Stanford’s academic open space is an important part of our community. Under the proposed General Use Permit, Stanford will continue to lead by example in minimizing our environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposed General Use Permit only requests development within the university's core academic campus. Stanford is not proposing development in the 2,000 acres of land it owns in the foothills.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Recognized as one of two platinum-rated institutions of higher learning globally for its achievements in sustainability, Stanford has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 68% from peak levels. With the recent announcement of a second solar farm, Stanford will be using 100% clean and renewable energy by 2021 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from peak levels.
Under the proposed 2018 General Use Permit, Stanford will be on track to achieve California’s greenhouse gas emissions standards through 2035, including being on pace to meet Governor Jerry Brown’s target of an 80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050.
Stanford worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife to prepare a plan to restore and enhance habitat areas to stabilize or increase populations of endangered species, including the California tiger salamander.
Reducing potable water consumption
Stanford reduced its potable water consumption from FY 2001 levels by about 30% in FY 2015, despite substantial campus growth. At the height of California’s historic 5-year drought, Stanford responded to the call for additional mandatory water conservation measures. In FY 2018, after exiting the drought, Stanford’s reduction from FY 2001 levels was 45%.
Investing in innovation
Stanford broke ground on an experimental anaerobic wastewater treatment plant in Redwood Shores, California. This new method may be 40% smaller than traditional waste plants, produce 30% less solid waste, and cost $2 million less per year to operate.
What are the impacts?
The Final Environmental Impact Report (final EIR) finds that air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are expected to decrease under the proposed General Use Permit. In a few cases, impacts might increase but, with mitigation, can be minimized.