UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Reports

Defining and implementing social sustainability at the University of British Columbia Sinclair, Caitlin 2010

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DEFINITION, PERFORMANCE GOALS AND KEY FINDINGS                         Photo Source: UBC Public Affairs GEOGRAPHY 446  Prepared by: Caitlin Sinclair & Max St-Maurice S O C I A L  S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y Defining and implementing social  sustainabi l i ty  at  the  University of  Brit ish Columbia U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a ,  Va n c o u v e r  •  D e p a r t m e n t  o f  G e o g r a p h y  •  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y  O f f i c e Table of Contents Social Sustainability
 1 Foreword
 1 The University Context
 1 Definition
 1 Vision
 1 Performance Goals & Key Indicators for the University
 2 Key Findings
 3 Key Findings Continued
 4 Key Findings Continued
 5 University Specific Findings Continued
 6 Bibliography
 7 Appendix 1: Social Sustainability in the Decision Making Process
 11 Appendix 2: Social Capital
 12 Appendix 3: “Clumping” of Key Findings
 13 University Specific Key Concepts
 14 Appendix 4: Further Research
 14 U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y Social Sustainability Foreword The goal of this assignment is to define social sustainability within the university context.  We aimed to provide a succinct, concise definition which could be easily understood by the community at large.  To achieve our definition, we researched descriptions and criteria of social sustainability in a variety of contexts, and across a variety of resources. To create our definition, we gathered common ideas and themes from these sources, and attempted to succinctly incorporate the important themes into a single definition that encompassed our belief of what “social sustainability” is.  It should be understood that there are three components to sustainability: ecological, economical and social.  However this project focuses on social sustainability, while acknowledging  economical and ecological sustainability when appropriate.  The following is our definition, our vision, and our key findings explained. The University Context The university context includes those directly involved with the university: the students, faculty, staff and administration.  It also extends beyond this, and includes people who live on campus but are not affiliated with the university, businesses on campus, and any university endeavor outside the campus that the university can have an involvement with.  This ranges from research, collaboration with other institutions, partnerships and those who buy and sell commodities with the university.  The university context is the university itself, and the web it is linked to. Ecology
 Society Economy Definition Vision Our vision is: a sustainable university community, where a high quality of life is promoted through community engagement, inclusion and involvement where students, faculty, staff and neighborhood members are united in an accessible, safe, ethical and affordable community, where culture and diversity are supported, opportunities flourish and a sense of belonging is fostered. U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 1 SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY IS:  PRACTICING ETHICAL BEHAVIOR THAT PROMOTES AND MAINTAINS A STRONG, SAFE, ENGAGED AND INCLUSIVE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY. IT IS CONTINUOUSLY VALUING A HEALTHY AND EDUCATED SOCIETY WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY; IT IS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE FOR EVERYONE. Our vision embraces the application of these ideals at the beginning of every decision making process throughout the university, and an enduring accomplishment of these principals in a community passionate for sustainability. Performance Goals & Key Indicators for the University The following are our proposed goals for implementing social sustainability in the university. Create a greater awareness of social sustainability both inside and outside the university In contrast to ecological and economical sustainability, social sustainability is often overlooked.  As a result of this, it is less understood by the community at large. An important goal, therefore, is for the university to spread awareness of social sustainability practices throughout the campus and to all stakeholders in the campus community. UBC should become a leader in social sustainability by using its resources as an influential university to extend an understanding of social sustainability to all other institutions, and the community at large. Increase community involvement, inclusion and interaction on campus Involvement, inclusion and interaction are key principles for building a sense of community in a diverse society. UBC should continue to encourage the participation and involvement of a diverse population in campus organizations, activities and academics.  It should also strive for student, faculty and staff input throughout the decision making process to increase community responsibility.  In addition, it should continuously supports the inclusion of a diverse population. Implement social sustainability as a primary concern in the decision making process The decision making process is the foundation for any new university incentive. UBC should implement social sustainability as a primary concern, and requirement, for all stakeholders at the beginning, and throughout, all decision making processes in all university endeavors.  This includes all university undertakings in and outside the campus community.  (See appendix 1: Sustainability in the Decision Making Process) Develop obtainable human amenities that extend throughout the community Social sustainability strives to make a community safe, strong, affordable, and provide accessible services, opportunities and financial assistance to remove barriers in individual and community successes in social, professional, and academic undertakings.  Therefore, the university strives to provide easily obtainable human amenities, in the form of health and safety services, information assistance, affordability, opportunities and social and academic resources for students, faculty, staff and the university community. Encourage ethical practices at all levels of the university Ethical and transparent practices promote accountability from all members of the society who strive to better their own community. UBC should therefore strive to maintain high ethical practices. The university and its administration, faculty, staff, and those involved in policy making should actively listen and respond to community ideas, praise, and criticism. Individual efforts to embrace both social, and business related ethical practices promote an environment of honesty trust and well being. U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 2 Key Findings The fo l lowing are  a  l ist  o f  the  key concepts  that  were  commonly found throughout our research.   They serve  as  the  backbone of  our def init ion and performance goals . Adaptability Because the world is a dynamic place, it is important to understand social sustainability as an adaptable philosophy, able to accommodate changes of the future. Admittedly, some founding principals should be maintained, but the ability to adapt to future generations is a key concept to ensure longevity. Affordability A socially sustainable community promotes affordable living for all ranges of income, especially those low income families. Decision Making Principles of sustainability (social, economic, ecological) are actively embraced throughout the decision making process at all levels.  This consciousness places a focus on assessing options beforehand rather than analyzing results afterwards. This is crucial to the success of sustainability.  Decisions made by administrative bodies and individuals must be ethical and transparent in all aspects thus ensuring a positive, socially sustainable legacy. See Appendix 1: Sustainability in the Decision Making Process Diversity Social Sustainability embraces diversity in many forms including age, sex, class, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation as well as the physically and mentally challenged. A community which promotes a wide spectrum of individuals who honour and respect the differences among them, results in a balanced, healthy and happy community.  Moreover, diversity leads to a strengthened community through the differing contributions that an array of individuals offers to the society.  Social sustainability seeks to provide an environment where all individuals are valued for their differences. Economic and Environmental Sustainability Social sustainability not only promotes itself, but recognizes and advocates the importance of both economically and environmentally sustainable communities. We have found that these three principals are inseparable and that in order to have a truly socially sustainable society, environmental and economic sustainability must also be practiced. Thus, the three legs of the stool must all work together.  A socially sustainable society strives for an efficient economy and a sustainable ecology. Education It is necessary that the public understand the principals behind social sustainability and, therefore, education is one of its key concepts. This understanding must begin in the school curriculum at all levels of education so that it becomes part of society’s every day lives. Furthermore, workshops for older generations should be established so that they too can gain understanding of the abstract, but necessary, principals of social sustainability. Education is important to social sustainability not only because it is a great promoter of the principles, but also because what education, itself, can offer: an enhancement of skills and sense of accomplishment. Therefore, a social sustainable community will provide an abundant of education opportunities in different forms for citizens, ensuring continuous learning and an opportunity for people of all ages to discover their potential in life. In addition, it encourages thought, research and discussion on its issues, leading to positive adaptation and improvement when needed. Engagement & Participation Engagement and participation are important for social sustainability in many ways. Firstly, members of a society that actively participate in activities and policy formation, have a greater awareness of community, U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 3 Key Findings Continued resulting in a greater sense of belonging. A socially sustainable community promotes this “sense of belonging” in all members of the society. Engagement asks for the participation of all stakeholders on individual, political and administrative levels thus ensuring people take responsibility for the happenings within their community. Much like “diversity,” participation from all individuals promotes a wide range of ideas, allowing the voices of all stakeholders to be heard- especially those that would otherwise have remained silent. This helps to create equality amongst members of the community. Although the aforementioned ideas of “engagement and participation” have been targeted specifically within a single community, social sustainability also promotes positive interaction in communities outside one’s own. Thus, participation and engagement helps the growth, promotion, and continuation of social sustainability while fostering a belonging within, and outside the community. Ethical & Transparent Conduct Social sustainability strive to implement ethical practices at all levels of the community.  Ethical conduct is practiced on every level, from large organizations and institutions, down to the individual.  Special attention must be paid to transparency, especially by large institutions, administrations, and governments.  This ensures accountability, which in turn promotes ethical behaviour.  Individual efforts to embrace both social, and business related ethical practices promote an environment of honesty trust and well being. Family Sustainability is best fulfilled through action by individuals rather than large groups.  Thus, action starts at the smallest unit of society: the family; where children will be exposed to social sustainability at a young age.  A socially sustainable community also promotes strong family values and structure. Health The physical and mental health of individuals in a society must be provided for in a socially sustainable community. Social sustainability promotes a healthy, active lifestyle.  It also seeks to ensure that a community has access to health care benefits for all its members. Legacy Social Sustainability must endure into the future if it is to make any difference. Therefore, a definition and vision of social sustainability must encompass not just a change for the present but also ways for it to positively affect the future. Social sustainability must leave a legacy of principals for future generations to ensure longevity and promote change, while sustaining itself. Natural Green Spaces A socially sustainable community provides accessible and abundant green space thus promoting recreation and interaction as people gather to enjoy activities in the company of their neighbours in a beautiful setting. In addition, it constantly reminds individuals of the importance of ecological sustainability. Opportunity A socially sustainable community provides opportunities for all its members in many forms.  Those able to provide opportunity, provide it within the community, thus allowing the community to flourish. A socially sustainable community provides opportunity for everyone to reach their potential, thereby encouraging individuals to pursue what they love both at home and at play.  This is accomplished through services such as cultural activities, recreation, accessible public transportation, learning opportunities (schools for children and for adults) and employment. Furthermore, a socially sustainable community makes all these services available for all of our diverse population. Quality of Life The ultimate goal of “sustainability,” as a whole, is to promote a good quality of life. Social sustainability especially takes this into account as it evaluates the “happiness” of the individuals and of the community. This is not only a key concept, but also one of the most U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 4 Key Findings Continued difficult aspects of social sustainability to measure because it encompasses both the concrete criteria of living standards, such as housing, health and income, and abstract emotions, such as acceptance and belonging. Nevertheless, “quality of life” must be acknowledged when discussing social sustainability. Safety & Security Alternative definitions of social sustainability have suggested that when individuals feel safe and secure they are happier, more comfortable and their quality of life increases. A socially sustainable community promotes a safe and secure physical, economic and cultural environment. Social Capital Because social capital is inseparable from social sustainability, a socially sustainable community will increase its social capital. For a further understanding of social capital, see Appendix 2: Social Capital. UNIVERSITY SPECIFIC Above are a compilation of social sustainability key concepts that are applicable for both the community and the university. As our task is to specifically address social sustainability in the university context, the following are key concepts that pertain more specifically to a university institution. Curriculum Courses where social sustainability is either the focus or sub-focus should be promoted within all faculties and departments of the university. This will enhance the student’s understanding of the concept, and ensure that the principals of social sustainability are continued into the future.  The nature of education should also encourage discussion, thought, and research, thus assuring inclusion and critical thought form all students. These “sustainable learning practices” should be carried out through the learning process.  As discussed in the previous section, social sustainability is an adaptable philosophy and therefore curriculum in the university should be constantly updated on what the current principals of social sustainability entail. Furthermore, research to modernize the definition of social sustainability should be undertaken in the institution to ensure the longevity of the principals. Collaboration In a socially sustainable university, open, transparent and honest behaviour is practiced.  The university should share its findings and promote sustainability programs with other universities in a co-operative, non competitive environment, thus ensuring longevity of social sustainability and interaction between institutions. Fair trade and ethics Fair trade and ethical products should be easily recognizable and widely available on campus.  The university should strive to seek these options when doing business with groups outside the university.  This ensures the promotion of fair treatment, long term partnerships which are economically and ecologically sustainable. Grounds are sustainable Campus grounds promote social interaction and community events.  These grounds should be well maintained, and be ecologically sustainable.  The beautiful campus will instill pride in the community and help remind residents of the continuous pledge towards ecological sustainability. Health/ safety for employees and students The university ensures standards and guidelines for health and safety are met.  All staff and students should have access to health resources and measures are taken to prevent health and safety issues. Incentives Incentives are created for individuals, departments, faculties, and businesses to actively pursue sustainable behaviours. Leader As an influential institution with an abundance of resources, universities should strive to be a leader in both local and international communities. Using their campus as a “living lab”, universities can inform the public of U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 5 University Specific Findings Continued their findings, and promote the inclusion of social sustainability in other societies.  A social sustainable university will make all findings available for other university institutions, offering support and help wherever possible Orientation Several universities are international institutions. Therefore, it is important to inform new and prospective students of the principles of social sustainability in the university from the beginning. Not only does this help new students to understand the philosophy of social sustainability, but also help them to actively engage in their university’s principles of social sustainability from very start. Research As an institution with a variety of resources available, a socially sustainable university will continue to research the principles of sustainability, advertising their findings throughout the community. Furthermore, they will promote socially sustainable practices during their research, such as student and community involvement, in order to maintain their profile of sustainability.  This research will strive to improve sustainability practices when needed and ensure the durability of social sustainability. Standardization Definitions, benchmarks, and guidelines are standardized throughout the university.  This allows for a realistic and fair measurement of sustainability, and helps identify areas that need improvement. Student, Faculty and Staff Life A university must promote a high quality of living for students, faculty and staff. For students, this includes such aspects as strong academics, prosperous personal life, opportunities for employment, promotion of extracurricular organizations, health plans, affordable living quarters, flexible meal plans and transportation. Likewise, faculty and staff should also have access to extracurricular organizations and activities, flexible meal options, health services and transportation.  In addition, interaction between students, faculty, and staff is strongly encouraged. Sustainability committee A committee or office oversees all matters of sustainability.  This committee should place a strong focus on stakeholder involvement, education of faculty, staff, students, those who reside on campus, as well as partners of the university.  They should have influence in the decision making and should be readily available for consulting other institutions Tools/resources for support The university provides resources for academic endeavours, as well as social and personal life.  These resources should be widely available and accessible to everyone.  Thus a socially sustainable campus provides tools and resources for support for all campus stakeholders. Key findings are ordered alphabetically. U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 6 Bibliography The above def init ion,  goals  and key f indings are  a  combination of  f indings from the  fo l lowing bibl iography.  Because  social  sustainabi l i ty  is  a  re lat ively new ideology,  we found several  concepts  that re-occurred throughout the  research,  thus proper  c i tat ion for  a  s ingle  concept  is  di f f icult  as  many sources  had concurring ideas .  Furthermore,  the  more  we examined our workings,  the  more  we real ized what  an interconnected web of  ideas  was encompassed in social  sustainabi l i ty.  Again,  this  makes  c lear c i tat ion di f f icult .  Nevertheless ,  the  fo l lowing bibl iography is  our attempt to  guide  readers  through our research process ,  explain where  we got  our information from, and what  was s igni f icant  about  that part icular  source . Bissix. "Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework- its fit for the Strategic Plan for Acadia University and the Wolfville Sustainability Initiative." Campus Sustainability Framework Assessment. 15 Apr. 2006. University of Acadia. 20 Jan. 2009. <http://academy.atlanticwebfitters.ca/Home/CSAF/tabid/117/Default.aspx> The Strategic Plan for Acadia is in partnership with the community of Wolfville to create a commitment to sustainability between, and within, these two communities. A significant part of this report suggests that Acadia University has taken motion to include “sustainability” in their mission of the university. Although they seem to be more driven towards an “environmental” sustainability, they incorporate many strategies that are shared with social sustainability. Thus, this report helped to emphasize necessity of the “three pillars” of sustainability. Elder, James L. "Think Systemically, Act Cooperatively." Sustainability 1 (2008): 319-28. This article was very helpful in determining the university’s role in sustainability.  It helped us realize the leadership potential UBC has, and stressed the importance of collaboration between institutions.  It also defines the usefulness of including sustainability within the curriculum.  It defines a list of indicators of sustainability by using numbers and statistics regarding universities and their participation in sustainability programs, allowing for a comparison over time.  The author argues that most change towards sustainability in institutions of higher learning was as a result of student demand.  Therefore, he argues that students must actively participate in their communities. Fischer, Joern, Adrian D. Manning, Will Steffen, Deborah B. Rose, Katherine Daniell, Adam Felton, Stephen Garnett, Ben Gilna, Rob Heinsohn, David B. Lindenmayer, Ben Macdonald, Frank Mills, Barry Newell, Julian Reid, Libby Robin, Kate Sherren, and Alan Wade. "Mind the Sustainability Gap." Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22 (2007): 621-24. This article highlights the fact that although thought of sustainability has increased, we have continued a behaviour that has increased our negative impact on the planet. “Mind the sustainability gap” argues that the key to maintaining more realistic goals to be able to get back on track.  For our project, this was relevant in applying a system that is resilient, assesses the current state of sustainability at the university, and setting targets for the long- term. "Inspirations and Aspirations." Sustainability Office: Canada's Leader in Campus Sustainability. University of British Columbia. 20 Jan. 2009. This source is the current definition, vision, and performance goal outline of social, economic and ecological sustainability for the University of British Columbia. It roughly describes the current interpretation of social sustainability, and those goals which they deem significant. It is a valuable source for this project as it provides an U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 7 understanding the difference between “community context” and “university context” social sustainability. It is also helpful as a direct source from UBC, therefore promoting UBC specific interests.  It must be remembered, however, that our project is attempting to replace the current definition of social sustainability, and, therefore, the information presented through “Inspirations and Aspirations,” although factually helpful, had some limitations which we critically analyzed in order to come up with our definition. Institutionalizing Sustainability. Vancouver: UBC Sustainability, 2008. The UBC Sustainability Office’s article describes programs in place for sustainability in the university.   It defines a timeline of the sustainability movement at UBC.  This allowed us to get a sense of what has been done, and what still needs to be worked on.  This article was used in order to determine UBC’s past and current activities in the implementation of sustainability.  From this article, we ensured to include all university stakeholders, and to place UBC in a position of cooperation and leadership, so that its sustainability program may be reproduced elsewhere. Kear, Mark. “Spaces of Transition Spaces of Tomorrow: Making a Sustainable Future in Southeast False Creek, Vancouver.” Cities. Vol, 24, No, 4. Elsevir Ltd: 2007. Kear’s essay examines the various practices and policies implemented on South East False Creek in effort to highlight the necessity of a true understanding sustainability. Kear continues to outline policies such as Clouds of Change and City varietyPlan. Kear’s literary article urges one to consider the small “loop holes” that a policy can have in the face of politics. It was a significant paper for our project as an introduction to the past events that marketed sustainability in the lower mainland, and reminded us of the necessary of understanding our concept. "Key Contexts: Social Sustainability." Creative City Network of Canada. 19 Jan. 2009. <http://www.creativecity.ca/ news/special-edition-4/key-contexts-1.html> The Creative City Network’s article offers an interpretation of sustainability wherein “culture” is central to the understanding and promotion of a sustainable community. They continue to suggests that social sustainability is also comprised of more specific indicators, such as “feed themselves adequately.” This article incorporates social capitol into their equation of social sustainability, finding the two “closely related.” The Creative City Network is an organization of people “employed by municipalities across Canada working in arts, culture and heritage policy, planning, development and support.” No author is offered, but an extensive list of board directors, staff and project collaborators are available. We found this to be a helpful article when addressing the differences and similarities between social sustainability and social capitol. Matson, Laura, Julian Dautremont-Smith, Dave Newport, and Judy Walton. Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Publication no. 0.5. Lexington: AASHE, 2008. AASHE’s STARS provides a system to assess the performance of an institution of higher learning’s sustainability policies.  The article emphasizes the importance of  implementing a program such as STARS as a way of benchmarking and measuring sustainability.  It contributed to our research by bringing to light the importance of transparent measurement.  A default with STARS is that it is done “in-house”, and requires no independent third party auditing. U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 8 Rick, Gates, and Lee Mario. "City of Vancouver: Policy Report, Social Development." <http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/ cclerk/20050524/documents/p1.pdf > 05 May 2005. City of Vancouver. 20 Feb. 2009. The City of Vancouver Policy Report on Social Development is the current definition of social sustainability adopted by the city of Vancouver. This policy breaks social sustainability into “three components” “underpinned by four guiding principals.” The city suggests that this current definition as presented in this article was helpful in the development plan of the South East False Creek. However, the definition and “three components” is only a “framework” and further research and discussion are in progress. Limitations arose as we questioned the “fullness” of this article, as it self professed to need further descriptions to supplement the present findings. Nevertheless, policies adopted by communities in close proximity to UBC are important the two communities should be working hand in hand to promote sustainability. It is a valid source of information and helped supply us with our “key findings.” Sarkissian, Wendy, Nacy Hofer, Yollana Shore, Steph Vajda, and Cathy Wilkinsn. Kitchen Sustainability: Practical Recipes for Community Engagement with Sustainability. London: Earthscan, 2009. Kitchen Sustainability analyses current thought and implementation of sustainability in society.  This book was helpful in determining the importance of community engagement through synergy and partnerships.  It highlights the importance of raising awareness and shows the importance of conversation and collaboration, which is relevant in the university setting.  We also gained the idea of including everyone in the decision making process.  Its main argument is that change starts at the kitchen table, by individuals doing individual actions, which, collectively, will have a great positive impact. "Social Sustainability: Sustainability: City of Vancouver." Home - City of Vancouver. 29 Jan. 2009 <http:// vancouver.ca/sustainability/sustain_social.htm>. The city of Vancouver’s efforts for social sustainability strive to insure that the basic needs of its residents be met.  It seeks to address the well-being of the community while maintaining resources for future generations.  Its foundation is equity, social inclusion and interaction, security, and adaptability.  We found that adaptability is very important in order for the concepts of social sustainability to be effective in the long-term. "Social Sustainability." The State of Canada's Environment- 1996. 26 Jan. 2009. Environment Canada. 26 Jan. 2009.< http://www.ec.gc.ca/soer-ree/English/SOER/1996report/Doc/1-5-2-6-4-1.cfm>. This source is Environment Canada’s interpretation of social sustainability, which they define as “the relationship between development and social norms.” Environment Canada uses “social norms” to describe various needs within a community, suggesting that there are some of difficulties in measuring the abstract qualities within “social norms.” This site gains validity as a government website, but fails to explain where or how information was gathered to present their findings. Nevertheless, it was a helpful resource in strategically allocating our ideas into “abstract” and “concrete” sections of social sustainability. "Social Sustainability Framework." Strathcona County: Social Sustainability. 07 Oct. 2008. 22 Jan. 2009. <http:// www.strathcona.ab.ca/Strathcona/Departments/Family+and+Community+Services/Community/Social +Sustainability+.htm> The purpose of the Stathcona Sustainability Framework is to “help decision makers at the governance and service delivery levels in Strathcona County determine the impact of their decisions on social sustainability.” This report clearly lays out the purpose, vision and components of the project. They cite, where they deem necessary, external U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 9 sources. We found this source to be reliable as the report clearly indicated where information was obtained from.  We found this report extremely useful in our research and frequently consulted the policies, definitions and ideas presented in this report. We would recommend it as a valuable source to others wishing to further research social sustainability. "Sustainability and Aboriginal Participation -." Vancouver 2010. 27 Jan. 2009 <http://www.vancouver2010.com/en/ sustainability-and-br-aboriginal-pa/-/31640/toq5zj/index.html>. The Vancouver Olympic Committee has established an extensive sustainability program in preparation of the Olympic games. This program was a great inspiration through their sustainability platform.  We realized that it is important to include social sustainability internally, but also through the relationships and impacts the university has outside of the campus.  It made us realize the importance of thinking long term and implementing a legacy through the work of social sustainability. "Sustainability Fair- SFU City Centre Social Sustainability Workshop." Sustainability Fair. Simon Fraser University. 20 Jan. 2009. <http://www.surrey.ca/NR/rdonlyres/893DBBCC-060B-4F9A-BC6A-91B442603A5A/0/ workshopresults.pdf> The SFU Workshop document is the results of a workshop held in June. It attempted to define “what a socially sustainable Surrey will look like in 20, 50 or 100 years?  What are the values, features? What would it look like?” The resultant information is presented in a table format, grouped as “themes.” The themes are expaneded by “individual responses,” which were brainstormed by the members of the workshop. The limitations of this source are several which greatly damaged its validity. There is no information as to who was involved in the study, what initial information they had, and what information they were supplied with. The personal interests of the individuals could have created a large bias in the outcomes. Furthermore, there is no information as the year it took place. Although these limitations tainted the information of this article, it did incorporate ideas from a number of people. It also provided some interesting “key findings” that we had not encountered before. It was also helpful in the organization of our findings. "University of Edinburgh News & Events - A Fairtrade University." University of Edinburgh - Website content archive. 30 Jan. 2009 <http://websiterepository.ed.ac.uk/news/fairtradestatus.html>. The University of Edinburgh has become Scotland’s first fair trade university.  This new policy comes about from cooperation between students, faculty, staff and administrators.  The university strives to make fair trade products the default choice for all functions and businesses at the university.  It also calls for the implementation of a “fair trade steering group”, which would ensure policies are implemented correctly provide education on the matter.  For our research, we were able to find the ideas of considering the impact of the university’s actions outside the university.  Additionally, we found this to be an attainable goal for UBC. U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 10 Appendix 1: Social Sustainability in the Decision Making Process U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 11 Idea or problem requiring a solution How can it be solved or accomplished in a sustainable way? Options Sustainable Unsustainable EliminateAdapt Cost analysis Remainder of decision making process specific to an institution/ individual Was sustainability considered and implemented throughout the decision process? Is it maintained? No Yes Ensure sustainability is maintained Appendix 2: Social Capital Social capital is a socially developed concept that has been used in business, organizations, natural resource management and a variety of other circumstances to address “connections within and between social networks as well as connections among individuals”.  Although the aforementioned definition draws close parallels to social sustainability, the two differ in terms of the concept of “basic needs”. Social capital is the “abstract” emotion, the “immeasurable” characteristics of a cohesive society that creates a sense of belonging and trust throughout a community.  Social capital can be found, for instance, in a group of community members coming together to form a book club, a basketball team, or a performance group from which each member benefits from the interaction with each other. Their interaction encourages trust, knowledge and creates a better sense of community.  Ultimately, their interaction builds connections between people both physically and emotionally. As a consequence, they will reach out to others in the community, offering trust, inclusion and help to other members when needed. In this way social capital serves to increase the quality of life of everyone by fostering a sense of trust and belonging within the community. We have used the phrase “high quality of life” continuously throughout this project as the goal of social sustainability, so it may seem contradictory that we are suggesting that social capital is what increases quality of life. Where social sustainability and social capital differ lies in the concept of “basic needs”.  Social sustainability not only takes into account the “sense of belonging” fostered by social capital, but also attempts to provide the community with additional “basic needs”, such as health care, vegetarian food options and low income housing.  However, a socially sustainable community is one wherein inclusion, involvement, trust and sense of belonging are a “basic need”, and therefore social capital is an inseparable facet of social sustainability. Note: like social sustainability, our understanding of social capitol is a conglomeration of sources. "Social Capital." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 28 Jan. 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_capital> This Wikipedia article offers a descriptive understanding of social capital. Using the analogy of a “screw driver,” Wikipedia emphasizes the value of “social networks”. Areas of interest in this article include their ideas of “evaluating” social capitol, and their “definitions, forms, and measurements” of social capitol. Although Wikipedia has undergone scrutiny about their easily available editing, we found this source to have a variety of citations, and reliable information.  Pooam, Sharma. "Social Capital." Phili: A Diologue on Caring Citizenship. 2005. 28 Jan. 2009. <http:// www.philia.ca/cms_en/page1136.cfm>  Sharma’s article on social capital defines it as those things that “build connections between people.” This article tries to identify different types of social capital within a community, using several “every day examples” to make it easier for the reader to understand. This source served as a valuable explanation and helped us greatly to understand the complex similarities and differences between social capital and social sustainability. Reliability is gained as this article includes the author (often left out of sources found on the internet) as well as a variety of sources that the author also used. U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 12 Appendix 3: “Clumping” of Key Findings The fo l lowing is  a  table  demonstrat ing our al locat ion of  key f indings into  f ive  main “clumps”,  which were  then developed into  our goals  for  the  university. U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 13 CLUMPS FINDINGS Awareness Inclusion Decision Making Human Amenities Ethics Adaptability ✔ Affordability ✔ Decision Making ✔ Diversity ✔ Economic & Environmental Sustainability ✔ Education ✔ ✔ Engagement & Participation ✔ Ethical & Transparent Behaviour ✔ Family ✔ ✔ Health ✔ Legacy ✔ Natural Green Space ✔ ✔ Opportunity ✔ ✔ Quality of Life ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Safety & Security ✔ University Specific Key Concepts Appendix 4: Further Research U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 14 CLUMPS FINDINGS Awareness Inclusion Decision Making Human Amenities Ethics Curriculum ✔ Collaboration ✔ ✔ Fair Trade & Ethics ✔ Grounds are Sustainable ✔ Health and Safety for Employees and Students ✔ Incentives ✔ Leader ✔ Orientation ✔ Research ✔ Standardization ✔ Student, Faculty & Staff Life ✔ Sustainability Committee ✔ Tools and Resources for Support ✔ In this  ass ignment and report  we determined performance goals  and strategies  for  the  university to implement social  sustainabi l i ty.   Through our research and personal  experiences  at  UBC, we suggest speci f ic  steps  which could be  taken to  put  social  sustainabi l i ty  into  pract ice .   The fo l lowing l ist  is  not exhaustive ,  and wil l  serve  as  a  basis  for  ass ignment #2. Create a greater awareness of social sustainability both inside and outside the university ‣  Social sustainability is included throughout the curriculum, whenever relevant and possible. ‣  Advertise socially sustainable practices within the university, encourage suggestions for others. ‣Create workshops with the goal of educating the community on socially sustainable practices. ‣ Increase awareness of the STARS program, and where UBC is ranked in terms of sustainability Increase community involvement, inclusion and interaction on campus ‣ Increase involvement and interaction amongst faculty, staff, students and community members through informal meetings, open door policies. ‣ Allow for student initiatives to flourish, such as arts, intramural, extracurricular and group activities to thrive within the community. Implement social sustainability as a primary concern in the decision making process ‣  Implement sustainability throughout the decision making process at all levels. ‣  Grant more agency to the UBC sustainability Office Develop obtainable human amenities that extend throughout the community ‣ Improve the UBC Work Study program to be constantly up-to-date.  Provide a variety of well paying jobs on campus for students.  These jobs should allow students to apply their knowledge while learning new skills.  It also provides students with great experience in a field of their choice and interest. ‣ Ensure on and near campus housing that is affordable and is available primarily to those who frequent the campus. ‣ Provide a U-Pass for all members of the community, including faculty and staff.  This goal allows for increased campus involvement while maintaing ideals of economical and ecological sustainability. ‣A healthy, active lifestyle is promoted to reduce the demand on health related services.  Provide free access to state of the art exercise facilities. ‣ Maintain campus security as a successful on campus operation ‣Ensure that educational resources are readily accessible to students. Encourage ethical practices at all levels of the university ‣ Publish all university decisions and policies in an accessible manner (i.e a dedicated website).  Allow for comments and feedback. ‣ Seek stakeholder input in decision making and policy implementation U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 15 ‣ Provide incentives for businesses on campus to offer fair trade products, such a listing in a fair trade directory or subsidized advertising to those who promote fair trade and socially sustainable practices. Photo Source: UBC Public Affairs U n i v e r s i t y  o f  B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a
 D e f i n i n g  a n d  I m p l e m e n t i n g  S o c i a l  S u s t a i n a b i l i t y 16


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