Stanford has undertaken major ongoing initiatives to reduce energy and water use, apply stringent environmental standards to all new buildings, encourage sustainable living, promote low-impact transportation, conserve natural resources, and decrease waste.

Proper assessment of Stanford’s success in achieving a culture of sustainability depends heavily on tracking performance metrics and reporting them both internally and externally. A commitment to transparency and accountability helps the university strengthen its sustainability programs and services.

In addition to tracking absolute consumption and intensity trends, Stanford considers annual per capita resource use. As the university grows to support its academic mission, responsible growth is both a priority and a tool for informing long-range strategic planning. As the total campus population continues to grow, the suite of efficiency and conservation programs implemented by the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management and its partner organizations ensures that each individual footprint shrinks. As a testament to these efforts, per capita consumption has dropped in every category compared to each baseline year, illustrating the effectiveness of resource management at Stanford. The university continues to analyze the effectiveness of its sustainability programs and identify opportunities for further improvement.