UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA BUCHANAN COURTYARD, REVITALIZED AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO CREATE CAMPUS SPACES THAT FACILITATE SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM. PHOTO CREDIT: DON ERHARDT / UBC.
REGENERATION Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to John Robinson, Associate Provost for Sustainability at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Victoria Smith, Director of Communications and Engagement for the UBC Sustainability Initiative, and John Madden, Director of Sustainability and Engineering at UBC, about the university’s new 20-Year Sustainability Strategy.
JOHN MADDEN, DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILITY AND ENGINEERING AT UBC.
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The University of British Columbia (UBC) has a twenty-year history of sustainability. They were the first Canadian university to have a Campus Sustainability office and implement a sustainable development policy, and, in 2010, they set some of the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets in the world. Last year, UBC went even further, releasing an ambitious 20-Year Sustainability Strategy for the development of its Vancouver Campus. The Strategy outlines the university’s sustainability vision and aspirations through to 2035, built around three pillars of (1) teaching, learning, and
research, (2) operations and infrastructure, and (3) the UBC community. At the heart of the Strategy are two radical ideas: That sustainability research and operational sustainability can be integrated, and that the ultimate goal of sustainability should not be harm reduction but a net-positive impact. The Strategy was created using an extensive engagement process. Drafters involved over two thousand people over a four-month period, and a steering committee consisting of staff, faculty, students, and community members oversaw the whole project. “We felt it was incredibly important