UBC Sustainability Scholars Program

The UBC Sustainability Scholars Program provides UBC graduate students with the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience while working on applied sustainability projects through paid internships with partner organizations and local governments across the region.

Since launching as the Greenest City Scholars Program in 2010, the program has expanded to engage more than 200 students who together have completed over 50,000 hours of research addressing social, economic and environmental sustainability problems in our region.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

Last year 54 students from over 25 different UBC graduate programs successfully completed internships with the Sustainability Scholars Program. Scholars worked for partners in local governments, the health and energy sectors, and departments at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.

Under the mentorship of sustainability professionals at nine partner organizations, the Scholars tackled projects in a variety of areas including Climate & Energy, Food Systems, Green Procurement, Green Buildings, Leadership & Behaviour Change, Social Sustainability, Transportation, Waste Management & Recycling.

FEATURED PROJECTS

DEVELOPING A COMMUNITY SOLAR GARDEN
City of New Westminster

Community solar gardens have proven effective in increasing the accessibility of solar energy in the United States. This report reviewed best practices and policies from Canada and the US, including community engagement strategies, project plans, technology evaluation, design and development, and financing options.

GHG EMISSIONS REDUCTION POTENTIAL OF BC ENERGY STEP CODE SCENARIOS
City of Maple Ridge

The City of Maple Ridge has adopted a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent of 2007 levels by 2020. This report assessed how the City can leverage the BC Energy Step Code to fulfill its target and concluded that targeting residential building GHG emissions is an effective and efficient strategy.

WASTE AS A RESOURCE: TOOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE MANAGEMENT
Metro Vancouver

Efficient use of resources is one of the biggest societal challenges of the 21st century, and cities will play a central role. This report recommended a number of changes to municipal practices, bylaws and zoning, including using buying power to drive markets for recycled materials, and implementing variable tipping fees and deconstruction regulations to increase diversion rates and encourage high-value reuse.