About

Sustainable Stanford is a university-wide effort to reduce our environmental impact, preserve resources and show sustainability in action. We’re determined to lead in researching, teaching and practicing environmental sustainability. Our vision: create a healthier environment now and richer possibilities for generations to come.

Dedication to outreach and a culture of innovation have been central to Stanford’s mission since its founding in 1891, when Jane and Leland Stanford exhorted university leaders to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” That sense of purpose drives our commitment to incorporating sustainability practices and thinking into every aspect of campus life.

Crucial knowledge and direction for this effort comes from collaborative governance initiatives as well as our professional sustainability staff.

The Provost's Committee on Sustainability, established in 2012, is an executive committee of deans, institute leads and senior campus leadership. The committee facilitates collaboration and exerts leadership across campus; brings campus-wide sustainability issues to the attention of the Provost and the President; and implements leadership recommendations.

The Sustainability Working Group, founded in 2006, is composed of senior leaders from a cross section of academic, administrative and student organizations. It takes a broad view of sustainability and how all parts of the university can work together to advance sustainability goals. The Working Group advises and supports sustainability staff and Working Teams, and carries policy and funding initiatives forward to senior campus leadership.

The Sustainability Working Teams, assembled in 2008, are composed of campus operational managers, faculty with subject expertise, and interested students. They develop long-term visions and plans for achieving sustainability in key areas. Members lead the execution of these plans with existing resources when they can and submit recommendations for major initiatives to the Working Group.

“Sustainability must become a core value in everything we do. As a community we are committed to developing our core campus in a sustainable fashion that preserves what we cherish, that demonstrates leadership in the university’s commitment to be a good environmental steward and that safeguards the ability for future generations to thrive at Stanford.”
— John L. Hennessy
President, Stanford University
Targeted policies and practices—as well as individual, everyday actions—are essential to realizing our vision of a sustainable Stanford.