Corporate Knights released its fourth annual Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada list, ranking the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a top higher education institution and second overall amongst nominees from both public and private sectors.

Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada is the only ranking that measures sustainability performance of small to mid-sized organizations in Canada

“As we seek to share our efforts and inspire change beyond the higher education sector, this ranking recognizes UBC not only as a leading university, but as an exemplary sustainability enterprise within a broader context,” said Dr. James Tansey, Executive Director with the UBC Sustainability Initiative.

Corporate Knights research division assesses and publishes global corporate sustainability rankings. The Future 40 ranking is based on publicly disclosed data across 14 sector-specific performance indicators such as health and safety, pay equity, leadership diversity, and innovation. This year there were a total of 135 organizations considered.

Michael Yow, Director of Research with Corporate Knights, highlights that "UBC is a clear example of what one means by 'walk the talk'. Not only does UBC offer programs that promote sustainability, but does so in a sustainable way."

“As a microcosm of challenges faced by other organizations, communities, and cities, our campus is a living lab through which teaching, learning and research efforts fuel innovation and demonstrate the future of sustainability,” noted Tansey. “As one of world’s most sustainable universities, we continously strive to demonstrate next generation of sustainability and inspire positive change beyond the campus.”

UBC tracks its sustainability peformance and reports on overall progress against set goals and targets in the Annual Sustainability Report. UBC recently reached its 2015 target of reducing emissions 33 per cent relative to 2007 levels. 

This was UBC’s first year on the Future 40 ranking. “Our progress to date is thanks to continued engagement and dedicated and integrated efforts of all campus partners, faculty, students and staff – including energy, water, sustainable procurement and wellbeing.”

For a full outline of the Future 40 methodology visit the Corporate Knights website.

UBC has a history of over 20 years of sustainability achievement. It was the first university in Canada to develop a sustainable development policy in 1997, open a sustainability office in 1998 and was named Canada’s first Fair Trade Campus. The university has earned two consecutive Gold STARS ratings (2011, 2015) from a global higher-education sustainability rating system  (STARS) and has been recognized with numerous distinctions for its efforts around green buildings, district energy, planning and engagement. Alongside the Corporate Knights award, UBC was recently named Greenest Employer for sixth consecutive year.

UBC’s 20-year Sustainability Strategy provides a guiding framework for university’s efforts to improve human and environmental wellbeing and integrate sustainability across teaching, learning and research, operations and infrastructure and community.