On campus


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. In pursuing its academic mission, Stanford University is committed to being a leader in research, teaching and action (institutional practice) of environmental sustainability.

Stanford is deeply engaged in cutting-edge research and innovative teaching on the environment and sustainability. Stanford seven schools, as well as centers, institutes and programs across campus offer an array of courses, degree programs, and engagement opportunities focused on sustainability, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research and teaching in recognition that solutions to complex challenges demand collaboration across multiple fields. To learn more, visit Teaching and Research.

Sustainability is also core value in campus action, and the university continues to make significant investments in, and strides toward, sustainability at operational and programmatic levels. The Department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) within Land, Buildings & Real Estate (LBRE) leads initiatives on campus physical infrastructure and programs in energy and climate, water, transportation, and building operations, working with partners in Residential and Dining Enterprises and Peninsula Sanitary Services, Inc. to advance initiatives in food and living and waste, respectively.  To find out more about these efforts, please visit Campus Action.

The Office of Sustainability and Business Services (OOS), in the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management connects campus departments and entities and works collaboratively with them to steer sustainability-specific initiatives, serving as the hub of Sustainable Stanford programming, and providing a business office in service of sustainability programming, with a focus across seven key areas: infrastructural planning support; assessments, evaluations, and reporting; business systems; conservation programs; communications, training, and education;  collaborative governance; and organizational effectiveness.