Sustainability at Stanford comes in many forms. Research provides foundational insights and clever solutions. Thought leadership guides careful, forward-thinking innovation and policy. Plus, the university itself is a living lab for sustainable action.

As the stories below show, Stanford is working toward ambitious campus sustainability goals with efforts that address power use and generation, food waste, heating and cooling, commuting, travel, events, and much more. Altogether, Stanford is working toward producing zero waste by 2030 and has set a goal of generating 100 percent of campus electricity needs from renewable sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below peak levels by 2025 – both of which the university achieved in 2022 when a second solar energy plant came online. The university has committed to reaching at least net-zero emissions from its operations by 2050.

That commitment extends to campus research and education. In fall, the university launched the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability – its first new school in 75 years, which amplifies the university’s sustainability scholarship, education, and impact.

Stanford joins White House forum on sustainability

Aurora Winslade, director of Stanford’s Office of Sustainability, discusses key takeaways from the event, how universities can partner with governments to meet sustainability goals, and how Stanford is becoming a greener campus.

Stanford Dining addresses climate change one bite at a time

Residential & Dining Enterprise’s (R&DE) Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries is a leader in piloting indirect emissions reductions in partnership with the university’s Scope 3 Emissions Program.

Hard-to-quantify emissions are the next frontier for Stanford sustainability goals

Stanford is celebrating Earth Day with a week of virtual events and is looking ahead to additional ways the campus can reach ambitious net-zero emissions goals, including tackling emissions from campus food, goods, travel and investments.

Launch party for the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

More than 500 people celebrated the opening of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability on Sept. 29. At the event, speakers emphasized the urgent need to address climate change and global sustainability challenges.

Zero waste efforts lead to award winning streak

Stanford University is now a two-time first-place winner in the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Race to Zero Waste competition for per capita recycling in the large campus division. The award reflects many new and upcoming zero waste initiatives.

Stanford transitions to 100 percent renewable electricity with second solar plant

Stanford completes the university’s transition to 100 percent renewable electricity as Solar Generating Station #2 begins commercial operation.

Reducing campus emissions focus of new Stanford program

Achieving Stanford’s goal of reaching at least net-zero emissions from its operations will require developing new tools and strategies, which could also help businesses and governments reach their own emissions goals.

Stanford’s new environmental justice minor

Evan Baldonado, ’23, a third-year student in the School of Engineering and co-director of Students for a Sustainable Stanford, is the first student to adopt a minor in environmental justice. The minor is offered by the Earth Systems Program, which will become part of the new school focused on climate and sustainability.