UBC Undergraduate Research

Climate action partnership : contribution of food greenhouse gas emissions reductions : moving UBC beyond climate neutral Ankerson, Collin; Chiang, Paul; Chien, Jolinca; Chin, Sarah; Chiu, Alex; Chiu, Chris; Chiu, Cindy


This report was conducted as part of the UBC Food Systems Project to observe the effects of increasing food production at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the effects it will have on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The majority of foods served on campus originate from an external source. This study attempts to quantify the GHG emissions from the transportation of the food to campus and to estimate the reduction in GHG emissions by growing the same crops in UBC as an alternative. Using potatoes as a sample crop and estimating a harvest of 0.378 tons of potatoes on a 600m2 plot similar to the Land and Food Systems (LFS) Orchard Garden, 0.019 tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) emissions can be saved. This sample calculation, however, examines potatoes which are grown fairly locally and uses a small plot of land contributing to a fraction of the food consumed by inhabitants of UBC. By replacing potatoes with another crop purchased from a more distant source or by increasing the yield of the crop, the amount of GHG savings can be increased. Initiatives on campus such as the LFS Orchard Garden have shown that food production is feasible not only on the UBC Farm. Increasing food production at feasible sites and replacing them with imported food will decrease GHG emissions associated with food procurement. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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