overview

Our goals are to enhance the efficiency of our operations, improve environmental performance, and achieve cost savings, while leveraging our campus infrastructure and built environment to demonstrate innovative sustainability solutions at a municipal scale. This year, our Climate Action Plan for the Vancouver campus resulted in 38 percent fewer GHG emissions than in 2007, while in the Okanagan our focus on sustainable design and building performance achieved a 29 percent reduction in absolute GHG emissions vs. 2017.

#1
ranked university in the world under UNSDG Goal #13 for taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (Times Higher Education Impact Rankings).

53%
REDUCTION IN GHG EMISSIONS PER STUDENT
SINCE 2007 (VANCOUVER)

 

50%
REDUCTION IN GHG EMISSIONS PER STUDENT FTE
SINCE 2013 (OKANAGAN)

 

HIGHLIGHTS

UBC Vancouver 

UBC ranked #1 in the world for taking urgent climate action | UBC was ranked the #1 university in the world under United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #13 for taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, according to Times Higher Education (THE). 

Energy programs save UBC $2.3M a year and nine percent in GHG emissions | Building recommissioning and energy retrofits completed to date save the University $2.3 million a year in operating costs, and have eliminated over nine percent of campus GHG emissions compared to 2007 levels. This year, the UBC Energy & Water Services group won the Association of Energy Engineers 'Institutional Energy Management Award' for energy conservation. 

Biomass energy expansion planned to reduce natural gas use | Our Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility has been pivotal in reducing UBC’s GHG emissions. Based on this success, we’re planning to increase biomass energy production. The expanded facility will approximately half the system’s current dependency on natural gas, and eliminate an annual average of 13 to 15 thousand tonnes of GHG emissions over the life of the project. 

Aircuity system installation reduces heating, cooling, and power needs | UBC completed the first installation of an Aircuity system in BC. The system samples air for common contaminants, and provides airflow rates only at the levels needed to maintain air quality. As a result, heating and cooling needs are reduced, and less fan power is required – reducing energy costs by an estimated $60,000 a year.
 

UBC Okanagan 

District Energy System upgraded | A district energy system (DES) provides ground-sourced energy to all academic buildings on campus. This year, the DES was upgraded to increase the system’s cooling capacity, and expanded to include the new Commons library – designed to rely solely on the DES for heating. These upgrades significantly reduced the campus’ consumption of natural gas and associated greenhouse gas emissions. 

Buildings recommissioned to improve ventilation, reduce energy use | Building recommissioning projects were implemented in a number of buildings to support energy and GHG emissions reductions. Improvements made last year resulted in improved building ventilation, reduced energy consumption, and improvements in cold weather operation. 

Net Zero Carbon District Energy Strategy and Climate Action Plan | A Net Zero Carbon District Energy Strategy is being prepared to guide future district energy system development and investments. In addition, UBC Okanagan is also developing a specific Climate Action Plan. The plan will ensure a proactive response to climate change that minimizes GHG impacts and helps prepare the campus for future adaptation measures.