Leading sustainability


The Office of Sustainability connects campus organizations and entities and works collaboratively with them to steer sustainability initiatives to fulfill President Hennessy’s vision that sustainability will “become a core value in everything we do.” The Office works on long-range sustainability analysis and planning, evaluations and reporting, communication and outreach, academic integration, conservation behavior and training, and sustainability governance strategy.  Administrators, faculty, staff, and students throughout the university are working to research and implement sustainability. Following are the key dimensions of the collaborative governance model for sustainability at Stanford.

Provost’s Committee on Sustainability (2012)

An executive committee of deans, institute leads and senior campus leadership, the Provost’s Committee on Sustainability first convened in the 2012–13 academic year. The committee facilitates collaboration across schools, institutes, the Office of Sustainability, and students; exerts leadership across campus; bring campus-wide sustainability issues to the attention of the Provost and the President; and implements leadership recommendations. Formation of the Provost‘s Committee is the outcome of one of the many key recommendations derived from the year-long strategic exercise, Sustainability 3.0.

Sustainability Working Group (2006)

The Sustainability Working Group (SWG) prepares policy and program recommendations to advance and implement sustainability practices on campus. Goals include:

  • Continuously improve Stanford’s leadership in demonstrating environmental sustainability in campus operations.
  • Use faculty, staff and student expertise in the evolving field of sustainability.
  • Advance opportunities for hands-on sustainability-related learning and service in the campus community.

SWG, chaired by the director of the Office of Sustainability, meets the first Thursday of every month and involves representatives from all parts of the university.

SWG Agendas

Sustainability Working Teams (2008)

The Sustainability Working Teams, assembled in 2008, develop program recommendations, assess progress, and help implement policy recommendations in major operational areas related to sustainability. The teams are composed of campus subject matter experts, representatives from key Stanford community groups, and individuals with authority to take action in the relevant operational areas. 

A description of each of Stanford's Sustainability Working Teams, as well as contact information for the chairperson, is outlined below. Each team activates when a specific initiative is underway and may be dormant when a given project has been implemented.

For more information regarding Sustainability Working Teams, please contact the listed chairperson or the Office of Sustainability.

Active Teams

Evaluation & Reporting

Mission: Develop measures for evaluating and reporting on sustainability activities.
Chair: Moira Hafer, Sustainability Analyst 

Food Programs

Mission: Explore and evaluate measures to enhance the sustainability of campus dining and food supply management practices.
Chair: Dara Silverstein, Sustainable Food Program Manager, Stanford Dining

Green Labs 

Mission: Develop resources specifically tailored for laboratories to help them operate as sustainably as possible.
Chair: Rashmi Sahai, Assessments Programs Manager, Office of Sustainability

Green Events

Mission: Establish best practices and provide resources to minimize the environmental impact of all campus events, from inter-departmental meetings to the Big Five annual celebrations.
Chair: Meghan Kearns, Sustainability Coordinator, Office of Sustainability 

Information Technology

Mission: Work across the university to identify and implement opportunities to reduce energy usage through our Information Technology infrastructure.
Chair: Gerry Hamilton, Director, Facilities and Energy Management, SEM

Dormant Teams (will resume when needed)

Energy & Atmosphere

Mission: Evaluate measures for energy conservation, energy efficiency, clean energy supply and development and implementation of campus greenhouse gas reduction goals
Chair: Fahmida Ahmed, Director, Office of Sustainability, SEM

Green Buildings

Mission: Evaluate guidelines and standards for sustainability in new building construction, renovation, ongoing building operation and maintenance, and building demolition and materials recovery.
Chair: Laura Goldstein, Director, Project Management


Mission: Explore and evaluate measures to reduce the environmental impact of university-owned private and commercial vehicles, as well as business travel by campus staff via other modes of transportation.
Chair: Brian Shaw, Director, Parking and Transportation Services, SEM


Mission: Explore and evaluate measures to enhance the sustainability of waste management, reuse and recycling practices.
Chair: Julie Muir, Manager, PSSI / Stanford Recycling Center


Mission: Explore and evaluate measures to advance sustainable water use for the Stanford campus.
Chair: Tom Zigterman, Director, Water Resources & Civil Infrastructure, SEM