Environmental racism is contributing to widening health disparities in cities globally, including Vancouver. This report explores the historical and current impact of structural racism on the distribution of environmental hazards in the city. It highlights concerning correlations between high temperatures and visible minority populations, particularly in South Vancouver and the east/southeast areas. The report underscores the need for further analysis to understand the health outcomes of these exposures.

Partner: City of Vancouver
Funder: City of Vancouver
Keywords: social sustainability  

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2023
Federico Andrade Rivas

This project seeks to understand how NatureKids BC, a nature-based youth organization, affects its child and adult members. We asked whether and how it is achieving its program goals of fostering love and curiosity for nature. The program effects were measured using a combination of quantitative measures, and qualitative surveys and interviews. The qualitative results suggest that the impact of the NatureKids BC program impacts aligns with its organizational goals.

Partner: Young Naturalists' Club of British Columbia Society
Funder: Young Naturalists' Club of British Columbia Society
Keywords: sustainability in education, youth development, program evaluation 

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2023
Amy H. Bu

The aim of this project was to develop a curriculum framework to educate and inform Vancouver Coastal Health food services staff on sustainable food practices that also support cultural safety and environmental health in hospital food outlets. Interviews, both informative and exploratory, were conducted with food service directors and staff. The responses guided development of a draft curriculum framework. Recommendations include suggestions for further related research.

Partner: Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)
Funder: Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)
Keywords: food systems, supply chain management & green procurement, waste management & recycling  

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2023
Patricia Unung

This project's goal was to create an exhibit based on a holistic understanding of the health of the lower Fraser River adjacent to the Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC). The exhibit implements a multisensory mode of inquiry and will replace the current water health exhibit. Research conducted included a literature review and interviews and consultation with the Musqueam Environmental Stewardship Department.

Partner: Fraser River Discovery Centre Society
Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: ecological systems, sustainability in education, water

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2023
Samuel Kohlmann

This report evaluates the potential benefits of replacing paper shelf labels with electronic shelf labels (ESLs) in the Canadian retail sector with respect to GHG emissions. The research assesses the impact of adopting ESL in retail stores across Canada. Data collected from research estimates the total paper consumption within the industry.

Partner: Smart Label Solutions Inc.
Funder: Smart Label Solutions Inc.
Keywords: leadership & behaviour change, waste management & recycling, sustainability practise 

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2023
Sidharth Kwatra

This project aims to provide a review of the current operations at selected VCH facilities and recommend practical strategies to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of HVAC systems. Maintaining good indoor air quality at each facility is also of paramount importance to safeguard the well-being of occupants. The recommendations consider both the emission and air quality aspects and inform building operation protocol updates and retrofit efforts.

Partner: Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)
Funder: Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)
Keywords: energy efficiency, health care facilities  

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2023
Shuoqi Wang

The Climate-Kind Pedagogy framework offers an interdisciplinary approach to climate education that goes beyond Western ideologies and embraces alternative worldviews for effective and inclusive climate education. The aim of the project is to establish an adaptable framework and toolkit for educators to increase learner engagement with and awareness of the climate emergency.

Partner: UBC Sustainability Hub
Funder: UBC
Keywords: leadership & behaviour change, social sustainability, sustainability in education 

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2023
Zahira Tasabehji

This project aims to identify actions for the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) to undertake, to develop a heat event response as well as longer-term actions to support climate justice and equity goals by relationship-building with xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). Suggestions include actions on land use, policy change, relationship-building, internal work to reflect and un/learn at UNA, and quick actions to bolster indoor and outdoor public spaces in UNA neighbourhoods during heat events.

Partner: University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA)
Funder: UBC
Keywords: leadership & behaviour change  

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2023
Jocelyn Brady

The project is focused on understanding how collaborative efforts can be improved to enhance and restore the interconnected systems of the Boundary Bay Basin that lies within the unceded territory of the Semiahmoo First Nation and straddles the Canadian and US border. It provides recommendations on best practices and suitable approaches to advance collaboration on efforts that include enhancing water quality and restoring traditional harvesting practices.

Partner: Fraser Basin Council Society
Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: biodiversity, ecological systems  

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2023
Bryce Henney

The project strives to develop an inventory of "large" buildings (over 25,000 sq. ft.) in Metro Vancouver. The inventory includes key building attributes, such as occupancy type, year built, gross floor area, etc. This inventory is pivotal for various actions in the Clean Air Plan (2021) and Climate 2050 Buildings Roadmap. The project contributes to emissions reductions by allowing targeted programs and policies based on the existing building stock.

Partner: Metro Vancouver
Funder: Metro Vancouver
Keywords: green buildings, sustainable development & green economy  

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2023
Bidhan Bhuson Roy

This report examines the effect of boat disturbances on the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population in the Fraser Estuary. The Fraser Estuary is a vital habitat for SRKWs, but limited information is available on the impacts of small recreational boats in the area. This report aims to provide a preliminary analysis of non-AIS vessel traffic and distribution in parts of the estuary.

Partner: World Wildlife Fund Canada
Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: biodiversity, ecological systems, transportation  

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2023
Kim St-Pierre

This project aims to apply a climate justice lens to the goal of heat pump retrofits in UBC neighbourhoods. Includes original data collection and analysis about the community's experience dealing with extreme heat, as well as barriers that are preventing community members from accessing in-home cooling. Recommendations aim to refocus the conversation of heat pump retrofits on those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat, and remove barriers to accessing in-home cooling. 

Partner: UBC
Funder: BC Hydro
Keywords: green buildings, leadership & behaviour change, sustainable development & green economy

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2023
Haley Magrill

This report highlights lessons learned from Indigenous-led conservation initiatives in Canada. These identified best practices inform future conservation actions and initiatives to support Species At Risk (SAR) in S'ólh Téméxw (roughly translated to "our land," referring to Stó:lō territory). Lessons include: foregrounding ceremony, choosing strategies according to cultural teachings and ethics, and writing culturally-situated management plans.

Partner: Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre
Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: biodiversity, social sustainability

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2023
Michelle Hak Hepburn

Native plants are the cornerstone of life on land, providing enumerable ecosystem services that ensure human survival. But, what role do native plants have in a world where climate change and urbanization have drastically altered native environments. This report presents current peer-reviewed literature on the benefits of native plants in human-dominated landscapes; examines the role of native plants in environmental, cultural, and economic systems; and outlines areas for further research. 

Partner: World Wildlife Fund Canada
Funder: World Wildlife Fund Canada
Keywords: biodiversity, ecological systems, food systems  

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2023
Brontê Mutukistna

This project aims to identify potential residential, commercial and industrial sources that discharge CECs into the wastewater system and compile research on best practice pollution prevention strategies. It compares literature data of four hard to treat CEC classes against the Metro Vancouver wastewater plant data, as well as Environment and Climate Change Canada data. In addition, this study identifies potential CEC contributors in the region and suggests source control initiatives.

Partner: Metro Vancouver
Funder: Metro Vancouver
Keywords: waste management & recycling, water  

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2023
Sifat Kalam

This report reviews financial barriers to commercial zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs). The City of Vancouver aims to see 50% of all kilometers traveled be zero-emissions by 2030, and decarbonizing commercial vehicles remains a major challenge. Findings suggest governments can do more to increase positive awareness of larger ZEVs, as well as create innovative financial mechanisms to support small business uptake, such as program concierges, tax credits, and new types of loans.

Partner: City of Vancouver
Funder: City of Vancouver & UBC
Keywords: sustainable development & green economy, transportation, financial barriers

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2023
Aigerim Akiltayeva

This research compares one-step versus two-step screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), evaluating health outcomes and environmental effects like greenhouse gas emissions. By innovatively connecting health benefits and ecological impacts, the study provides critical insights that may guide healthcare policy toward more sustainable and effective GDM management. 

Partner: UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (UBC DPLM)
Funder: UBC  
Keywords: waste management & recycling, environmental effects of health interventions

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2023
Mehdi Jafari

The objective of this project is to identify upcoming municipal and non-municipal climate-related initiatives for CityHive youth cohorts to focus on in the next 1 to 2 years. Project outcomes include two living inventories that highlight potential opportunities for youth engagement in the near future. These inventories are the result of comprehensive desk research and semi-structured interviews with staff from municipalities and non profit organizations in Metro Vancouver.

Partner: CityHive Youth Engagement Society
Funder: UBC
Keywords: leadership & behaviour change, youth engagement, opportunity windows

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2023
Giulia Belotti

This project involved facilitating and summarizing the findings of the Designing for Flood Resilience workshops aimed at discussing the transition to more sustainable alternatives for flood control infrastructure across the Lower Fraser and its tributary streams. Workshop participants highlighted challenges to moving away from the status quo including access to funding, developing standards and guidelines, as well as achieving collaboration between all relevant stakeholders.  

Partner: Resilient Waters
Funder: UBC
Keywords: water, flood infrastructure

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2023
Mauricio Carvallo Aceves

This project focuses on mitigating the environmental impact of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) marine infrastructures. It analyzes EPS applications, regulations, and current efforts, and aims to recommend sustainable alternatives and strategies for an EPS ban. Promising alternatives are identified through market research, while regulatory review stresses clear definitions. The purpose of this project is to support a targeted campaign to ban EPS in British Columbia through provincial and federal laws.

Partner: Surfrider Foundation Canada Chapters
Funder: UBC (Sitka Foundation)
Keywords: ecological systems, waste management & recycling, water  

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2023
Shengzi (Zoe) Li

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