The SEEDS Sustainability Program has received international recognition for our innovative approach to bridging academics and experience to promote and advance sustainability. Since its creation, the program has been granted several awards to recognize the SEEDS Campus as a Living Laboratory model, participants, and student-led research and collaborations.

Recognized as an international model for using university campuses as a living laboratory, our program model has also informed the development of similar initiatives across a number of universities in North America and Europe including Portland State University, University of Arizona, University of Washington, Maastricht University, University of California-Santa Cruz, and Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

Key Highlights


Climate Emergency Fund: SEEDS Selected to Support Student Priorities in UBC’s Climate Emergency Response

SEEDS was one of seven initiatives to be selected by the Climate Emergency Fund to help support the Climate Emergency Task Force recommendations to (1) Foster a Culture of Engagement & Advocacy on Climate Action; (2) Support Community Wellbeing in the Face of the Climate Crisis; and (3) Expand Climate Education Opportunities and Resources for the UBC Community and Broader Public. SEEDS supports these priorities through “Student-led Interdisciplinary Applied Research, Engagement and Knowledge Mobilization.”



Universities as Change Makers: SEEDS Featured as Part of a Dozen Initiatives Around the Globe 

“Universities as Change Makers: Sustainability Initiatives from Across the Globe” was released in 2020 with a Spanish translation following in 2021 as the result of a cooperative effort of two Higher Education Institutions (HEI) – focused international projects based at Freie Universität Berlin: trAndeS – Postgraduate Program on Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region and UAS – University Alliance for Sustainability.

SEEDS was featured as one of a dozen selected initiatives from universities around the globe (Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Peru, and Russia) that contribute to fostering sustainability at HEIs and promote the topic of sustainability in research, teaching, governance and campus management. The initiatives selected demonstrate the ability of universities to foster knowledge exchange and play a significant role as drivers of change on campus and beyond. In doing so, the initiatives were seen to be model projects that can be adopted by other institutions around the world.

Read the full report

Core77 Design Awards

A SEEDS student project, C-Shore was awarded a top international design award by Core77 in the category of Built Environment. Designed and constructed by graduate students at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, C-Shore is a pavilion that relates material ecologies to design. 

Learn more about C-Shore 



Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE): Climate Crisis in Urban Biodiversity

In September 2019, the SEEDS Sustainability Program, together with the Faculties of Forestry, Arts and Science, Campus Biodiversity Initiative: Research and Demonstration (CBIRD) and other core partners from across UBC and the region, launched a collaborative 2 year PURE funded pilot project: Climate Crisis in Urban Biodiversity (CCUB). CCUB is an initiative aimed towards creating interdisciplinary, demand-driven, diverse, and inclusive student-led research that designs and develops urban solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises simultaneously. Applying an inclusive research design and engagement model, CCUB fosters community-based and applied research collaborations with students, faculty, staff and community partners aimed at informing related policies and practices for accelerating action on the climate and biodiversity crises. By co-developing localised urban actions and adaptations CCUB advances local and global issues while supporting transformative learning and research opportunities.

Learn more about CBIRD



International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN)

The SEEDS Sustainability Program was one of thirty international cases selected in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Best Practices from ISCN and Gulf Universities report. ISCN recognized our program for the action-oriented approach we take to supporting the integration of academic and operational work on sustainability.

Read the full report

Sustainability Award from APPA : Leadership in Educational Facilities.

The award recognizes efforts to embed sustainable policies and practices across the institution.

Read the full story



Global Green Gown Award
The SEEDS Sustainability Program was recognized with a Global Green Gown Award for Student Engagement. The award recognizes exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the world. Facilitated by the Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) network across more than 800 universities and colleges, the award is a joint initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

Watch the video submission.

Teaching, Learning and Enhancement Fund (TLEF) Award for Building Biodiversity: A Campus Resource for Teaching, Learning and Doing

SEEDS in partnership with the Faculty of Science’s Botany Department and 4 other faculties and schools was awarded a small TLEF for “The Building Biodiversity: A Campus Resource for Teaching, Learning and Doing Project” which has now grown and evolved into the “Campus Biodiversity Initiative: Research & Demonstration (CBIRD).”  CBIRD is a collaborative, cross-campus project that brings together students, faculties, schools and operational partners to develop applied research, teaching and learning tools, and opportunities to foster biodiversity stewardship on campus. The project created publicly accessible web resources including a biodiversity website, asset map and people tree. In the project’s first year, 36 applied urban biodiversity research projects were created with 26 faculty members and over 30 staff and community partners. Projects were integrated into 23 campus courses, spanning seven faculties and schools. The project provided a unique teaching and learning opportunity that provided faculty opportunities to integrate applied research and tools into their curriculum, and students with the opportunities to conduct impactful research and contribute to teaching and learning tools. In addition, the research and tools developed as a result of this project informed resource management, community education and engagement, and planning decisions on campus.



Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) - Campus Sustainability Case Study Award

UBC’s SEEDS Sustainability Program received a Campus Sustainability Case Study Award for student research projects that use the campus as a living laboratory and support the integration of academic and operational work on sustainability. The full case study is available by logging into the AASHE website.



Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) - Quality and Productivity Awards

SEEDS one second prize in CAUBO’s Quality and Productivity awards. To view more details on this award, login to the CAUBO website. 



Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) - Campus Sustainability Leadership Award 

The AASHE Sustainability Awards provide international recognition to organisations leading the movement for sustainability in higher education. UBC’s SEEDS Sustainability Program received the sustainability leadership award in recognition of demonstrated leadership in promoting sustainability and successful implementation of projects that advance sustainability on campus.