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Report Card 2010

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Stanford University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Stanford University

School details:

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $12,600 million as of August 31, 2009

Location: Palo Alto, California

Enrollment: 14,945

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


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

Overall grade  
A -
Stanford has adopted a formal sustainability commitment, and has incorporated environmental stewardship into its master and strategic plans. The university employs 18 full time professionals for sustainability-related work on campus, including a Bike Coordinator, Director of Sustainable IT, and a Sustainability Food Coordinator.
The university has publicly reported carbon emissions inventories, and is committed to reducing emissions. Stanford has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from commuting to below 1990 levels. The Energy Conservation Incentive Program, introduced in spring 2004, sets an electricity budget based on past consumption and lets participants cash in unused kilowatt-hours. Those that exceed their budgets pay the difference out of their own funds.
Stanford has a goal to increase local food purchasing by 3 to 5 percent annually, currently allocating 14 percent of the overall food budget and 40 percent within Stanford Dining specifically. All dining facilities practice pre and postconsumer composting. Stanford’s overall waste diversion rate is 64 percent, more than double the rate in 1994.
In 2008, Stanford enhanced its Sustainable Building Guidelines to the equivalent of LEED Gold certification requirements. The Graduate School of Business complex is expected to be LEED Platinum and the Stanford Hospital to meet LEED Silver equivalency. The water conservation program has reduced use by 15 percent over the past 8 years.
New students receive a guide to sustainable living at Stanford, and orientation includes a zero waste lunch and a discussion on environmental stewardship moderated by the university president. Stanford has 17 environmental organizations. The student government has a Sustainability Executive Chair.
Stanford has 24 vehicles in its car share program, including 14 hybrids. The university makes hundreds of bicycles available to the community, some free of charge, through bike sharing programs. The university subsidizes public transportation, and has a free bus system that connects to public transit stops.
The Stanford Management Company makes a list of all holdings available by asset class to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. Proxy votes for environmental and social issue resolutions are made available by category to members of the university community on a password-protected website.
The management company aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
All proxies are voted in-house according to investment responsibility and proxy voting guidelines that support environmental initiatives. Guidelines are updated as issues evolve based on recommendations from the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, which includes four student and two alumni representatives. Members of the school community are invited to submit “Requests for Review” of the management company’s relationship with any company about which there is cause for concern.
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