Reaching for Stars

Reaching for Stars

In 2015, UBC received its second consecutive ‘gold star’ and the highest rating among Canadian universities in the most recent Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS is the most recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance.
Among the universities with an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, UBC rated second-highest overall in the STARS assessment, receiving full additional “innovation credits” for four exemplary projects that exceed even the highest STARS criteria. Of those four exemplary projects, the UBC Farm, evolved from a place of great uncertainty.

In 2008, the future of the UBC Farm was precarious. Aware of the unique teaching and research potential of this veritable “living lab”, a dedicated coalition of students, faculty, staff and community members mobilized to preserve the farm as academic green space.

In its 2011 Board of Governors directive, UBC declared the farm a “Green Academic” zone, dedicated to supporting globally significant research, community engagement and academically rigorous land-based teaching that would address issues of sustainability.

Today, more than 60,000 people, from school groups to international delegations, visit the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) at the UBC Farm each year. More than 3,000 students across 60 courses and 10 faculties are engaged in applied research and teaching that seek to understand and promote more
sustainable food systems.