20 Years of Sustainability at UBC
UBC became Canada’s first Fair Trade university in 2011.
Between 1999 and 2016, UBC reduced the volume of paper used by 66 per cent.
Much of UBC’s work in sustainability happens behind the scenes — and nowhere is this more evident than in our Green Housekeeping Program, established in 2012. Coordinated by UBC Building Operations, this program ensures that UBC’s Custodial Services works to minimize its ecological impact throughout its day-to-day operations. From the EcoLogo certified products used to clean and sanitize classrooms and offices, to the Green Seal hand soap in our washrooms, UBC is ensuring that all working and learning spaces are clean and toxin-free.
All academic buildings use only 100-per-cent recycled paper towels and toilet paper, as well as degradable garbage bags manufactured in Canada. Even our hand dryers have been thoroughly vetted: a 2012 SEEDS project studied the environmental, health and economic consequences of alternative hand dryers on campus and as a result, the formidably high-tech (and low-maintenance) Dyson Airblades were found to be superior to standard paper-towel dispensers. The Dyson Airblades are now recommended for use and installed in most new UBC buildings.
You can make more sustainable purchases at UBC and beyond.
Special thanks to our story partners: The UBC Sustainability Initiative and Campus and Community Planning and the many units, departments, and faculties at UBC that helped contribute invaluable information on sustainability for this story.
Story team: UBC Communications & Marketing — Cindy Connor, online producer; Cynthia Deng, web developer assistant; Margaret Doyle, digital storyteller; Paul Joseph, UBC photographer; Michael Kam, web developer; Adrian Liem, manager, digital communications; Mark Pilon, communication designer; Jamil Rhajiak, digital communications specialist; Laura Stobbe, communication designer; Matt Warburton, manager, graphic design; Aida Viziru, web interaction designer. Content writer — Jessica Werb. Copy editor — David Leidl.
Published: May 2017