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  • Writer's pictureQuinlan Grim

Stanford: It's Time to Walk the Sustainability Walk!

Updated: Mar 26

The Coalition for a True School of Sustainability calls out fossil fuel entanglements at Stanford

We all know Stanford talks the sustainability talk. The university made headlines by divesting from coal companies back in 2015. In 2022, it launched the Doerr School of Sustainability, a program that, on the surface, drives collaborative solutions and climate action in the Bay Area. But here's the thing: there is a major conflict of interest going on behind the scenes. Stanford and the Doerr School are still entangled with fossil fuel companies.

350 Silicon Valley is proud to partner with student-led activist groups, The Coalition for a True School of Sustainability and Fossil Free Stanford. These two groups are at the forefront of the cause, pushing Stanford to catch up with the times and fully divest from all fossil fuels. Join us and these bold student activists in calling on Stanford to walk the sustainability walk.

A Serious Conflict of Interest

Since opening its doors in 2022, the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability has received funding from tons of not-so-sustainable sources, including Big Oil companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, and Aramco.

This is more than just hypocrisy - it's a serious conflict of interest that sets Stanford, and the Bay Area in general, back from meeting our sustainable development goals. Despite the administration's big promises in the mid-2010s, Stanford has fallen behind other universities, such as Harvard and the UC system, in divestment from fossil fuels.

According to the Doerr School's website, Stanford should be "bold and ambitious" in order to meet the complex challenges of the climate crisis. But there's nothing ambitious about taking money from Big Oil - that's just business as usual, and it's not going to help us create meaningful change.

Calling On Stanford to Do Better

The students and staff in The Coalition for a True School of Sustainability have been fighting hard against fossil fuel funding since the launch of the Doerr School. So far, they've succeeded in demanding that the school post its funding sources publicly and stopping fossil fuel executives from speaking on campus, among other big wins. They're not backing down, and we're excited to join them.

At 350 Silicon Valley, we believe Stanford can - and should - do better. It's long past time for the university to divest its $36.5 billion endowment from fossil fuel interests. In order to align with its own sustainability goals and actually participate in the fight against climate change, Stanford must divest from Big Oil and decline fossil fuel funding.

Stanford, you already talk the talk. It's time to show us you can walk the sustainability walk.

What Can You Do?

Looking for ways to help 350 SV, Fossil Free Stanford, and the Coalition for a True School of Sustainability hold Stanford accountable?

Here are four actions you can take to get involved in the fight for a more sustainable Bay Area:

1. Speak up if you're a Stanford student, affiliate, or alumn: Your voice is critical to the success of these groups. You can have an impact by signing petitions, participating in on-campus events, and writing to the university’s administration. (If you write, forward your message to so they can keep tabs on what allies share!)

2. Donate: Support groups like The Coalition of True School of Sustainability and Fossil-Free Stanford in their campaigns by donating.

3. Volunteer: You can reach out to us at 350 Silicon Valley or directly to each group for actions. This spring, both groups are interested in support from community members who have experience with video editing. community art projects.

4. Like and Follow: You can promote the groups and their messages on Twitter (Coalition), and Instagram (Fossil Free and Coalition).


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