Our signature engagement programs enable students, staff, faculty and residents to positively contribute to UBC’s sustainability goals, exemplify sustainable behaviours and practices, and help achieve our ambitious sustainability plans.


UBC’s Sustainability in Residence Program had a successful year of student leader engagement and capacity- building. Several Growth & Success Program seminars were conducted to highlight the opportunities for students around living more sustainable lifestyles, as well as reducing waste on campus. The program also supported bi-weekly workshops for student leaders to share their ideas, learn about UBC’s sustainability goals and targets, and to network among themselves. Operationally, the SiR program supported changes to default settings on washing machines to use cold water, which have significant natural gas savings potential.


UBC’s Green Office Sustainability Coordinator Program for Offices engaged a network of over 70 staff and faculty departmental sustainability champions to advance workplace sustainability initiatives. Highlight achievements include the launch of a new energy conservation campaign to promote energy savings during winter holidays, the launch of a new Sustainable Purchasing Guide to promote sustainable procurement options, the development of a new Lights Out campaign, and the delivery of interactive workshops and training. Hundreds of UBC employees also participated in Bike to Work Week, leading to UBC being recognized once again as a regional champion.

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Our engagement programs enable students, staff, faculty and residents to positively contribute to the achievement of UBC Okanagan’s sustainability goals, implement sustainable practices and exemplify behaviours on campus, and help to achieve successful implementation of UBC’s ambitious sustainability plans.


  • In response to the Power of You energy and carbon reduction campaigns, a key operations department continued to facilitate a staff-led audit that resulted in more than 3,700 lights and 67 projectors being turned off or powered down and almost 1,000 windows closed at night. These efforts contribute to the campus’ annual energy and carbon emission reduction.


  • Laboratories are making environmentally responsible changes in material and resource consumption. Green Labs Funding, awarded to a Biology PhD student, enabled a biology lab to reduce its environmental footprint, thus supporting the advancement of the campus’ long-term goals. The purchase of Lab Armor BeadsTM to replace water in traditional water baths is estimated to reduce the lab’s overall waste generation and conserve approximately 1,092 liters of water and 138 kWh of electricity annually.


  • Open houses and individual research events provided key planning departments the opportunity to engage with campus constituents to collect feedback that was used to inform the development of strategies integral to supporting the implementation of the Campus Plan and Whole System Infrastructure Plan (WSIP). These events included the Academy Way Redevelopment, the Integrated Rainwater Management Plan, and the Three-Year Campus-Wide Conservation Action and Awareness Strategy.
  • The Power of You Program continued to engage staff, faculty and students through a variety of initiatives. Targeting waste, the “It only takes 1 or 2” campaign was deployed in the fall of 2016 and focused on the reduction of hand towels used by campus constituents at the source (e.g., kitchens and restrooms).


  • UBC Okanagan hosted and co-facilitated the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) first Sustainability Offices Retreat held in Canada, in July 2016.
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