UBC Undergraduate Research

Synchronizing Sustainability Education Across Higher Education Community Orientations Sum, Kyle


With sustainability goals and milestones set across multiple strategic and action plans, it is important for The University of British Columbia (UBC) to be prepared to implement new programs to help increase sustainability literacy and behaviours across the UBC community. In order to succeed in reducing UBC’s greenhouse gas emissions by 100% of 2007’s figures by 2050, UBC must ensure that every member of the UBC community is on board with sustainability. By targeting all incoming students and employees at UBC during orientation, UBC will be able to summarize the urgency of climate action and showcase other sustainable programs to the general population. This study examined a total of 15 institutions in North America and interviews were conducted with six. Common strategies that were observed included having a booth, touring, targeting students on residence, and giving presentations to promote sustainability to students during orientation. In addition, initiatives for employees include receiving a general overview of sustainability and programs during their orientation. The report also contains a brief overview of what several institutions have decided to do, given the context of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It is suggested that UBC take the action of implementing a booth and updating their tours and employee orientations, to include sustainability-focused material. 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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