UBC bioenergy facility acts as living lab for climate change leadership

People and Places | Strategy 3: Thriving Communities
Theme: Innovation
David Woodson, Managing Director, Energy & Water Services

The Bioenergy Research Demonstration Facility (BRDF) on UBC’s Vancouver campus is helping the university hit its aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target: a 67 per cent reduction from 2007 levels by 2020.

A first of its kind project in North America, the system transforms clean wood waste from regional wood product manufacturing and municipal plant trimmings to generate thermal energy for heating campus buildings. The existing plant has already cut the university’s CO2 emissions by around 8,500 tons per year and has contributed a 14-per-cent reduction in UBC’s GHG emissions since 2007. It is a major contributor to UBC’s overall GHG emissions reduction of 38 per cent (in 2018).

The facility illustrates UBC’s commitment to advancing sustainability through renewal and innovation in our learning environments, operations and infrastructure through Strategy 3: Thriving Communities. In fact, earlier this year UBC was recognized on the Times Higher Education University Impact rankings as number one in the world for its climate change efforts.

Visit UBC’s Energy & Water Services to learn about BDRF’s $20.4-million expansion, and how this will help the university reach its emissions targets.