Sustainability—balancing best value, social equity and environmental protection—is at the core of UBC’s purchasing principles. At UBC, we are constructively engaging with suppliers and students, staff and faculty to support and encourage purchasing decisions that reflect UBC’s sustainability values.
Every day, thousands of UBC staff and faculty members and students purchase goods and services that have economic, social and environmental impacts. The UBC Sustainable Purchasing Guide has been designed to help you, as a staff and faculty member or student, to buy sustainable goods and services.
reuse-it! UBC facilitates the reuse of goods between departments on campus to reduce the number of reusable items that enter the waste stream.
Launched in March 2011, this online service supports department-to-department transfers of furniture, office supplies and electronic equipment. A total of 1,100 items were reused between March and September 2011, instead of going to landfill. These transfers saved UBC about $24,700, the estimated cost of purchasing these items again.
UBC is working to reduce paper usage on campus and ensure paper that is consumed contains a minimum of 30 per cent post-consumer waste content. In 2016, we reduced paper consumption by 27 per cent compared to 2010 levels. Using the Sustainable Purchasing Guide and the Sustainability Coordinators Toolkit, the UBC community can also contribute by making sustainable paper choices.
In 2011, UBC was designated the first Fair Trade Campus in Canada, thanks to a collaboration between UBC Food Services, AMS Food and Beverage Department, UBC Engineers Without Borders, UBC faculty members and the SEEDS Program.
Since 2004, the UBC Bookstore has worked together with Oxfam Canada and UBC to promote its ‘No Sweat’ Policy. The policy ensures buyers will only purchase clothing from suppliers and manufacturers who employ fair labour practices and are environmentally responsible.
Check out the UBC Bookstore website to learn more:
Providing a healthy and safe working environment for students, staff and faculty is a priority at UBC. Our Green Housekeeping Program, run by UBC Building Operations, includes a comprehensive set of green cleaning and housekeeping initiatives that incorporate sustainability into Custodial Services’ daily operations.
UBC Building Operations has established a UBC Green Housekeeping policy and program, which includes the following initiatives:
Keeping sustainability top of mind when making purchasing decisions contributes to our vision of creating a campus that operates sustainably at every level. Whether you’re a staff member purchasing items for your department, or a student organizing an event, we have the resources you need to help you make sustainable purchasing choices.