When it comes to sustainability, we have history. We have momentum. And we have ambitions to accomplish much more. Here is The University of British Columbia’s sustainability story, so far.


Although our institutional history dates back some 100 years, our modern sustainability story begins in 1990 when The University of British Columbia signed the Talloires Declaration. In doing so our University, along with hundreds of other leading educational institutions who signed the Declaration, pledged to make sustainability the foundation for campus operations, research and teaching.

UBC has a history of over 20 years of sustainability achievement. It was the first university in Canada to develop a sustainable development policy in 1997, open a sustainability office in 1998 and was named Canada’s first Fair Trade Campus. The university has earned two consecutive Gold STARS ratings (2011, 2015) from a global higher-education sustainability rating system  (STARS) and has been recognized with numerous distinctions for its efforts around green buildings, district energy, planning and engagement. UBC was recently named Greenest Employer for sixth consecutive year.

In 2017 UBC delivered its most significant climate-change achievement to date, reducing Vancouver campus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 34 per cent relative to 2007 levels and exceeding our Climate Action Plan reduction target of 33 per cent despite a 19 per cent growth in building floor space and a 26 per cent increase in student population.

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