FAQs

 

Below are some frequently asked questions about the UBCO CAP 2030. If you have additional questions reach out to Leanne Bilodeau, Associate Director Sustainability Operations at: leanne.bilodeau@ubc.ca.

A climate action plan lays out a path to reduce carbon emissions, with targets and actions to achieve those targets. UBC Okanagan’s Climate Action Plan 2030 will map out where we need to focus our efforts and resources to enable our campus communities, infrastructure, and buildings to be able to proactively address and respond to climate change.
In December 2019, UBC declared a climate emergency, which included a commitment to accelerate the reduction of emissions at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan as well as adding new actions to help reduce GHG emissions beyond UBC’s current climate targets, such as emissions from travel and food. A key step is UBC’s development of a Climate Action Plan 2030 (CAP 2030) for both campuses. The emerging plans are also informed by the feedback we received from UBC faculty, staff and students through the climate emergency engagement process.

UBCO is actively taking measures to reduce operational emissions from its existing buildings, energy supply and in the development of new buildings.  A number of “quick start actions” identified through the UBCO CAP 2030 planning process are currently underway. These include the development of Okanagan guidance in UBC’s LEED Implementation Guide 4.1 update.

UBCO has also developed a Transportation Plan which addressed its most significant source of extended emissions from commuting.

Most recently the Skeena Residence was completed – a 6 storey, 220-unit residence and its first Passive House project, designed to the highest performance level of the BC Energy Step Code. In 2019 the campus was awarded the CleanBC’s Better Buildings Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge Construction and Design Incentive Award, in recognition of best practices in the early adoption of innovative low-carbon building design. The project integrates leading-edge green building “Living Lab” research for UBCO Faculty and green building innovation of provincial, national and international significance.  Given the urgency and need for accelerated climate action, the CAP 2030 process presents an opportunity to leverage additional opportunities for the campus community as a whole to advance innovative low carbon solutions.

UBCO’s contributions are also included in many awards received by UBC. A full list of UBCO-specific awards is available here.

Throughout the development of the CAP 2030, working groups integrated a climate justice lens across emerging climate actions and to help address specific questions framed through the Climate Emergency Task Force. Addressing climate justice was particularly relevant when developing climate actions related to food systems, commuting, and business air travel so that we work to define ways to reduce greenhouse emissions in an equitable manner and recognizing that the choices we make have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable.

Our understanding of climate justice will continue to evolve and we will seek to integrate this learning into informing our policy and guidelines. Additionally, in collaboration with other units such as UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI) and the Climate Hub, we will continue to identify ways that the Climate Emergency Task Force recommendations can be addressed through the scope of CAP 2030.

John Madden, Director of Sustainability at UBC’s Campus and Community Planning, explains the relationship between the plans at both campuses in this article:

Because of their unique context, background, and population, each campus will have its own CAP 2030 plan. There are similarities; both will serve the broad ambitions around accelerating the reduction of climate emissions of core operations, as well as the extended impact areas of food, waste, and transportation.
In developing the plans, we are leveraging systems-level opportunities that address the ambitions on both campuses, and there’s an ability to do that on common themes around air travel emissions, for example. We can develop tools and campaigns and communication efforts to really support our ambitions on both campuses in a systematic way. Similarly, with food and food systems, we can take a systems approach to the way we think about food offerings on both campuses. But the particulars of what that looks like on the ground at each campus will be tailored to each campus community.