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Food & Living

 As one of Stanford’s largest auxiliary departments, Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), which includes Student Housing, Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliary Services and Stanford Conference Services, provides housing and food for over 13,000 students and family dependents, and hosts over 20,000 summer conference visitors each year, in more than 350 buildings that make up one-third of the campus. R&DE is the largest provider of food service on campus, serving more than 4 million meals annually. R&DE’s efforts directly impact student learning, the overall campus culture, and the lives of Stanford’s students after graduation.

R&DE Student Housing’s Sustainable Living Program and R&DE Stanford Dining’s Sustainable Food Program are two hallmark sustainability initiatives among many across R&DE. Now in their ninth year, both programs create positive impacts by collaborating with students, staff, faculty, other campus stakeholders, vendors, and suppliers; reporting on sustainability indicators; providing education and outreach for staff and students through lectures and instructional sustainability events; and auditing operational practices and standards for conservation across R&DE.

The Sustainable Living Program is committed to influencing generations of students to lead sustainable lifestyles, not only on campus but in their future communities. The program also aims to foster behavioral change through residence workshops, competitions, and campaigns that encourage individual action. Students receive creative educational materials on what to bring to campus, how to interact with their building’s heating and cooling systems, how and where to sort waste, and how to report water leaks.

The new Sustainable Living Video showcases the sustainable living community on campus and serves as an educational training tool on how to engage with sustainability. 

Stanford Dining is committed to providing sustainable, locally-produced foods whenever possible and reducing food waste through composting and recycling. These efforts help decrease pollution from pesticides and chemicals, reduce energy use, support local small businesses, and provide fresh and delicious meals. The largest provider of food services on campus, Stanford Dining manages about half of the food service for undergraduate residences and about 25 percent of the university’s cafés.

Stanford’s food choices make a difference: Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) favors sourcing products that are local, organic, humanely raised, fairly traded, and from family-owned farms and sustainable fisheries—47% of food purchases are considered sustainable.

Several other campus food services, such as co-ops, row houses and private cafés, are also committed to sustainable purchasing and practices. The Sustainability Working Team (SWT) for Food and Dining was created in 2008 to bring together various food service operators to collaborate on sustainability programs campus-wide.


  • Stanford University: Named Peta(2)'s favorite vegan-friendly college. (2015)
  • Stanford Dining: R&DE Stanford Dining became the nation’s first campus dining program to be REAL Certified for its use of nutrition and sustainability best practices. (2015)
  • Stanford Dining: Florence Moore Dining Hall received Certification from the Green Restuarant Association (2015)
  • Stanford Hospitality and Auxiliaries: Stanford Catering Chef Andrew Mayne was an invited chef at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Cooking for Solutions” Event (2009)
  • Stanford Dining: Stanford Dining’s Executive Director Eric Montell served as a judge for the Acterra Sustainability Awards (2008 and 2009)
  • Stanford University: “A” for Food and Recycling, Sustainable Endowments Institute College Sustainability Report Card (2007 and 2008)
  • Stanford Dining: Acterra Business Environmental Award for Sustainability (2007)
  • Stanford Dining: one of the first university food service operations in the United States certified as a green business by Santa Clara County (2004)