UBC plays a unique role as a global leader in sustainability and a hub for technological innovation and research. For over 20 years, sustainability has been at our foundation – in campus operations, research, teaching, and student engagement. We commit our entire community, including our land, assets and utilities, to sustainability research, teaching and learning.
In 2010, UBC’s Board of Governors approved the UBC Climate Action Plan, including the following GHG reduction targets against a 2007 baseline for our Vancouver campus:
- 33% reduction by 2015
- 67% reduction by 2020
- 100% reduction by 2050
UBC is aiming for a 100% reduction target in GHG emissions by 2050
Over the past 10 years, the following projects have significantly reduced our GHG emissions.
Steam to Hot Water Conversion (10,600 tonnes CO2e reduction)
Our new 45MW Campus Energy Centre is a hot water district energy system that replaced the campus’ 90-year-old steam system. This switch improved energy efficiency by over 24%, reduces GHG emissions by 20%, and reduces operational costs by $5.5 million per year.
Bioenergy Facility (8,400 tonnes CO2e reduction)
The Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF) recently completed a fifth year of operation. In 2017, the facility converted 8,800 tonnes of clean wood waste to produce over 25% of the total campus thermal production.
Building Tune-up (4,300 tonnes CO2e reduction)
Since implementation, the Building Tune Up program has retrofitted and recommissioned many new and existing buildings on campus.
SUCCESS TO DATE
UBC has set some of the most aggressive GHG reduction targets in North America. Our Vancouver campus now emits 30 percent less GHG emissions than it did in 2007, despite a 21% growth in building floor space and a 30% increase in student population.
Our next GHG reduction target is fast approaching – and recently updated our Climate Action Plan to help us advance towards a 67% reduction by 2020.
Find out more about UBC’s Campus + Community Planning department’s latest work on the Climate Action Plan.