Stanford invests in sustainability through a broad range of initiatives: research and education, efficiency improvements in existing buildings, advanced conservation systems in new buildings, new technology demonstrations, student-led projects and financial policies that support sustainability. Below are examples of projects and policy initiatives that highlight Stanford’s commitment to sustainability.
Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability
The university is raising $250 million for the Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability to support interdisciplinary research and teaching across the university. Part of The Stanford Challenge, this major campus-wide effort aims at seeking solutions to the world’s most pressing problems and educating students for leadership in the 21st century. Stanford is working to raise $4.3 billion over five years to advance these goals. Learn more at the Stanford Challenge website.
Student Green Fund
Established in 2008, this fund provides grants for projects with direct student involvement that will help create a more sustainable campus. A total of $20,000 is available per academic year. See Student Green Fund for details.
The university has allocated $15 million for major capital improvements to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus.
The Energy Conservation Incentive Program rewards schools and administrative units for saving energy—rebates totaled $830,000 by the end of the program’s third full year.
The Energy Retrofit Program has invested more than $10 million over 15 years in improving energy efficiency through technology upgrades. See Energy Initiatives for details on these and other programs.
All new buildings and most major renovations must meet Stanford’s Guidelines for Sustainable Buildings, which adapt the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system and the U.S. government’s Labs21 guidelines to the university setting. Base capital budgets include funding to meet these standards; project leaders can pursue higher standards through special funding.
Among the projects receiving special funding are the Science and Engineering Quad 2 development, including the new Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment + Energy Building; the upcoming Knight Management Center, the new home of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business; and Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. See Green Buildings for project details.
The university is running solar energy demonstration projects throughout the campus. See Energy Initiatives for details.
Sustainability Working Team on Economy
This team analyzes environmental sustainability issues that may arise in the areas of endowment transparency, investment priorities and shareholder engagement, and makes recommendations to campus leaders.
Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility
In 1971, the Stanford Board of Trustees became the first governing body of a major academic institution to adopt a statement on investment responsibility and created the Commission on Investment Responsibility, later renamed the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility (APIR). Find out about the panel’s work at the APIR website.
Stanford has established financial policies related to environmental and equitable aspects of sustainability, including living wage and sustainable purchasing policies. Learn more at the Policies and Initiatives website.