Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.74
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date June 28, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
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Has the institution held at least one sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability? :

Has the institution held at least one sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:

Name of the campaign:
(1) RecycleMania

A brief description of the campaign, including how students and/or employees were engaged:

RecycleMania is a national 8-week intercollegiate competition and benchmarking tool for higher education recycling programs. Each year during RecycleMania, Stanford reports recycling and trash tonnage and attempts to surpass other schools in categories such as total tons recycled, waste diversion rate, waste minimization, and per capita recycling. All members of the campus community are encouraged to participate and evaluate their own waste and recycling habits during this annual competition through activities and trainings offered by Stanford's Office of Sustainability and Peninsula Sanitary Services, Inc (PSSI)/Stanford Recycling Center. For instance, Stanford offers trainings in conjunction with this campaign entitled "Best Practices in Waste Reduction." These trainings are eligible for incentives through Stanford's BeWell program. In 2017, Stanford staff offered 10 total waste trainings to the Stanford community and have trained over 250 people.

Stanford also offers free tours of its on-site recycling center and off-site composting facility to the campus community. In 2017, Stanford focused its campaign on composting as the largest opportunity to increase the diversion rate, and created a “recipe for diversion” video to highlight the appropriate bins for various waste items in the kitchen. The video was produced by Stanford's Office of Sustainability interns and mimics the popular recipe stop motion films produced by Tasty and others.

During the competition, the Office of Sustainability also partners with the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER) to host two sustainability game day challenges, where it engages students, staff and fans to recycle and compost. The diversion rate at these games increased to 36% in 2017 from 5% in 2015 due to increased recycling and composting availability and in-game messaging.

A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

Below are Stanford's final 2017 results in each of the RecycleMania categories:

Gorilla: 2 out of 214
Corrugated Cardboard: 5 out of 73
Food Service Organics: 6 out of 142
Bottles and Cans: 6 out of 80
Paper: 6 out of 89
Per Capita Recycling: 18 out of 246
Grand Champion: 73 out of 190
Waste Minimization: 133 out of 135

Throughout the campaign, Stanford also measures its impact on the campus community by asking people to pledge to reduce waste via the Sustainable Stanford website, with close to 1,300 pledges received during the 2017 campaign. The visibility of the campaign continues to increase year to year.

The regularly scheduled sessions of the Recyclemania waste training consistently reach maximum capacity, and OOS and PSSI offer customized sessions to individual departments upon request, with attendance ranging from 20-50 people per session. In 2017, eight of the ten waste trainings held to date were department-specific trainings.

The website URL where information about the campaign is available:
Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Cardinal Green Buildings

A brief description of the campaign, including how students and/or employees were engaged (2nd campaign):

The annual Cardinal Green Buildings campaign is one of the longest-standing Cardinal Green resource conservation campaigns. Stanford operates and maintains hundreds of campus buildings. While advanced systems ensure these buildings operate efficiently, a critical tool in helping further reduce Stanford’s energy use is the collective action of campus building occupants. For years, Stanford’s building managers have helped the university realize significant energy savings through the success of programs like the annual Winter Closure and the Cardinal Green Office Program. In partnership with Zone Management and Facilities Energy Management, these efforts were joined under the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign in order to call attention to the great work building leads are doing and to further engage the campus community in sustainability. Thus, the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign now helps promote Winter Closure both by working with building managers to curtail heating and cooling in buildings over the two-week holiday period and by promoting individual participation from students, staff and faculty to ensure that all appliances and electronics are unplugged during the building curtailment.

In 2015 and 2016, additional programs were introduced under the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign umbrella. First, 60 buildings had their heating systems shut down through "Thanksgiving Closure," an energy curtailment over the 4-day Thanksgiving holiday. Additionally, the Space Heater Swap--introduced in 2015--encourages community members to turn in electric space heaters to the Office of Sustainability in exchange for a Sustainable Stanford-branded fleece jacket.

A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

The 2016 Cardinal Green Buildings campaign proved to be a success, with the number of buildings shut down or converted to shortened schedules for Thanksgiving Closure doubling from 2015 to 60, and 196 buildings participating in the Winter Closure energy curtailment (representing more than 75% of academic buildings). The resulting savings from both closures totaled more than $384,000 in avoided energy costs – which represents 1.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, or 982 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided. The program was enhanced by pledges from nearly 1,000 individuals who committed to reducing their personal plug loads and turning off all equipment before the shutdown.

The website URL where information about the campaign is available (2nd campaign):
A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns, including measured positive impacts:

Office of Sustainability offers a series of campaigns aimed at conserving resources on campus as part of its Cardinal Green program. Each campaign offers the opportunity for students, staff and faculty to directly contribute to sustainability efforts, focused seasonally around energy, water, and waste. The energy and waste campaigns are discussed above, and the 2017 water campaign promoted native plant restoration volunteer opportunities and aimed at raising awareness about the ongoing implications of the California drought.

Year-long programs such as the Cardinal Green Labs, Cardinal Green Events, and Cardinal Green Office Program establish a community of sustainability champions who can track and measure results on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, in May 2015, Stanford's Procurement Department led a campaign called Green Tuesdays aimed at consolidating purchases to reduce the total number of deliveries to campus. As a result of this campaign, Stanford saw a reduction of approximately 10 deliveries per weekday.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.