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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.63
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date July 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stanford University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills Yes
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences No
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions Yes
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives No

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

Stanford has 20 sustainability-focused student groups that address a wide range of sustainability topics across campus. The most established sustainability organization, Students for a Sustainable Stanford, has been working on campus for more than a decade and contains multiple sub-groups focused on water, environmental justice, climate change, and other sustainability topics.

Additional sustainability-focused student groups include the Green Living Council, which promotes sustainability in dorms; Engineers for a Sustainable World, which just completed a hydropower project in Peru; Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project (SWEP); and many others. Please see the website for a full list of sustainability-related student groups on campus.

More information, and a brief description of each group, can be found online:
http://sustainable.stanford.edu/student_groups


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

Stanford has a one-acre organic community farm on which Stanford affiliates can utilize plots for gardening and farming. Each quarter a hands-on organic farming class is taught to students at the community farm, and books on organic gardening are available onsite. In addition, Stanford Dining operates a network of organic gardens at dining halls and student houses across campus to enable students to experience growing and consuming fresh organic produce.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

Stanford has multiple sustainability-oriented student enterprises. The Stanford Farm Stand is a weekly student-run produce stand that sells locally-grown, seasonal, organic produce from Stanford’s community organic farm and from a nearby organic farm that is a campus partner. The campus Green Store is a student-run store that sells sustainable items to students, including smart power strips, compostable serviceware, recyclable party cups, and eco-friendly detergent. The Green Store is run by the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU).


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

The Stanford Student Green Fund provides grants for innovative student-driven projects designed to create a more sustainable campus. A total of $30,000 per academic year is available to fund projects. Projects must aim to reduce Stanford's ecological footprint, have a clearly defined, measurable outcome, incorporate publicity, education or outreach, and include direct student involvement. Projects funded in the 2013-2014 academic year include Graduate School of Business Students designing a "Climate Act @ GSB" initiative, a Students for a Sustainable Stanford program piloting environmentally friendly cleaning practices in student residences, the purchase and installation of a water bottle filling station on campus, and several projects run by R&DE Student Housing interns.
http://sustainable.stanford.edu/green_fund

Also, in May 2014, acting on a recommendation of Stanford's Advisory Panel on Investor Responsibility and Licensing, the Board of Trustees announced that Stanford will not make direct investments in coal mining companies. The Board of Trustees concurred with the advisory panel that divesting from coal is consistent with the university's Statement on Investment Responsibility given the current availability of alternatives to coal that have less harmful environmental impacts. The resolution means that Stanford will not directly invest in approximately 100 publicly traded companies for which coal extraction is the primary business, and will divest of any current direct holdings in such companies. Stanford also will recommend to its external investment managers, who invest in wide ranges of securities on behalf of the university, that they avoid investments in these public companies as well. A student-led organization known as Fossil Free Stanford petitioned the university last year to divest from 200 fossil-fuel extraction companies as part of a national divestment campaign. The request by Fossil Free Stanford was reviewed over the last several months by APIRL's Environmental Sustainability Subcommittee, which met with the group, conducted its own extensive research and took input from other constituencies. The subcommittee's recommendation was subsequently approved by the full APIRL, the Trustees' Special Committee on Investment Responsibility and the Board of Trustees.

In the investment context, in addition to the action on coal, Stanford's existing proxy voting guidelines adopted earlier by the Board of Trustees mandate that the university vote "yes" on proxy resolutions asking companies to adopt sustainability principles, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the energy efficiency of their operations.
http://apir.stanford.edu


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Stanford hosts a vast array of conferences and events targeted at engaging students in Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability organizes an annual "Celebrating Sustainability" event around Earth Day. The "Celebrating Sustainability" event was hosted in 2014 for the third year in a row as an interactive festival designed to educate members of the campus community about Stanford's sustainability achievements and opportunities for individual action through engaging activities and displays. Another example is the student-governed Berkeley-Stanford Cleantech Conference, which is an annual conference co-hosted by Stanford and Berkeley that addresses renewable energy advancements. Additionally, Stanford hosts an annual conference at SLAC called Energy@Stanford. This conference is open to all interested incoming graduate students to find out more about energy initiatives at Stanford.

Stanford also hosts many lecture series each quarter dealing with the environment, including topics such as energy, climate change, conservation biology, and a wide variety of other subjects. The student-governed Stanford Energy Club maintains a comprehensive calendar of such events, both on- and off-campus and distributes this information to students, faculty, and staff (http://energy.stanford.edu/).


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

eARThbeat was the fourth annual installment of the spring arts and sustainability festival organized by the Student Organizing Committee for the Arts and Students for a Sustainable Stanford. In 2013, the groups also partnered with the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, the Green Alliance for Innovative Action (GAIA), Green Grid Radio, and the Green Living Council. The event took place on May 24, 2013 from 12 to 8 p.m. on the Columbae lawn. It featured interactive art and sustainability workshops, sustainable food trucks, live music and other activities. Shalini Kantayya, an award-winning filmmaker, hosted a screening of and Q&A on her latest film, A Drop of Life, and Michael Christian, an artist who has presented works at Burning Man and Coachella, organized an exhibit of his latest interactive sculptures. The evening ended with the always-popular Stanford Soundtrack Release Party featuring student bands and performers. Approximately 300
students attended the event.

The inaugural event in this series, Vision eARTh, was held in 2011. Planning for the 2014 event is currently underway. For more details, please visit:
http://events.stanford.edu/events/275/27597/


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Stanford is home to a number of different outing societies. Most relevant is the Outdoor Education Program, which teaches a one-unit class each quarter on outdoor leadership skills including Leave No Trace and basic backwoods safety and responsibility. Stanford Outdoor Gear is a student-run group which rents outing supplies to students for weekend trips. Stanford also organizes an annual student-led pre-orientation backpacking trip (SPOT) for any interested incoming freshmen.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

n/a


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
---

A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

(1) The student-run organization Green Living Council runs a training course, EARTHSYS 18: Promoting Sustainability Behavior Change at Stanford. This class covers effective strategies for enacting sustainable behavior change on campus, including community-based social marketing, psychology, behavioral economics, education, sociology, and design. Students design a behavior change intervention project targeting a specific sustainable behavior. The course consists of online lectures and weekly sections/workshops.

(2) The student-run organization Students for a Sustainable Stanford runs a series of open workshops called SustainaSkillS that focus on life skills like bike repair, gardening, energy audits, etc.

(3) R&DE's Stanford Dining runs a number of workshops for students focused on sustainable food, including organic gardening, vegetarian cooking, etc. These workshops are led by the Sustainable Food Program Manager in partnership with internal and external experts.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

The Sustainable Stanford Internship Program (managed by the Office of Sustainability in partnership with sustainability staff and organizations across campus) provides a paid opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience implementing programs that influence on-campus sustainability. Sustainable Stanford Interns work on projects covering various campus sustainability topics (waste, water, housing, food), under supervision and direction from campus sustainability staff. Each intern commits to an academic year-long program working to manage a campus sustainability project and bring about tangible results. In addition to gaining experience in sustainability project design and implementation, interns learn about the variety of careers in sustainability across campus as well as develop a network of cohorts through group lunches and presentations.

Additionally, Stanford's Haas Center for Public Service offered the Community Work-Study Program, which provides an opportunity for students to develop and participate in a significant service experience while earning a portion of their financial aid award. This program is available during the academic year and the summer. It provides the freedom for eligible students to design a service experience in collaboration with a partnering organization. Placements during the academic year are typically on campus and in the local community while summer placements can be at qualified organizations anywhere in the United States.

The Haas Center also runs the Undergraduate Fellowship Program, which offers resources for Stanford undergraduates who wish to make contributions to public service organizations and communities. Depending on the fellowship, fellows can participate in either prearranged placements or self-designed fellowship opportunities in both domestic and international settings. The Haas Center offers grants to undergraduate students interested in this type of service experience, in addition to operating several other grant programs to help cultivate students' passion for service.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:

Students for a Sustainable Stanford administers a graduation pledge each year. The pledge reads as follows:

I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider, and I will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.

Graduating students may take the pledge online and those who pledge wear a green ribbon on their graduation robes.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

n/a


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.