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Report Card 2008

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Stanford University
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Stanford University

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Endowment: $17,200 million as of August 31, 2007

Location: Palo Alto, California


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
B +
Sustainability Working Group acts as advisor to the president and provost, and is charged with the preparation of policy and program recommendations designed to further sustainability initiatives. The university has adopted a master plan related to water conservation, reuse, and recycling. Stanford is hiring a campus sustainability executive director and sustainability programs manager.
In December 2006, Stanford joined the California Climate Action Registry and is currently undertaking an inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions. The university’s Energy Retrofit Program (ERP) projects during this last decade are estimated to have saved 158 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. Currently, the university has three on-campus photovoltaic solar arrays.
Stanford dining services has an extensive program focused on sourcing local and organic products. Thirty-five percent of all produce purchases are organic and local. Last year, the university composted over 75 tons of food waste, and in 2006, it diverted 61 percent of its waste through recycling efforts.
Since 2002, all new buildings and most major renovations have conformed to Stanford’s Guidelines for Sustainable Buildings, which adapt the LEED system and the U.S. government’s Labs21 guidelines to the university environment. Stanford’s Green Dorm, to open in two to three years, will house 47 students, emit no net carbon, and generate more electricity than it uses.
Stanford’s award-winning transportation demand management program includes incentives for employees who agree not to drive alone to work, such as “Clean Air Cash”—cash payments for not driving, free passes for local transit, and reserved parking spaces for carpools. As a result of the program, the number of individuals who drive alone to work decreased from 72 percent in 2002 to 52 percent in 2007.
Current endowment holdings information is available only to members of the Stanford Management Company Board of Directors and investment office staff, although any member of the Stanford community may request consideration of issues that could be related to any potential university public security.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is also invested in renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles.
All proxies are voted in-house by the manager of investment responsibility according to set guidelines. Voting is driven first by “shareholder best interest” based on current corporate governance and social issue proxy voting guidelines. Guidelines are updated as issues evolve based on recommendations from the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility, which includes four student and two alumni representatives.
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