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Stanford incorporates sustainability practices and innovation into every aspect of campus life. The university has undertaken major ongoing initiatives to reduce energy and water use, apply stringent environmental standards to all new buildings, encourage sustainable living, promote low-impact transportation, conserve natural resources, and decrease waste. Stanford continues to analyze the effectiveness of its sustainability programs and identify opportunities for improvement. For a full review, please view the Sustainability at Stanford: A Year in Review 2013–14 annual report. A quick summary is provided below.

Individual Impact: A Look at Per Capita Consumption

In addition to tracking absolute consumption and intensity trends, Stanford considers annual per capita resource use. As the university grows to support its academic mission, responsible growth is both a priority and a tool for informing long-range strategic planning. As the total campus population continues to grow, the suite of efficiency and conservation programs implemented by the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management and its partner organizations ensures that each individual footprint shrinks. Per capita consumption dropped from 2012 to 2013 in most categories; in all categories, it has decreased significantly since the baseline year. A detailed look at the magnitude of these per capita changes, demonstrated in the charts on the adjacent page, illustrates the priority and effectiveness of resource management at Stanford.

per capita consumption trends chart

Stanford is dedicated to driving resource conservation at the individual and operational levels. In the features following these summary graphics, operational departments and initiatives provide detail on the programs and services Stanford employs to improve efficiency, conserve resources, and ultimately reduce its impact while enhancing learning opportunities across campus.