The UBC Climate Action Plan 2030 (CAP 2030) puts the university on an accelerated path to net zero emissions for buildings and energy supply as well as to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions for extended impact areas over the next 15 years.

With the release of CAP 2030, UBC has pledged to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030 for both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Together, these reductions will help UBC contribute to meeting targets set in the Paris Agreement, with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. That’s the threshold many scientists have said is crucial to avoid the most disastrous effects of global warming.

Despite growing student populations, UBC has reduced absolute emissions on both campuses - by 29 percent vs. 2007 levels on the Vancouver campus, and by 41 percent vs. 2013 levels in the Okanagan campus.

CAP2030 TARGETS

45%

collective reduction in emissions from
extended impact sources by 2030.

85%

reduction in campus operations
emissions by 2030.

100%

reduction in GHG emissions
by 2035 vs. 2007 baseline.

GHG Emissions

This dataset indicates UBC GHG emissions over time. Inventories for our Vancouver campus emissions have been completed each year from 2006 onwards. Since 2011, UBC’s energy conservation projects have reduced annual electrical use by over 13 gigawatt hours (GWh) and have saved 143,000 gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas. This is equivalent to shutting down campus for 2.5 weeks and taking 1,600 cars off the road.

Current Performance

green
On track/continued progress made
yellow
Monitor/explore opportunities for improvement
red
Attention required/advance process
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emissions
reduction in GHG emissions vs. 2007 baseline at UBC Vancouver
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emissions
reduction in GHG emissions vs. 2013 baseline at UBC Okanagan
green
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natural gas
campus energy supplied by natural gas at UBC Vancouver
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natural gas
campus energy supplied by natural gas at UBC Okanagan
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Electricity
campus energy supplied by electricity at UBC Vancouver
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Electricity
campus energy supplied by electricity at UBC Okanagan
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campus buildings
campus building energy use intensity at UBC Vancouver
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campus buildings
campus building energy use intensity at UBC Okanagan
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GHG per student
GHG emissions per student (FTE) at UBC Vancouver
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GHG per student
GHG emissions per student (FTE) at UBC Okanagan

Related plans and reports

Building with green roof at UBC

UBC Vancouver Climate Action Plan 2030

An accelerated path to net zero emissions for buildings and energy supply as well as to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions for extended impact areas over the next 15 years.

UBC Okanagan Climate Action Plan 2030

UBC Okanagan’s first Climate Action Plan (UBCO CAP 2030) to address the growing climate emergency and accelerate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions from campus operations and extended (indirect) sources.

Emergency workers responding to flood

Climate Emergency Task Force Report

The Climate Emergency Task Force (CETF) report includes significant commitments and accelerated activities to achieve full divestment, meet our carbon zero goal, and support climate leadership and initiatives led by Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour.

Tree and building tops at UBC Vancouver

Climate Change Accountability Reports

UBC's Climate Change Accountability Reports (formerly Carbon Neutral Action Reports) are required under the province's carbon neutral regulation.

In Depth

Biomass, renewables, replacing natural gas

In 2012, UBC’s Bioenergy Research Demonstration Facility (BRDF) became operational. A first of its kind project in North America, the system processes renewable biomass to generate thermal energy for heating campus buildings.

 

 

The facility plays a key role in helping UBC reduce its reliance on fossil fuels to meet our ambitious emissions reduction targets. The BRDF provides 30% of campus heating needs and eliminates 14% of campus GHG emissions compared to 2007 levels. In addition, a 2MW cogeneration engine uses Renewable Natural Gas to generate over 5% of the power for UBC’s electrical grid.

Every day, the facility generates heat by processing 2 to 3 truckloads of local ground and chipped wood waste from sawmill residuals, municipal trimmings, and land clearing operations. This system is carbon neutral since the amount of carbon dioxide released by the wood waste when used as fuel is the same as would be released during decomposition in a landfill but with the benefit of producing thermal energy.

In 2020-2021 a new 12 MW biomass fuelled hot water combustion boiler was installed. The installation temporarily required using more natural gas for an interim period, but once operational the new boiler will generate 70% of the hot water needed for the district energy system, significantly cutting future GHG emissions.

Read more about the expansion project BRDF from UBC's Energy and Water Services department.

Featured Datasets

Here are some of the datasets available for Energy and Emissions from our online sustainability data portal.

Building Electrical Energy Use

Period: 2011-2021
Campus: UBCV
Interval: Monthly
Last Updated: 26-08-2021

Building Electrical Energy Use

Period: 2019-2021 (rolling 2 years)
Campus: UBCV
Interval: Daily
Last Updated: 26-08-2021

Energy Consumption

Period: 2012-2021
Campus: UBCV, UBCO
Interval: Annual
Last Updated: 25-08-2021

Campus Population and Floorspace

Period: 2010-2021
Campus: UBCV, UBCO
Interval: Annual
Last Updated: 25-08-2021

GHG Emissions

Period: 2007-2021
Campus: UBCV, UBCO
Interval: Annual
Last Updated: 31-08-2021

In Depth

Building optimization reduces energy use

UBC’s Energy and Water Services (EWS) is responsible for several energy conservation projects and programs that are reducing building energy consumption while also saving UBC significant operational costs.

Over time, the original programming of a building versus its actual use become mismatched due to operational schedule changes, renovations, and changes in user requirements. The Building Tune-Up program, rolled out in 4 phases since 2010, involves re-commissioning 72 buildings to reduce the energy and emissions in core campus buildings by 10 per cent. The Biological Sciences, Chemistry Centre, Earth Sciences Building (ESB), and Institute for Computing, Information, and Cognitive Systems/Computer Science building (ICICS/CS) were all involved in the program.