Sustainability Features

Think Green graphic shows green leaves inside a lightbulb.

At UBC, sustainability is not just a word to define—it’s a word that defines us. Through our collective efforts in education, research, partnerships and operations, UBC advances sustainability on our campus and beyond. Our goal is to commit, integrate, demonstrate and inspire. – UBC Sustainability

Sustainable Living

UBC has been recognized nationally and internationally for its commitment to sustainable living, excellence in energy management, and green-focused operational initiatives, including innovative building designs and an efficient vehicle fleet. More than 9,000 students who live in residence have easy access to compost and recycling, green committees, activities, and education opportunities, and a Mindful Move Out program to reduce waste during times of high turnover.

Sort It Out!

Sustainability is a shared value in residence. We depend on all residents to help us reduce household waste and food waste from residence dining halls.

  • Each residence has a sorting area—usually in the basement—with clearly marked collection bins for recyclables, e-waste, charitable donations and trash. Donated items go to AMS Food Bank, Discovery Books, and the Developmental Disabilities Association.
  • All campus food services outlets, including residence dining halls, are equipped with sorting stations for food scraps, compost, recycling, plastics, and other waste items. Learn more about how to sort food scraps and recycables at UBC.
  • 4,500 individual suites have access to on-site composting.
  • Ponderosa Commons suites are each equipped with separate bins to compost/recycle.

Energy Savings

  • Many suites have high-efficiency lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and occupancy light sensors. These come standard in Totem Park’s new residences.
  • Low-flow fixtures come standard in Ponderosa Commons and have been installed in 96 student apartments at Walter Gage.
  • More efficient compactors have been installed at Fairview Crescent, Acadia Park and Walter Gage.
  • Ponderosa Commons is equipped with a panel cladding building insulation system and window sensors to reduce energy loss.

Sustainable Food Supply

  • UBC was Canada’s first Fair Trade campus.
  • 53 per cent of food provided by UBC Food Services is grown, raised, produced or processed within 150 miles of campus.
  • Menus feature a growing selection of Oceanwise â„¢ certified seafood products.
  • Growing annual purchases and exploring new partnership opportunities with the UBC Farm.
  • Eliminated Styrofoam from all non-franchised food units.