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Report Card 2011

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University of British Columbia
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of British Columbia

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $949 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Please note: Data was collected in summer 2010 and may no longer be current.


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


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Overall grade  
A -
The UBC Vancouver Sustainability Initiative and Okanagan Sustainability Institute work to integrate academic and operational sustainability across UBC's campuses. The university employs the equivalent of 15 full-time staff devoted to on-campus sustainability, and 3 committees have worked on a variety of initiatives related to issues such as climate, energy, and waste reduction. Environmentally preferable appliances, electronics, and paper products are purchased regularly.
The university has committed to reduce main campus emissions 33 percent by 2015 and aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. Building energy consumption has decreased since 2005 through measures such as temperature setbacks, energy management systems, LED lighting retrofits, and HVAC system upgrades. A groundwater heating and cooling system generates renewable energy on campus.
Dining services spends more than 50 percent of its food budget on local products as well as produce from the UBC farm. Thirty percent of eggs purchased for the campus are cage free, and 30 percent of chicken is hormone free. Some seafood is also purchased according to sustainability guidelines. Individuals who use reusable containers receive discounts, and pre- and postconsumer food waste is composted at all meals. Electronics are collected for recycling in addition to traditional materials.
All new buildings and major renovations must be LEED Gold certified or equivalent, as per Province of British Columbia directive, and must comply with performance targets set by the university. There are 2 LEED Gold-certified buildings on campus, and 19 other campus buildings meet LEED or LEED-EB criteria. Water consumption has decreased since 2005. Water conservation measures include leak detection, low-flow faucets and showerheads, and greywater systems.
Residence sustainability coordinators work to enforce green practices within dormitories, and paid student interns work in the campus sustainability and transportation offices. Sustainability is incorporated into new student orientation, and the GoBeyond Challenge trains students to reduce their carbon footprint.
UBC's fleet includes hybrid cars and electric trucks. Full-time students receive an 85 percent discount on unlimited public transit passes. The campus has two car-sharing programs and a bike co-op. Roads in the center of campus are closed to vehicular traffic.
The university makes a list of asset allocation, external managers, mutual funds, equity holdings, fixed-income holdings, and cash holdings available online to the public. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is accessible to the public at the investment office.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds, on-campus sustainability projects, and community development loan funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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