UBC plays a leadership role among global post-secondary institutions that focus on researching, developing, and demonstrating sustainable practices. With over 400 faculty investigating sustainability, our goal is to excel across the spectrum of fundamental and applied research. Below are some examples of new groups and projects – just a small selection from an incredible breadth of work across the university.










Interdisciplinary Research & Collaborations

Emerald Corridor Collaboratory | The Emerald Corridor Collaboratory is a regional network of four cityuniversity partnerships that aim to develop collaborative solutions for sustainable and resilient cities. Meaningful city-university partnerships can be effective in combating complex and interconnected urban challenges such as climate change, rapid growth, affordability and inequality.

Supported by the Bullitt Foundation, the participating partners include:
  • University of British Columbia & Vancouver, British Columbia
  • University of Washington & Seattle, Washington
  • Western Washington University & Bellingham, Washington
  • Portland State University & Portland, Oregon

Bioproducts Institute | The BioProducts Institute (BPI) is an innovative team of fundamental and applied researchers working on solutions to today’s climate and environmental challenges. The Institute brings together inter- and multidisciplinary researchers comprised of scientists, engineers, and market and policy experts to unlock the full potential of materials, chemicals and fuels produced in nature.

Based on the guiding principles of circularity, sustainability and renewability, BPI seeks to reduce society’s footprint and tackle rampant environment challenges such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste, including the increased use of personal protective equipment in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDGES Research Collaborative​ | The acronym EDGES identifies the major themes of this collaborative research group. Environment & Development: Gender, Equity, and Sustainability. The use of the term EDGE is also intended to invoke several of its meanings – highlighting the goal of cutting edge research, signaling the focus of research on marginal and vulnerable populations (women, impoverished, etc.), and references the aim for sharp analysis.

Mapping the Tsleil-Waututh coastal waters

What did the Burrard Inlet look like in the past, compared to how it is now? What were the fishing, food source, and maritime resources there and how did this habitat change over time?

UBC researchers sought to answer those questions, in a clear and interactive way. In collaboration with Tsleil-Waututh Nation and West Coast Environmental Law, graduate student researchers in the Ocean Leaders Program at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and University of British Columbia brought together research on factors of change in Burrard Inlet.

Via an interactive map, they illustrate how factors such as infrastructure, fishing, climate, and maritime activities have impacted Burrard Inlet over the past 200 years, while also highlighting some exciting conservation and restoration projects.

“Much of the habitat has, over the years, been lost to industrial and commercial activity. Protecting the Inlet from further damage would be beneficial to everyone along its coastline,” said Meaghan Efford, a PhD student and member of the Ocean Leaders Program research team.