UBC has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers in 2013, for the second year in a row.
UBC’s many sustainability oriented initiatives include the Sustainability Coordinators Program, Sustainability in Rez, the “100-mile dinners” program, and, more broadly, UBC’s commitment to aggressive greenhouse gas emission reductions and the continued development of new facilities that meet or exceed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.
The Sustainability Coordinators Program provides staff with the support, awareness, skills and tools needed to champion sustainability in their departments. Over 150 Sustainability Coordinators inspire their colleagues to make changes in energy use, food conservation, waste management and recycling, and in choosing sustainable office supplies.
Other UBC green initiatives include:
- a “Green Research Program” that provides training and guidance to staff, faculty and student employees working in labs.
- the “Shut the Sash” education campaign (with BC Hydro and FortisBC) to encourage scientific researchers to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by closing laboratory fume hoods when not in use.
- participation in BC Hydro’s Continuous Optimization program to improve energy efficiency in seventy-two of its buildings, with the university on target to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent (compared to 2007 levels) by 2015.
- the “Sustainability Ambassadors Peer Program” for undergraduate students wishing to organize, promote and deliver sustainability education programming for UBC students.
- a “Social Ecological Economic Development Studies” program that aims to implement employee-inspired projects that are designed to make the university more sustainable.
- the new “Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility” that uses clean wood chippings and sawmill residues to generate up to two megawatts of energy for its Vancouver campus, producing enough electricity to power 1,500 homes as well as reducing the university’s natural gas consumption by 12 percent.