Emerging Directions and Draft Targets

Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and actions are divided into two main source areas: campus operations and extended impacts. Within these two areas, the emerging CAP 2030 outlines seven strategic action areas, draft targets, supporting actions, and financial considerations identified as part of the CAP 2030 working group process. The emerging directions also highlight climate justice and strategic partnership building as key to CAP 2030’s success, as well as the importance of leveraging other UBCO planning initiatives that contribute to CAP 2030 objectives (detailed above in Planning and Policy Context and Planning Process and Emerging Directions sections).

The March 31 CAP 2030 Public Consultation presentation and a summary of the emerging directions and draft targets are presented below; please refer to the report presented to the Board of Governors in February 2021 for more details. A more comprehensive list of actions and details will be further refined through on-going studies and input from public consultation and will be included in the final CAP 2030 presented in November 2021.

How UBCO Can Take Action: Draft Targets for Campus Operations

There are three strategic action areas with targets to support the campus operations emissions reductions. For rationale and list of actions, refer to the full report presented to the Board of Governors in February 2021.

Emerging directions and draft targets for CAP 2030 were presented to the Board of Governors in February 2021. The CAP 2030 will be presented to the Board of Governors in November 2021. This final version of the plan will incorporate direction from the Board of Governors, refinement of targets and actions through on-going studies, as well as input received through public consultation.

March’s Virtual Webinar Presentation: UBCO CAP 2030 Emerging Directions & Draft Targets

Building Energy and Supply Strategies

Target: By 2030, achieve between a 65% and 80% GHG reduction, from 2013 baseline, through high performance new buildings and existing building energy retrofits.

Operational strategies and draft targets for the UBCO CAP 2030 are currently under development and will be informed by the Strategic Energy Management Plan and Low Carbon Energy Strategy. These plans will support decisions and actions specific to setting campus GHG targets to be included in the UBCO CAP 2030, future building retrofits and future campus infrastructure expansion.

Existing Buildings – Strategic Energy Management Plan (Demand side)

Target: By 2030, reduce existing building energy emissions by 50%, from 2013 baseline.

The Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) up dated in 2020 is a key plan for the campus that enables reduction of building energy consumption, utility costs and carbon emissions in existing campus buildings. It has identified demand-reduction strategies, conservation projects, fuel-shifting opportunities, and detailed, shelf-ready projects to be considered for implementation over the next ten years.


  • Implement the plan over the next 10 years


Energy Supply – Low Carbon Energy Strategy (Supply Side)

Target: De-Carbonize the District Energy System.

The Low Carbon Energy Strategy is underway to support low carbon energy supply strategies for campus growth over the next two decades. Work to date has established that compared to stand alone buildings, district energy utility services is the preferred approach on both main campus and Innovation Precinct.


  • Complete concept design of all phases of decarbonization of the plant in 2021
  • Develop climate-specific GHG Intensity targets for new buildings and ensure that building retrofits and new buildings align with Low Carbon Energy Strategy  

Back to top

How We Can Take Action Together: Draft Targets for Extended Impacts

There are four strategic action areas with targets to support the extended impact emissions reductions. For rationale and list of actions, refer to the full report presented to the Board of Governors in February 2021.


Target: By 2030, achieve a 50% to 60% reduction in Staff, Faculty and Student Commuting.

Staff, faculty and student commuting is one of UBC Okanagan’s largest source of extended impact emissions. This is 300% greater than the total Okanagan direct emissions. In 2019, over 8,800 daily trips were generated by people driving alone, which is 37% of all trips to and from campus. By 2040, this number could increase to nearly 16,000 trips by people driving alone. The UBCO Transportation Plan is currently being developed and will support the Climate Action Plan’s overall strategy to address commuting emissions by providing transportation targets and a suite of strategies required to meet the transportation targets.


  • Complete UBCO Transportation Plan  

Food Systems

Target: By 2030, develop a climate-friendly food system to reduce food system-related GHG emissions by 50%; target 80% climate-friendly food menus in 2025.

Key members of UBCO’s existing Food Strategy Group have assembled a UBCO CAP Food Group, comprised of nearly 20 faculty, students and key operations staff members, to explore opportunities for UBCO to reduce its impact at the procurement, transportation, food preparation and waste disposal stages. This work is aligned with the new in-house operation model of food service that was extended to the UBC Okanagan campus in 2019, which aims to provide local and environmentally friendly food options.

Actions (Draft):

Draft actions focus on food supply, waste reduction and behavior change.
Examples include:

  • Foster partnerships for community driven food procurement 
  • Enhance and streamline measurement of food system GHG emissions and other indicators
  • Implement climate food labelling in collaboration with UBCV 

Business Air Travel

Target: By 2030, achieve a 50% reduce in Business Air Travel emissions from pre-COVID levels.

Business air travel is one of UBC Okanagan’s largest source of indirect emissions. Much of this travel is for business between the campuses, and to meet academic research requirements. By leveraging recent learnings from the COVID-19 Pandemic, including the availability of better communication technology solutions, it is anticipated that air travel can be reduced while maintaining or improving UBC’s educational and research objectives. This acknowledges the dependence upon air travel for faculty and students to carry out certain types of research and scholarly projects, as well as dependencies between the campuses as it relates to system-wide activities.


  • Track and report GHG emissions and for all UBC business air travel 
  • Develop & implement an air travel emissions reduction program that supports and promotes the use of virtual alternatives, addresses barriers and leverages partnerships such as UC3 

Outreach and Engagement

Target: By 2030, (66%) of all UBC faculty, staff and students will be aware of and actively contribute toward UBC’s climate action goals for which they have influence or control (e.g., making sustainable commuting choices, choosing low emission alternatives to business air travel).

UBC Okanagan’s engagement and behavior change program, The Power of You, has demonstrated success in energy conservation and operational emission reductions in offices, labs and student residences. The inclusion of extended emissions in the UBCO CAP 2030 requires the development of new engagement campaigns to support commuting, food, air travel waste, and other emerging UBCO CAP focus areas.


  • Develop new and expanded sustainability communications and engagement programs for high-impact audiences, ensuring adequate ongoing resourcing to amplify engagement on climate action

Back to top