The UBC Food System Project (UBCFSP) is a collaborative, community-based action research project initiated jointly by the UBC SEEDS Program and the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Since 2001, the project has engaged over 1,900 students, campus food representatives and faculty members to enhance the sustainability of the campus food system.
The UBCFSP works collectively with core representatives in the UBC food system to assess the sustainability of the system, and respond to barriers and opportunities while transitioning toward food system sustainability.
To learn more about the history of the UBCFSP, please refer to this journal publication.
In 2004, UBC Food System Project partners created a vision statement listing the attributes and guiding principles of a sustainable campus food system. Project partners and students are invited annually to reflect on the vision and propose additions or changes—allowing the vision to evolve with the project.
1) To move the UBC campus food system towards sustainability, by:
- Facilitating a shared vision of a sustainable food system among project partners
- Coordinating project partners and other key campus food systems stakeholders in their efforts to improve the campus food system
- Creating Campus as a Living Lab projects as a vehicle to address opportunities to improve the UBC food system
2) To positively impact the movement towards the sustainability of the larger BC, Canadian, North American and global food systems, by:
- Leading as a model for best practices for sustainable food systems
- Using UBC’s leverage to influence the supply chain and broader sustainability practices
3) To offer students hands-on learning opportunities in a multi-disciplinary project with potential for positive impact on ecological and human health
The UBCFSP involves multiple partners and collaborators across campus. Each year, these partners work with the UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program to identify how student groups can work with partners to improve the sustainability of the UBC Food System.
Project partners include:
- UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program
- UBC Student Housing & Hospitality Services
- Center for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm
- UBC Building Operations
- Soft Landscapes
- Landscape Design
- Waste Management
- UBC Alma Mater Society
- Sprouts & Seedlings
- University Neighbourhoods Association
- UBC Wellbeing
- UBC Campus and Community Planning
- Sustainability + Engineering
- Community Development
- Planning and Design
- UBC Botanical Garden
- Academic partners from across campus (including Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Faculty of Applied Science, Faculty of Arts, Sauder School of Business, and the School of Community and Regional Planning)
UBCFSP committee members convene annually at a workshop to share successes, challenges and to identify food action priorities for the upcoming year. The top priority areas identified for the 2017-18 academic year include
- Reduced Packaging and Consumer Waste
- Internal Communication and Outreach Strategies
- Healthy and Affordable Food
- Climate Action and Resiliency
UBCFSP committee members will take both individual and collective actions toward these priority areas, supported by research through the UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program. A summary of the workshop and actions for the coming year can be found in the 2017-18 workshop summary report.
For more information, or to get involved with the UBC Food System Project, please contact:
Manager, UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program, Community Development
Campus + Community Planning