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Report Card 2011

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Stanford University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Stanford University

School details:

Endowment: $15,000 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Palo Alto, California


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Please note: Data was collected in summer 2010 and may no longer be current.


Data compiled from survey responses, when available, and from independent research, when needed. For more information on data collection and evaluation, please see the  Methodology section.

Overall grade  
A -
Stanford is committed to sustainability through a formal policy and plan. The sustainability office manages campus sustainability initiatives along with a cross-functional working group and nine specialized teams. A purchasing policy encourages procurement of green products. The university sponsors sustainability initiatives through sources including a green fund, a green fee, and a revolving loan fund.
The university aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. Energy efficiency technologies have been installed on campus, and multiple programs encourage the school community to conserve energy. Stanford generates renewable energy through photovoltaic installations and solar hot water systems.
Stanford spends 30 percent of its food budget on local products, purchases many organic items, and sources produce from campus gardens. Stanford buys some confinement-free eggs and sustainably produced meats and seafood, as well as fair trade coffee, chocolate, and sugar. Discounts are offered for use of reusable bags and mugs, and pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted.
New building guidelines incorporate LEED Gold standards. The Knight Management Center is set to meet LEED Platinum standards, and other buildings on campus meet Gold and Silver criteria. Stormwater management technologies, as well as recycled water systems, have been installed across campus.
Sustainability-themed residential options are available, and new student orientation features green efforts on campus. The school employs many student sustainability interns. Students participate in two competitions to reduce waste, energy, and water usage, and a wide variety of student groups work to promote sustainability on campus.
Over half of off-campus employees commute via sustainable transportation. The university provides ride-matching, preferential parking, and monetary incentives to carpoolers, as well as free access to public transit. Stanford offers shuttles to local destinations, a bike-sharing program, and partners with a car-sharing program.
The Stanford Management Company makes a list of all holdings available to senior administrators and select members of the school community, and makes asset allocation information available to the general public. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is available to senior administrators and select members of the school community, while proxy votes by category are available to members of the school community on a password-protected website.
The company aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The company also has policy provisions that consider environmental and sustainability factors.
All proxies are voted in-house according to Stanford’s voting guidelines which support environmental and sustainability issues. 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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