There are numerous volunteer-run student clubs, organizations and initiatives at UBC focused on sustainability. While some activities are in specific departments or faculties, many are open to students of all disciplines. All offer plenty of opportunities to meet new people and explore the many facets of sustainability.
FACULTY ASSOCIATED GROUPS
Botany Enthusiasts Club
The Botany Enthusiasts Club (BEC) is the first and only Botany Club at UBC, and the only student club directly affiliated with the UBC Department of Botany. BEC seeks to bring together UBC faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates who share a passion for the discipline of botany and/or a general interest in plants. Throughout the Winter Session, the executive members of BEC organize a variety of plant-related activities and events that promote the building of a community of plant admirers at UBC (please check below for the schedule of events). Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to attend these events, as long as they share our love for plants.
Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) Sustainability
CUS Sustainability is a service within Commerce Undergraduate Society and has been running since 2007. Its vision is to completely fill the void of business sustainability knowledge and action. The 15-20 person team runs an annual business sustainability conference Chasing Sustainability each fall; co-hosts the Ernst & Young Sustainability Case Competition; hosts speakers from business service sectors; and works with the Sauder School of Business to make sustainability a topic in the classroom and in the maintenance of the Henry Angus building. Connect with us!
Environmental Engineering Student Association (EESA)
EESA is a student society dedicated to providing environmental engineering students many valuable resources and bridging the student bodies of UBC and UNBC. Throughout the year, EESA strives to involve environmental engineering students in various national conferences and competitions as well as facilitating industry tours and engaging in sustainability initiatives and education.
Environmental Science Students Association of UBC (ESSA)
The Environmental Science Students Association (ESSA) is the student club representing the environmental science program at UBC. We are dedicated to bringing together people with a passion for the environment. To do this, we organize social events for students to get to know each other outside the classroom. We also put on academic conferences and discussions with professionals in the environmental sciences field, as well as study groups for the program's core courses. We also take part in events promoting public awareness of environmental issues. Please contact us anytime if you are interested in joining ESSA or the environmental science program!
Engineers for a Sustainable World
Engineers for a Sustainable world, formerly known as Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) Sustainability, is a club made up of students and faculty who wish to promote sustainability through action, education and engagement. The main goal of the club is to foster a culture of sustainability in the department and on campus. CHBE sustainability organizes events, including movie nights, regular speaker series, field trips and large e-waste collections. The current main focus of the club is the UBC biodiesel project. Club members produce biodiesel in the department from waste oil obtained from UBC food services. This fuel is then sold to different UBC departments for use in diesel powered vehicles. The club also has a number of other ongoing projects, including a newsletter, organic waste collection and e-waste collection. Please contact us if you would like to receive the newsletter or become involved with the club. We welcome new members from any department.
First Nations Studies Student Association
The First Nations Studies Student Association is a community of students, both non-Indigenous and Indigenous, who want to connect what they are learning in the classroom to contemporary Indigenous issues surrounding them. Whether it be through activism, co-hosting traditional Indigenous ceremonies, and more generally building a community of commited and engaged supporters of Indigenous issues and traditions, these students are creating important dialogue on incorporation of Indigenous interests into sustainable thinking and practice.
Forestry Undergraduate Society (FUS)
The Forestry Undergraduate Society (FUS) consists of the undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. The FUS Council directs the FUS and represents the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC for the Faculty of Forestry. About 20 elected student members embody the Council and are made up of individuals in all years and degree programs. The FUS Council shines with their enthusiasm for their fellow colleagues by providing professional, educational, recreational and social opportunities. They coordinate events to allow students to achieve certificates, participate in intramural sports teams, benefit from social events, partake in engaging presentations, and much more. The FUS ensures that each student will leave UBC with experiences they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice Undergraduate Society
The Undergraduate Student Association at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice fosters feminist, anti-racist, decolonizing, queer and trans* inclusive scholarship and research across UBC campus. Each year, we organize and host The F Word Conference, a student-led and directed conference on feminism, activism, and community. The F Word Conference showcases student research and community collaboration across activist and academic disciplines. The conference provides a venue for feminist scholars, students, and community members to learn each other’s skills, knowledges, and experiences.
Geography Students Association (GSA)
The Geography Students Association (GSA) is one of the most active student organizations on campus. The GSA strives to build and maintain a sense of community within the geography department, and maintain a liaison between the students, staff and faculty. We promote social, academic and leadership opportunities for our members and strive to make our club and department sustainable socially, environmentally and economically. The GSA offers beer gardens, majors nights, graduate school information sessions, bake sales, a UBC Rec sports team, field trips and many more community events!
Geological Engineering Club (GEOROX)
GEOROX is the Geological Engineering undergraduate club. GeoRox are keen participants in intramural sports, field excursions, the "Back from Bush Bash" and the Engineers' Ball. They organize the annual GeoRox Alumni Dinner, and the Distinguished Lecturer industry night.
Land and Food Systems Undergraduate Society (LFSUS)
The Land and Food Systems Undergraduate Society is a student-run organization committed to building a sense of community within the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. The undergraduate society hosts a variety events for the student body, such as Feeding 9 Billion, Community Dinner, Aggie Week, Career Week and more. From growing and harvesting to cooking and eating, the faculty knows all about food and understands the unique ability food has to bring people together. The LFS|US knows that students may not always have the means or time to cook nutritious meals for themselves. With this in mind, every week the LFS|US members plan, shop for and prepare Wednesday Night Dinners for students, faculty and staff. The dinners have grown in popularity, and now the the LFS|US serves meals for upwards of 100 people each week. Food is at the heart of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and it is what they do best!
Allard Law Student Society (ALSS)
The Allard Law Student Society (ALSS) is a student-run organization operating out of the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC. Our primary goal is to promote greater awareness of the legal aspects of current environmental problems to the community and to offer opportunities to law students to understand the practice of environmental law. The ALSS sponsors and hosts many events at the law school, including an Environmental Negotiation Competition, Career Panel, field trips, and more.
Planning Students' Association
The Planning Students' Association, and more specifically the Sustainability Committee within the organization, is composed of students within the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP). Our goal is to create a community of student engagement and learning within our program that examines and bridges issues from the classroom to the community, including sustainability. The Sustainability Committee has various goals and principles to guide the organization's initiatives, such as zero waste, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, local and sustainable agriculture, land use, and health and wellbeing.
Psychology Students' Association
Our mission is to enhance the personal, professional and academic success of psychology students in UBC by working together with the Department of Psychology. We try to accomplish this mission in large part by holding great academic and social events throughout the academic year. By signing up as a PSA member for a modest annual fee of $10, you will get free access to every academic and social event, information about research or volunteer opportunities, 15% discount off of graduation photos and a great opportunity to meet fellow members who love Psychology.
UBC Emerging Green Builders
The University of British Columbia Emerging Green Builders (UBC EGB) is a part of Common Energy UBC, that engages a robust inter-disciplinary network of students, scholars, professors, practitioners, and administrators concerned with the future of the built environment. Our mission is to create a built environment that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. We intend to provide students and new professionals affordable resources for integrating green design in their studies and practice. We offer workshops, building tours, and networking events for any students interested in green building. We invite students from any discipline and any year of study.
The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm stewards a diverse, integrated on-campus 24-hectare farm system for learning, research, and community service. UBC Farm is a one-of-a-kind facility that brings together the rural and the urban, connecting people with the source of their food. The farm explores how food systems can meet the challenges of climate change and improve the health and well-being of our communities. UBC Farm welcomes learners of all ages, researchers and students from all disciplines, First Nations groups, and visitors from around the world.
Established in June 2016, GreenChem UBC (GCU) is a student-founded and student-run organization with the vision of promoting chemistry which uses fewer resources, less energy and has lower environmental impact. Through seminars, workshops, and networking, GreenChemUBC strives to educate scientists and engineers about important green chemistry concepts that are relevant to chemical research and the community at large.
STUDENT UNION GROUPS
Alma Mater Society (AMS) Sustainability
The UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) recognizes the ecological crisis that humanity faces and the special responsibility universities and university students have in finding and implementing solutions. The creation of the AMS Sustainability provides a framework for walking the talk. From local food security, responsible consumption, and a youth climate action coalition to a water bottle-free campus campaign, community-based social marketing and the Natural Step Framework, the AMS Sustainability initiative showcases the many faces of sustainability, strives to build stronger campus sustainability networks and fosters sustainable behavior change in our everyday life. Please contact us to get involved.
The Bike Kitchen is UBC's non-profit, student-owned, full-service bike shop. The shop was founded by the UBC Bike Co-op, with the support of the UBC Alma Mater Society and the Trek Program Centre. At the Bike Kitchen, you can purchase a fully refurbished and guaranteed used bicycle; donate your old bike and parts; fix your bike with our tools; learn to fix your bike if you don't already know how; leave your bike for repairs if you're too busy; and choose from a wide selection of new and used parts and accessories.
Environmental Policy Association (EPA)
The UBC Environmental Policy Association (EPA), is a club dedicated to analyzing economic and political responses to climate change. The UBC EPA hosts a wide variety of discussion-based events designed to encourage public engagement in environmental policy. We encourage you to participate no matter your experience, field of study, or previous knowledge of the subject. Our mission includes increasing awareness surrounding global climate change policies and their ramifications.
Parks Canada Club
Pride UBC Collective is an AMS Resource Group found in the SUB. Collective members are available to offer educational and support services to those who self-identify within the multitude of gender & sexuality identities and non-identities as well as to allies and those who just wish to know more. We assist those coming out; supply a forum for discussion; hold social events, workshops, daily discussion groups; and host Outweek - a campus-wide, week-long celebration in February. Our members come from diverse backgrounds and everyone is welcome.
Roots on the Roof
Roots on the Roof (UBC Rooftop Garden Club) is a student-run club that manages the rooftop garden space and the community garden plots on the roof of the AMS Student Nest. We are focused on creating community-minded experiences and opportunities for personal empowerment that also incorporate concepts of food justice and food security. We facilitate student and community capacity around food by producing food as sustainably as possible, and by hosting events and workshops that encourage interactions around food, culture, health, and sustainability. By engaging with UBC’s diverse community, we hope to provide an avenue for knowledge sharing that enables dynamic ways to approach food system issues.
Sprouts is a favourite destination for seasonal organic soups, homemade bread, baked goods, and fair trade coffee. We also offer workshops, a produce box subscription service, bulk buying program, and a weekly by-donation lunch (Community Eats). As a dynamic and student volunteer-powered initiative, we aim to create a community that supports sustainable food systems. We offer various volunteer opportunities in our two cafes-Sprouts and Seedlings. Please visit our website for details about our volunteering opportunities and our many initiatives.
Social Justice Centre (SJC)
The Social Justice Centre (SJC) is a Resource Groups of the Alma Mater Society at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. We recognize that there are immense socio-economic inequalities both globally and in our communities. These inequalities are inherently unjust. At the SJC we aim to take action to abolish these inequalities.
Student Environment Centre (SEC)
The Student Environment Centre (SEC) is a resource group mandated by the UBC Alma Mater Society for people within the UBC community who are concerned, or would like to learn more about, environmental problems and the broader issues of sustainability facing our planet. We provide environmental and sustainability resources to the UBC community and organize events throughout the year on campus, such as Responsible Consumption Week, and events for our members, such as the annual Bike to Wildwood. If you have an idea for an environmental event or program, you can apply to SEC for funding and we are happy to provide advice, volunteers, funding and any other support you may need for your project. Meeting times can be found on our website; they are held in Room 2102 of the Nest. If you can’t attend, sign up for our listserv to receive weekly newsletters and updates about environmental activities happening around campus and in Vancouver.
UBC AND BEYOND
AIESEC, the world’s largest student-run organization, is the international platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential to have a positive impact on society. In partnership with business and higher education, AIESEC has over 50 years’ experience in developing high-potential students into globally-minded, responsible leaders. AIESEC’s innovative development process consists of unmatched leadership experiences and global internships. Through active participations in internship programs and national conferences, students have the opportunity to develop their professional skills and develop an international perspective while making many memorable friends and memories.
The Bike Co-op provides students and the wider community with an accessible environment where they can learn to fix bicycles, share resources, and work together. Members engage in cycling education, outreach, and advocacy to promote biking as a safe, affordable and sustainable means of transportation. We have a variety of programs (a lot of which are free!) to get bike-curious people involved with our community. Check out our website to find out more. Whether it be in a Women and Queers Night or during one of our [bike] Stripping Parties!, we hope to see you soon.
Common Energy UBC
Common Energy UBC is a student-run organization of diverse and forward-thinking individuals working to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of the UBC community. We aim to affect real change by building strong networks and working proactively with the University. We strive to foster leadership and engage our peers through innovative programming. We currently have six teams–Emerging Green Builders, Events & Outreach, Food & Connections, Campaigns, Tangible Solutions, Residence–working in dynamic ways to create a more sustainable UBC community. Contact us at any time to join a team or find out more!
Engineers without Borders
The University of British Columbia chapter of Engineers Without Borders is a dedicated family of student volunteers, working to create systemic change to improve the livelihood of people in developing countries. And it’s not just for engineers! We are one of 34 professional and student chapters that is working to create lasting change. By engaging fellow Canadians, government, UBC faculty, and companies, we promote building connections to Africa and making choices that better contribute to human development.
Environmental Design Society
Made up of Environmental Design students in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, our primary focus is to provide academic and social support for the program’s students. In addition, we communicate to a wider audience the role of design in shaping the way we inhabit and form relationships to our natural and built environments.
We're a diverse group of students, both undergraduate and graduate, working toward creating an inclusive learning and working environment. We raise student awareness via workshop education and outreach activities to: Better recognize prejudices in ourselves and others, identify ways of responding to situations of discrimination and harassment, and discuss strategies for working to build a socially responsible campus community. Social justice and dedication to promoting human rights and inclusivity for all students, staff, and faculty is the common goal for all Equity Ambassadors.
Friends of the UBC Farm (FotF)
Friends of the UBC Farm (FotF) is a group open to both students (as a UBC Alma Mater Society club) and the wider community. Our mission is to support the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm by increasing awareness about the value of the UBC Farm and its education, research and community outreach programs at UBC and wider communities. Of course, we love food, and we love doing fun activities relating to land, food and community. This year, FotF will be working to support the successful adoption of the Sustainability Academic Strategy and the South Campus Academic Plan, which outline the long-term future for the farm. We will also continue to organize fun workshops and events at the farm, and raise awareness about the farm through our presence at outreach events throughout the city. If you are interested in connecting with this great community of students and non-students, feel free to drop into our weekly meetings or send us an e-mail.
If you are interested in making a difference in the world around you, the Global Lounge provides you with an opportunity to connect with other UBC students and get involved with the international issues that matter to you. The Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge & Resource Centre at the UBC serves as a home base for globally-focused UBC student clubs and organizations, currently representing membership of more than 1000 students. With funding and operational support from the University, these groups are committed to dialogue and action, regularly sponsoring programs and initiatives that foster intercultural understanding and international engagement, and build a community among students, faculty, and staff interested in global issues.
Oxfam UBC is committed to developing innovative ways to support Oxfam's important aid and relief work, and to raising awareness of global poverty. We act locally, helping to create UBC's Ethical Purchasing Policy Committee, which draws together representatives from the UBC Alma Mater Society, the administration, and Oxfam Canada, and is committed to the goal of a "No Sweat" campus. We also foster partnerships to host exciting events such as fundraiser dinners, film nights, concerts, rallies, Uneven Playing Field soccer games, and workshops. Come join us and take this opportunity to act locally on global issues, while meeting great people and building lifelong skills.
Sauder Net Impact
The Sauder School of Business's Net Impact Club is devoted to finding business solutions that promote environmental and social sustainability. Net Impact is Sauder's largest graduate student club. The group hosts speakers, pro-bono consulting sessions and other social and networking events. Net Impact members attend conferences worldwide and volunteer in the community to make an impact. Its flagship event is the Sauder Net Impact Conference which occurs each spring, bringing in 160 attendees, and representatives from business, academia, government, and the community.
Social Enterprise Club (SEC)
We're here to give you opportunities to take part in incredible projects in the field of social enterprise. We seek to educate students about all aspects of social enterprise, engage students in active examples of social enterprise, and connect students to social enterprise organizations and professionals and other students, locally and internationally.
Whether you've been involved in social enterprise before or you're completely new to the field, we welcome you into a community of individuals passionate about social enterprise. We offer many exciting events and opportunities for you to deepen your knowledge, be engaged, and become inspired.
The Sustainability Ambassadors Peer Program is a sustainability education outreach activity of the UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI) Teaching & Learning Office. Volunteer Ambassadors work with the Sustainability Student Advisor as part of a team to deliver sustainability programming to fellow students on the UBC-Vancouver campus. They also network with student groups on campus to promote sustainability education.
Sustainablity in Residence (SiR)
Sustainability in Residence (SiR) is a collaborative partnership between Campus Sustainability and Residence Life. The team engages and embeds long-term strategies on sustainable initiatives for over 8500 students living on campus, including the Do It In the Dark, an energy and water conservation competition hosted in Totem Park and Place Vanier, and Give & Go: Sustainble Move Out, a program focusing on waste reduction and supporting local organizations. Students involved are passionate about environmental initiatives and the team is open to all students to assist in improving one of the university's largest demographics: residents. SiR work closely with Common Energy UBC and the Totem/Vanier Sustainability committee.
Contact: Kaitlyn Tissington-Turner at email@example.com
UBCC350 is a group of students, faculty, and staff at the University of British Columbia, dedicated to using political action to address the climate crisis. We are committed to fostering government action to reduce exports of greenhouse gases from British Columbia, especially from coal and tar sands pipelines. UBCC350 also administers the Divest UBC campaign to encourage the University to divest from the fossil fuel industry.
Want to learn more about your wellbeing as a student? Interested in topics like healthy eating, sleeping, safer sex and stress management? Stop by the UBC Wellness Centre and chat with a Wellness Peer! Trained Wellness Peers can answer health and wellness questions, refer students to health services on campus, and offer workshops to student groups. Visit the Wellness Centre in IKBLC Room 183, or email us.