of Sustainability in March 2010 to support further development and implementation of the campus‐wide Sustainable Stanford initiative. Her portfolio includes rollouts of the department/building level conservation programs, related communications and training to the campus community, and overall program evaluation especially for the built environment on campus.

Before joining Stanford, Jiffy served as a Senior Project Engineer for DPR Construction, Inc. Project highlights include a mission‐critical data center in Oakland, CA and a LEED‐CI Silver tenant improvement for VISA International in San Francisco, CA. She led Bay Area LEED‐AP training courses, served on the company’s innovation working group, and volunteered as Construction Captain for the annual Rebuilding Together Peninsula project. Jiffy also instructed CEE 248G: Measuring Sustainability at Stanford in the spring of 2009.

Jiffy earned an M.S. in Structural Engineering and Geomechanics at Stanford University in 2006, and a B.S.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University in 2005 where she also received certificates in Architecture and American Studies. Ensuring that future generations can experience the same natural environment is Jiffy’s motivation and the basis for her commitment to sustainability.


President's Column: When Less Is More

In the Stanford Magazine January/February 2010 publication, President Hennessey addresses the University’s increasing commitment to sustainability and climate action. To read more, click here. The column focuses on the Energy & Climate plan, which will reconfigure building systems to transfer the heat discharged by the campus cooling system to buildings that need warming. The column also mentions the ongoing success of building retrofit programs, new building construction standard, “greening” of events, and how students, faculty and staff play an important role in campus-wide sustainability implementation efforts.

Click these links to view past articles.

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12.05.09 - Podcast Tour of Campus Plants, Animals, and Science Art

11.30.09 - Stanford Recognized Among Best Workplaces for Commuters

11.18.09 - 2009-2010 Green Fund Winners Announced

11.07.09 - Sustainable Information Technology: Educause

11.04.09 - Aggressive Energy and Climate Plan Approved

11.04.09 - Sustainability on the Farm Tours

10.07.09 - Stanford Sustainability Efforts at Top Tier for the 3rd Time

09.28.09 - Summary of 08-09 External Evaluations

08.14.09 - Stanford Rated in Top 10 Greenest Colleges

07.31.09 - A Student's Guide to Sustainable Living at Stanford

07.15.09 - Sustainable Stanford: A Year in Review

06.09.09 - Stanford Commencement Weekend Goes Green

03.23.09 - Water Conservation Efforts Wins Award

02.15.09 - Sustainability at Stanford: Mandate or Mantra?

01.28.09 - 2008 Green Fund Winners announced!

Link to these news articles and press releases for the latest information about Stanford’s sustainability initiatives.
Learn more about sustainability issues at discussions and other events on campus and off.
These reports, fact sheets and other publications provide in-depth information about on-campus sustainability initiatives and other sustainability topics.
Get more information at other Stanford websites related to sustainability and at outside websites that provide a broader context.
Click a link to view the monthly newsletter.

For additional news about the environment, conservation, teaching and research, and other aspects of sustainability at Stanford, check out these resources:
Stanford News Service
Stanford Woods Institute, In the News
Precourt Institute for Energy News