Climate & Energy

In 2007, we met our Kyoto targets for academic buildings—five years early and in spite of growing our building floor space by 35 per cent and enrolment by 48 per cent. In 2010, our Climate Action Plan committed us to bold greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets—33 per cent by 2015, 67 per cent by 2020, and 100 per cent by 2050, compared to 2007 levels. We’re now investing in large-scale energy retrofits, alternative energy systems, and engagement strategies to meet these ambitious energy and climate goals.

Climate Action Plan 2020

UBC is beginning the process to develop a new Climate Action Plan for the Vancouver Campus. 

Over the next 4 months, we will be seeking input from the campus community on what actions we could to take to achieve the 2020 climate action target of reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 67 per cent from 2007 levels.

Academic District Energy System – Steam to Hot Water Conversion project

The Academic District Energy System (ADES) is one of UBC’s signature initiatives. The project involves replacing UBC’s aging steam heating infrastructure with a more efficient hot water heating system. Underway since 2011, the ADES will allow UBC to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions substantially, and also address deferred maintenance on the UBC Vancouver campus. 

Building Tune-Up

Just as your car requires regular tune-ups to run smoothly and efficiently, buildings need tune-ups too. Over time, buildings become less efficient, using more energy to satisfy occupant comfort, heating, and lighting requirements.

Energy Management

UBC’s investment in energy management truly addresses the triple bottom line. Through several self-funding projects over the past decade, we have reduced our energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, reduced deferred maintenance, enhanced the campus working environment, and achieved significant operational cost savings.

As a growing organization, our aim is to consume energy more efficiently and to decouple energy consumption from GHG emissions, reducing our climate impact.


ECOTrek was a building retrofit project completed between 2001 and 2008 across the UBC campus. The project reduced campus energy and water consumption significantly, and helped us to establish a solid energy management platform to launch subsequent initiatives. 

Thanks to ECOTrek, we now have a sub-metering infrastructure on campus that allows us to analyze building performance and initiate programs to maintain buildings at an optimized state.