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Report Card 2009

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University of British Columbia
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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University of British Columbia

School details:

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $1,014 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Enrollment: 30,342

Type: Public


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


Data compiled from independent research and survey responses from schools. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methodology  section.


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Overall grade  
A -
The University of British Columbia is a signatory to the Talloires Declaration and initiated a BC Climate Change Statement of Action. The university has developed a sustainability strategy and integrates sustainability into its vision statement and strategic plan. The sustainability office employs seven full-time and four part-time staff, plus student interns. The President’s Advisory Council on Sustainability has seven working groups.
The university's sustainability strategy calls for a 25 percent reduction in carbon emissions per square meter. UBC recently finished a capital upgrade campaign that rebuilt or retrofitted nearly 300 buildings on campus to increase energy and water efficiency and reduce emissions. Annually, sustainability office initiatives reduce carbon emissions by 14,000 tons.
The student-run UBC Farm manages a farmers market and provides seasonal produce. In addition to offering food from the farm, dining services also exclusively serves local eggs, poultry, and milk, and many organic products. UBC has a comprehensive composting and recycling program.
The campus has numerous green buildings, including the LEED Gold Life Sciences Centre. All new construction greater than 600 meters squared is required to achieve LEED Gold certification and all new residential construction follows guidelines set forth in the UBC Residential Environmental Assessment Program. Aging academic buildings are renovated to achieve LEED Silver certification.
The sustainability office and the student development office work to support student participation in UBC's commitment to sustainability through workshops, events, and resources such as the Student Ambassadors Initiative, Sustainability Pledge Program, Residence Sustainability Coordinators, and the Student Environment Centre.
UBC TREK manages programs to improve campus transportation, including a campus shuttle, free transit passes, carpool programs, and a commercial car-sharing program. The UBC Bike Co-op maintains almost 300 community bikes. Some of the plant operations diesel-vehicle fleet runs on B20 biodiesel made from soy and canola based oil.
Information on endowment holdings is updated monthly on the university's website. Proxy voting records are publicly available at the university's investment office.
UBC seeks and expects a reasonable alignment of values between its mission and goals and its investment managers. Some of its investment managers are actively exploring renewable energy funds.
UBC has created an advisory committee on socially responsible investing with faculty, staff, students, and alumni members. The committee advises the board of governors on issues of transparency, proxy votes, and socially responsible investment practices, but does not deliberate on individual proxy votes.
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