UBC’s Vancouver campus and community of 80,000 people are essential to achieving sustainability goals and operational targets. Our signature engagement programs enable students, staff, faculty and residents to contribute towards meeting UBC’s sustainability commitments to climate action, energy and water conservation, waste reduction, and sustainable transportation, while building sustainability leadership.
Through a wide range of programming in research laboratories, workplaces, and student residences, our goal is to inspire, engage and activate campus community members to create a more sustainable campus, and world.
ENERGY CONSERVATION AND INNOVATION IN LABS
Our Green Labs program delivered a series of engagement initiatives to reduce the significant environmental impact of UBC’s 400 research laboratories. This included completing a comprehensive laboratory equipment inventory, and analysing energy consumption to identify the highest impact conservation opportunities. Projects like this represent our focus on expanding energy conservation and carbon reduction projects to support the implementation of UBC’s Climate Action Plan, and achieve cost savings.
UBC’s Green Office program engaged over 8,000 employees through training, events and campaigns to promote resource conservation and sustainable practices in the workplace. Highlights included a new workshop with event professionals to reduce waste from campus events, cycling workshops to promote sustainable transportation, and the 2nd annual campus wide Seasonal Shutdown energy conservation campaign.
FOSTERING STUDENT LEADERSHIP IN RESIDENCES
The UBC Sustainability in Residence program launched several new training opportunities and campaigns to enhance the capacity of student leaders to create positive change on campus, and beyond. A team of student residents joined as Student Sustainability Champions to promote sustainable behaviour on-campus and help conserve energy and water through peer engagement.
UBC’s Sustainability Coordinator Program fosters and engages a network of 120 staff and faculty sustainability champions to help promote sustainable behaviours and initiatives across campus.
Last year we engaged participants from over 42 academic and operational departments, providing tools, resources and training to enable implementation of sustainability projects in offices and labs.
At UBC Okanagan, our campus engagement programs bring students, staff and faculty together to collaborate on projects and activities that build greater awareness and understanding of human ecological systems.
Informed by our Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan, our programs and campaigns encourage energy conservation, waste diversion, active transportation, and enhancing biodiversity across our campus.
THE POWER OF YOU
The Power of You is our signature sustainability campaign, designed to engage the entire campus community in conservation actions. The program was recently scaled-up to target multiple performance areas including energy, carbon, waste, water and ecology.
Last year, energy conservation and waste diversion campaigns across labs, residences and offices, resulted in over 400 new sustainability pledges, a fivefold increase in lab recycling reports, a 14 percent improvement in reuseable foodware, and shutting down over 5,000 lights and closing over 200 windows for energy and cost savings.
NECTAR TRAIL BUILDS COMMUNITY
Last year the UBC Okanagan Gardening Club offered the campus community six opportunities to get their hands dirty. Nearly 90 staff and faculty came together to plant the Okanagan Campus Nectar Trail – an array of wild pollinator plants along Discovery Avenue that provide critical habitat for bees, birds and other pollinating species.
Key workshop topics included fire-smart gardening, general gardening tips, native plants found on campus, bulb planting and a birds and pollinators nature walk along the Old Pond Trail.
BIKE TO WORK WEEK EVENTS
Last year three teams and 26 cyclists participated in Bike to Work Week at UBC Okanagan, up from five riders the previous year.
During the one-week event, cyclists saved over 350 kg of greenhouse gas emissions by switching to two wheels.