The University explores and exemplifies all aspects of economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
David Brower

UBC Life Sciences building and 'supermileage' vehicle
UBC recognizes that to meet society’s needs without compromising those of future generations requires the best efforts of the brightest minds in every field—ecological, economic, and social.

Already a global sustainability leader, the University builds its international reputation by taking the lead at home: in Vancouver and the Okanagan, UBC links academic, research, and operational sustainability to become a living laboratory.

Prudent with financial resources and mindful of its mandate to society, UBC supports those initiatives that will ensure the long-term resilience of the University and its ability to serve for generations to come.

The University creates cost-neutral ways to include sustainability teaching and learning in and across all disciplines, and encourages students, staff, and faculty to carry daily sustainability practices out beyond the gates.

In class, in campus plans, in community development, and in partnerships both local and global, UBC exemplifies the hope that we can leave behind us a world worthy of our children.

Goal Ensure UBC’s economic sustainability by aligning resources with the University vision and deploying them in a sustainable and effective manner

Portfolio Action

Strengthen the strategic and financial planning culture at the faculty and unit level

  • Implement a distributed-integrated staffing model in Finance (VPF); expand into the Faculties down to the Department level (VPF)
  • Implement senior financial strategic decision support in the Vancouver Provost Office (VPA)
  • Implementation of a new Faculty driver based budget model and Budget Retreat process to allow for input into long-term strategic planning (VPF, DVC)
  • Continue with a quarterly operating report (VPF)

Provide a solid financial foundation for long-term success through continuous improvement and active revenue management

  • Continue to implement and monitor an overall revenue diversification strategy to further grow the share of non-public operating funding (VPF, VPA, VPS, VPRI, VPE, VPDAE, DVC)
  • Significantly expand tuition revenues through multiple strategies: increased international diversity at the undergraduate level, expansion of professional and corporate programs, access and lifelong learning. (VPA, VPF)
  • Increase the summer use of each campus to diversify revenues and improve the overall vibrancy of the community; in Vancouver increase academic programming through the development of 12-month programs (including Vantage), the hosting of pre-University camps and the on-going expansion of the conference business. (VPF, VPA, VPS, DVC, Provost Okanagan, AVPS)
  • Continue to build the endowment, including through real estate development and thoughtful asset management, as well as from expansion of the market rental portfolio (VPF)

Achieve operating excellence across the entire University

  • Implement major initiatives to improve the University’s organizational effectiveness such as the full reengineering of all Payment and Procurement processes, which will move online to improve the user experience, strengthen controls and accelerate reimbursements; and significant improvement of the University’s administrative systems.  (VPF)
  • Review the system-wide approach in Finance (VPF)
    – clarify the system governance and budget model
    – continue to build collaborative approaches to working across campuses in support of integrated strategic planning
  • Continue to proactively manage risk by building on the strong risk management framework in place across the University, mitigate three major areas of risks:
    – the liquidity risk through internal borrowing and quarterly reviews of the integrated capital and liquidity plan while continuing to work on possible structural solutions with the Provincial government; (VPF)
    – Personal Information risk using a cross-functional approach encompassing training and awareness, business process redesign, encryption and document management; (VPF, UC, VPA)
    – Seismic risk by reinvesting a dedicated fund stemming from insurance savings and continuing to use an infrastructure renewal lens in prioritizing capital projects. (VPF)

Goal Make UBC a living laboratory in environmental and social sustainability by integrating research, learning, operations, and industrial and community partners

Portfolio Action

Demonstrate leading edge solutions by deploying innovative technologies and testing social acceptance; and by leveraging the municipal size of the campus and of University Town

  • Complete the remaining “living laboratory” projects to meet climate change and research goals (VPER, VPA)
  • Update and implement a new Climate Action Plan for the UBC Vancouver Campus to achieve the 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 67 percent from 2007 levels (VPER, VPFI)
  • Implementation of the Okanagan Campus’ Whole systems Sustainable Infrastructure Plan (DVC)
  • On the path to zero waste, UBC’s Vancouver campus is targeting an increase in its overall diversion rate to 80% by 2020

Make UBC an agent of change through innovation, integration, demonstration and inspiration

  • Implement and expand MOUs with Metro Vancouver, the UNA, the City of Vancouver, BC Hydro, the NRC and various NGOs to initiate and expand programs such as Greenest City Scholars (VPER, VPA)
  • Develop and Implement a UBC Wellbeing Strategy to support our campuses and our communities (VPS, VPHR, VPER, VPA, DVC, Provost Okanagan, AVPS)
  • Demonstrate leadership through tracking, evaluating and sharing our academic, operational and community efforts. (VPA, VPER)
  • Provide students with knowledge, applied skills and experience that enable them to act as agents of change. (VPA, VPER, VPS)
  • Development of an MOU with the City of Kelowna and Regional District of Central Okanagan (DVC)

Goal Create a vibrant and sustainable community of faculty, staff, students and residents

Portfolio Action

Meet the social needs of faculty, staff and students, from local and affordable housing, to childcare and transportation

  • Continue constructive dialogue with the campus community on planning and development by implementing UBC’s Engagement Charter. (VPER, VPA)
  • Complete the Orchard Commons (2016) and Brock Commons (2017) mixed use student housing projects. (VPER, VPS, VPF)
  • Assess implementation of the Vancouver Campus Plan, including the effectiveness of the ‘Commons’ model. (VPER, VPS)
  • Construct and operate more than 1600 additional housing beds by 2016 and up to 2000 more by 2020 to meet the growing demand for on campus housing. (VPS)
  • Implement and review effectiveness of the Faculty Home Ownership Program on UBC’s Vancouver Campus. (VPA, VPHR, VPER)
  • Participate in long range planning on a rapid transit line to UBC in partnership with the Province, TransLink and the City of Vancouver (VPER)
  • Continue to meet UBC’s Land Use Plan target of more than 50% of campus neighbourhood residents working or studying at UBC. (VPER)
  • Continue to develop and enhance on campus food service variety, quality and environments to meet the diverse needs of the campus and broader community (VPS)
  • Continue to expand child care spaces and options both within the academic lands and in the neighbourhoods to address child care needs of the campus community, including 24 infant/toddler spaces in Orchard Commons (2016), 22 spaces for children aged 3-5 years in The Nest (2016) and 25 spaces for children aged 3-5 years in Vista Point (2016). (VPS, VPER)
  • Continue to develop campus public realm programming in partnership with faculties and students. (VPER)
  • Develop and Implement a UBC Athletics and Recreation Facilities Strategy. (VPS, VPER)
  • Create a new position devoted to enhancing the campus experience at UBCV, in partnership across campus and community (VPS, VPER)
  • Continue to work with external stakeholders (i.e City of Kelowna, BC Transit, RDCO) and advocate for improved campus access options including safe bicycling access, bus service, and roadway connections. (DVC)
  • Established terms of reference for the Campus Safety Working Group reporting into a Campus Safety and Security Steering Committee. Received approval for additional bluephones and upgrades to existing phones on campus.

Expand the vibrant, sustainable and affordable U-Town@UBC Community

  • Implement the Wesbrook Place and University Boulevard Neighbourhood Plans. (VPER)
  • Continue a dialogue with the Musqueam nation on partnership opportunities (VPF)
  • Continue to collaborate and partner with the University Neighbourhoods Association on the delivery of quality community programs and services.

Physically deliver “Place of Mind” throughout the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses by weaving outstanding academic and cultural infrastructure into an inviting and inspiring public realm

  • Complete implementation of Board approved projects at the Vancouver campus. (VPF)
    – Orchard Commons (2016)
    – Aquatic Centre (2016)
    – Quantum Matter Institute AMPEL (2016)
    – National Soccer Development Centre (2017)
    – Brock Commons Phase 1 (2017)
    – Totem Park Student Residence In-Fill Phase 2 (2017)
    – Indian Residential Schools History and Dialogue Centre (2017)                                                                               – Undergraduate Life Sciences Teaching Lab Renewal (2017)
    – UBC Exchange (2018)
    – Gage South Student Housing (2019) (VPFI, VPER, VPS)
  • Complete the comprehensive public realm plan to weave together the fabric of the Vancouver campus while using and animating the public outdoor spaces. (VPER)
  • Continue to work towards planning, design and development of the Okanagan Teaching & Learning Facility (DVC, Provost Okanagan)
  • Bookstore renewal project completed, adding additional services (convenience store, food) and additional seating/study space. Bookstore also hosted popup shops to diversify their offerings for the community, expanded emphasis on multiple formats (new/used/online/rental) for academic materials and worked to epxand interest in new Open Educational Resources(VPS).
  • Implementation of the Board approved 2015 Okanagan Campus Plan (DVC)
    – University Way Pedestrianization
    – Transit Exchange in partnership with BC Transit
    – Safe bicycling access in Partnership with City of Kelowna
    – John Hindle Drive
    – West Campus Access
    – Integrated Stormwater Management Plan
    – Innovation Precinct planning and infrastructure review
    – Implementation of the Whole systems Sustainable Infrastructure Plan

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

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Place and Promise: The UBC Plan

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