Engagement programs for students, staff, and faculty support the implementation of our campus sustainability plans and advance a culture of sustainability. Over the past year, we continued to focus on high-impact areas and opportunities including research laboratories, workplace engagement, and student residences to advance resource conversation and sustainability leadership.
OPERATIONAL AND ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS ENGAGED (VANCOUVER)
KM CYCLED DURING BIKE TO WORK WEEK SAVING 15,000+ KG GHG EMISSIONS (VANCOUVER + OKANAGAN)
KG CO₂E EMISSIONS AVOIDED THROUGH SHUT THE SASH CAMPAIGN (OKANAGAN)
SUSTAINABILITY COORDINATORS IN OFFICES AND LABS (VANCOUVER)
Sustainability workplace engagement reached over 8,500 (Vancouver)
Training and educational opportunities reached over 8,500 employees through workshops, events, and campaigns.
Workplace Sustainability Grants funded seven projects to pilot new sustainable innovations in workplaces and laboratories
Green Labs launched a rebate program to replace old freezer units, saving as much 70% on electricity consumption, and was recognized again by the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories
The Sustainability in Residence Program engaged over 500 students to reduce GHG's through the Cool Campus Challenge
The Zero Waste Squad’s peer-to-peer engagement program trained nearly 300 volunteer hours and engaged 8,200 event attendees
Sustainability Coordinators promoted green practices across 77 departments
UBC’s Sustainability Coordinator Program celebrated its 21st year of building sustainability leadership and fostering change. Nearly 130 Sustainability Coordinators from 77 operational and academic departments participated.
The Power of You (Okanagan)
The Power of You is UBC Okanagan’s signature conservation and awareness behaviour change program. Results this year included:
35% waste diversion rate achieved through campus engagement and awareness programs, including a student-developed ‘Sort It Out’ video
20% average fume hood height reduction achieved during the Shut the Sash campaign
7,120 kg CO₂e reduction in commuter emissions via UBC Okanagan’s winning entry in the National Campus Commuter Challenge
UBC Bookstore reduces plastic bag use
Single-use plastics are traditionally difficult to recycle. To help address this challenge, the UBC Bookstore used a Workplace Sustainability Fund to pilot small paper bags instead of plastic bags. To reduce the use of medium-sized plastic bags, new signage included memorable posters to show the relationship between bags and the serious harm they posed for sea lions, turtles and sea birds.
Feedback from cashiers revealed that fewer customers were asking for bags, and a recent bookstore order of 23,000 more paper bags means 23,000 fewer plastic bags in circulation. The Bookstore began to charge for the remaining plastic bags in January 2020, and plans to resume this practice once the COVID-19 pandemic’s reusable shopping bag restrictions are lifted.
Looking ahead, the Bookstore hopes to phase out plastic bags entirely, which would equate approximately 160,000 less plastic bags annually.