The SEEDS Sustainability Program creates partnerships between students, faculty, staff and community partners to work together on research projects that are tested on campus, and applied in real-world settings. Interdisciplinary by nature, SEEDS has integrated into approximately 250 different courses, and within 12 faculties.
Last year nearly 1,000 participants collaborated on applied research to advance UBC’s sustainability priorities. This included providing input into the AMS Student Driven Sustainability Strategy, UBC’s Zero Waste, Climate Action, Transportation, Public Realm and Wellbeing Plans, emerging plans for Green Building, Water, Urban Forest Management, and the development of future biodiversity strategies and actions.
SEEDS SCALED AND REPLICATED ACROSS NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE
The SEEDS program was recognized through multiple conferences and other forums last year as an international model for using university campuses as a living laboratory. So far, several universities have created programs modelled on SEEDS, including Portland State University, University of Arizona, University of Washington, Maastricht University, University of California Santa Cruz, and Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
SEEDS informed the development of UBC’s emerging Green Building Action Plan last year. A total of 23 related projects were initiated – highlights included a modeling tool for measuring benefits in stormwater management for planning and engineering; a series of projects to better understand factors in bird-building collisions; and demonstration projects such as pollinator and bird-friendly window installations.
10 SEEDS research projects helped advance UBC’s Zero Waste Action Plan’s goals, including the implementation of campus food waste guidelines, an assessment of UBC’s role in contributing to plastics in oceans, the development and launch of an athletic textile recycling pilot, and research on effective communications messages related to contamination rates and sorting practices.
SEEDS participants worked together on a series of climate adaptation projects including research that baselines UBC’s business air travel emissions, the development of a methodology to model future weather conditions to inform building energy modelling, and a group of projects aimed at understanding carbon sequestration in various types of trees.