The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global centre for teaching, learning and research, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world and recently recognized as North America’s most international university. UBC has over 64,000 students located across 2 campuses, and manages approximately $600 million in research funding for thousands of projects. The UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓əm) people, and the Okanagan campus is situated on the territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.
UBC puts sustainability at the heart of teaching, learning and research, operations and infrastructure, and community and our sustainability efforts are proudly delivered by a rich diversity of people across campus. In 1990, UBC signed the Talloires Declaration, a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability into higher education. UBC was the first university in Canada to adopt a sustainable development policy in 1997, and the first to open an office devoted to campus sustainability in 1998. In 2010, UBC set bold targets to reduce its carbon footprint, a concept that has its roots in research by two UBC professors. By 2016, UBC achieved a 34% reduction in GHG emissions compared to 2007 levels and is on track to reduce GHG emissions by 67% by 2021. In 2019, UBC was ranked first globally by the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #13 for taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. In 2020, UBC was again ranked first globally for taking action to mitigate climate change as well as first for conserving life under water by protecting marine habitats (SDG #14), the only university globally to rank first in more than one goal.
UBC first formally incorporated ESG into our investment practices in 2013 through the board approved Responsible Investing Policy and introduced a low carbon, fossil fuel free endowment in 2017. In late 2019, the UBC Board of Governors committed to divesting the endowment portfolio from fossil fuel investments and approved the adoption of a comprehensive responsible investing framework to address climate change and other ESG goals in line with UBC’s broader priorities.