Our Values

IOF stands in support of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities

September 20, 2023

UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries wishes to express unwavering support for and commitment to inclusive education, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). As an educational unit, we’ve seen firsthand the benefit and importance of embracing and celebrating the principles of SOGI both within our community and beyond in order to create a safe space for students, faculty and staff to thrive academically and socially.

The increasing backlash against efforts to enhance the human rights, accessibility, inclusion and wellness of sexual orientation and gender identity minoritized peoples is extremely concerning. The waves of anti-SOGI protests planned across Canada do not align with IOF’s values. IOF is committed to universal human rights and fundamental freedoms – which are extended to all citizens.

We are very concerned to hear of any human-rights based discrimination, and encourage our students, faculty and staff to uphold and support our 2SLGBTQIA+ students and communities. IOF is committed to responding to, and addressing, any concerns of human rights-based discrimination. To the 2SLGBTQIA+ community at IOF, know that you are valued and that we stand behind you.

If you are experiencing hate or discrimination, or if you witness discrimination, support is available. Below is a list of available supports and resources at UBC:

  • For safety and security planning or to report an incident of hate, please contact 911 in case of emergency or contact UBC Campus Security at UBC Vancouver (604-822-2222).
  • For confidential advising on experience of harassment and discrimination, please contact the human rights team (604-827-1773) at the UBC Equity & Inclusion Office.
  • Students can also access:
    • AMS Safewalk is available from 8pm-2am if you want support walking across campus (604) 822-5355.
    • Student Health Services at UBC Vancouver;
    • UBC Student Assistance Program (SAP), a 24/7 wellness resource for UBC students: UBC Vancouver(1-833-590-1328);
    • Counselling support through the Student Counselling Services at UBC Vancouver (604-822-3811)
  • Employees can access counselling support through the Employee & Family Assistance Program (1-866-424-0770).
  • If anyone needs to reach out for emotional support, consider calling Trans Lifeline at (877) 330-6366, Crisis Centre BC at 1 (866) 661-3311, or Crisis Services Canada at 1 (833) 456-4566.

You can also download the UBC Vancouver Safe App.

Other Resources:
Any members of our community who feel uncomfortable, are encouraged to walk between classes with others, or stay home and take advantage of appropriate concessions.

If you are feeling unsafe, please consider visiting safe spaces open to you at the Women’s Centre (open later today), the Hatch Gallery in the NEST is open today from 10am to 10pm for anyone looking for a safe space and/or for those who need to decompress. There is also the Resource Lounge

Please also remember that the AERL building is card-access only after 5pm. 

Indigenous Relations and UBC

The Indigenous peoples of Canada (considered “Aboriginal” by legal definitions), includes First Nations (status and non-status "Indians"; also a legal term, but considered offensive to many Indigenous people), Métis (a unique culture that developed among descendants of the First Nations and early European fur traders), and Inuit (from northern Arctic communities). Out of the ~600 distinct First Nations groups in Canada, around 200 nations exist within BC and have lived in this area for 10,000 years before European contact and colonization. Government policies that formed and continue to shape Canada have amounted to the genocide of Indigenous peoples (2019 National Inquiry). Many of these policies, such as forced sterilizations and residential schools, have officially ended (in 1973 and 1996, respectively), although their intergenerational effects are ongoing. The 2019 report also highlighted policies remaining in place today, including lack of police protection and the over-apprehension of children, that contribute to the ongoing oppression of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Reconciliation is the collective effort to engage with this reality, understand the continuing impacts of colonialism, and work collaboratively for a better future.

Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

The City of Vancouver is within the overlapping traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and selílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, while UBC is situated on the land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm. Land acknowledgments are the most common way members of the University can begin to participate in reconciliation with the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people. At UBC, a land acknowledgment is usually given before public events, presentations, and ceremonies, and sounds like this:

We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered today on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

Land or territorial acknowledgments are important because they publicly give recognition that the University is on land that was taken from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people without a legal treaty (“unceded”), and this land still retains traditional and ancestral value to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm. Recognizing and acknowledging the injustice inherent in UBC’s occupation of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm land is a necessary first step towards reconciliation. For students who may not be familiar with Indigenous peoples in BC and Canada, land acknowledgements can be a first introduction to this history. Still, they can be seen as an empty gesture if not followed by meaningful action. Therefore, it is vital to critically engage with actions and events on campus, and what can be done to actively support the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm and other Indigenous communities beyond land acknowledgments at UBC.

More information about reconciliation efforts


In Canada

  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action
  • The Indigenous Foundations website is a great information resource on key topics relating to the histories, politics, and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of Canada

The World

  • Wherever you’re from within Canada, the U.S. or other parts of the world, Indigenous peoples have lived there for thousands of years. Find out who those peoples are and take the time to learn more about the communities who call this land home

We aim to create an environment that promotes equity, diversity and inclusion for all of our community members, and to ensure people's rights are respected and that equity and inclusion are integrated into all aspects of the Institute.

IOF has an Institute-wide Respect, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Committee. Additionally, the IOF Student Society has its own student-led committee – Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion (JEDI) Committee. Both of these committees are working to improve the climate of the department and to provide support to anyone who needs it.

These representatives will not take action on anyone’s behalf. They cannot file complaints or host meetings, for example. Instead, the mandate of the Committees is to provide guidance by sharing the options that are available on campus, attending meetings with you so that you are not alone (if you wish), accompanying you to appointments with university officials, or just lending a sympathetic ear if you need someone to talk to. Conversations with the REDI/JEDI Committee or Faculty Liaisons are confidential, unless you share that you have a desire to hurt yourself or someone else (in which case they are obligated to report it).

Respect, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (REDI) Committee

The REDI Committee has been working to create resources that provide information about REDI policies, initiatives, and support within IOF and across UBC. Here are two documents that the Committee created (with assistance from the Equity and Inclusion Office):

  • The Expectations and Resources for Creating a Respectful Climate: This describes university policies surrounding EDI, guidelines and resources for what students can do if they have a problem and/or need support, and what we, the IOF Student Society REDI committee, can do to help, along with our contact info. Importantly, the university has Codes of Conduct (for students, staff, and faculty) that we are all expected to adhere to, whether on or off campus and even when interacting with people who are not associated with the University. We encourage everyone to become familiar with these Codes of Conduct.
  • The second document is an Introduction to Indigenous Relations at UBC, and we hope it will be a valuable resource for everyone, but especially those who are new to BC and/or Canada, and those who are unfamiliar with the University’s efforts for reconciliation (including territorial acknowledgments) and why they are so important and necessary. It includes a list of resources for Indigenous students at UBC, as well as resources for non-Indigenous students who would like to learn more and provide support.

Code of Conduct

The REDI Committee has been working over the last few years to develop an IOF-based Code of Conduct. This was completed in June 2023 (with the assistance from UBC's Equity and Inclusion Office) and is available now.

IOF Code of Conduct

Committee Members
Amanda Vincent Faculty and Chair a.vincent@oceans.ubc.ca
Christopher Harley Faculty c.harley@oceans.ubc.ca
Neil Maclean Staff n.maclean@oceans.ubc.ca
Haley Oleynik Student h.oleynik@oceans.ubc.ca
Anna McLaskey RAPD a.mclaskey@oceans.ubc.ca

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee

The IOF Student Society's Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee has created resources that provide information about EDI policies, initiatives, and support within IOF and across UBC. Here are two documents that they created (with assistance from the Equity and Inclusion Office):

  • The Expectations and Resources for Creating a Respectful Climate: This describes university policies surrounding EDI, guidelines and resources for what students can do if they have a problem and/or need support, and what we, the IOF Student Society JEDI Committee, can do to help, along with our contact info. Importantly, the university has Codes of Conduct (for students, staff, and faculty) that we are all expected to adhere to, whether on or off campus and even when interacting with people who are not associated with the university. We encourage everyone to become familiar with these Codes of Conduct.
  • The second document is an Introduction to Indigenous Relations at UBC, and we hope it will be a valuable resource for everyone, but especially those who are new to BC and/or Canada, and those who are unfamiliar with the University's efforts for reconciliation (including territorial acknowledgments) and why they are so important and necessary. It includes a list of resources for Indigenous students at UBC, as well as resources for non-Indigenous students who would like to learn more and provide support.

All members of the IOFSS JEDI Committee are members of the broader IOF REDI Committee.

Committee Members
Haley Oleynik h.oleynik@oceans.ubc.ca


UBC Policies on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

UBC has a number of resources and policies related to harassment, discrimination and more. Please see below for further reading on these policies:

UBC Codes of Conduct for Students, Faculty & Staff

All UBC students, faculty and staff are expected to adhere to their respective Code of Conduct (CoC) and can be held responsible for violating the terms of the CoC, even when not on campus and/or when interacting with people who are not associated with the University. Please familiarize yourself with relevant CoCs here:

What should you do if you experience behaviour violating these CoC’s? The most important thing to know is that if you have experienced behaviour that violates the CoC’s, you are in the driver’s seat; you decide how things proceed. You have a number of options, both formal and informal.

Informal pathways

Informal pathways are those that are done outside of making a formal complaint through the University. For example, you could request a meeting with the person who violated the CoC to talk about what you experienced. The EDI committee can help you find someone to mediate such a meeting and could attend to provide support if requested. If you would prefer to speak with someone outside of IOF, the Office of the Ombudsperson can provide informal assistance.

Formal pathways

You always have the option to place a complaint by following the University’s formal pathways, with or without contacting the REDI committee. Formal pathways depend somewhat on the type of behaviour and which policy it violates. You can make a complaint by reaching out to the following at UBC:
UBC has a number of formal pathways through which you can file complaints like the University Counsel and the AMS (Alma Mater Society), depending on your specific situation. Please see below for a list of resources:

AMS Advocacy & Ombuds Office
Phone: (604) 822-9855
Email: advocate@ams.ubc.ca
On-Campus: The Nest
Rm 3118-6133 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC

  • Assist students facing bureaucratic challenges and disciplinary committees of UBC
  • Support for non-academic misconduct (harassment, vandalism of University property, stealing), academic misconduct, housing appeals and other issues
Office of the Ombudsperson for Students
Phone: (604) 822-6149
Email: ombuds.office@ubc.ca
On-Campus: Room 240 – 6328 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6T 1Z2

  • Independent & confidential resource to help students address concerns about unfair treatment at UBC
  • Provides resource information, makes referrals, identifies university processes & policies, and more
Office of the University Counsel
Phone: (604) 822-1897
E-mail: university.counsel@ubc.ca
On-Campus: C.K. Choi Building
181 - 1855 West Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2

  • Can advise on UBC governance and legal risk, manage conflicts of interest, and more
Equity and Inclusion Office
Phone: (604) 827-1773
Email: humanrights.advisor@equity.ubc.ca
On Campus: Brock Hall
Room 2306-1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Mon - Fri: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

  • Offers discrimination and conflict advising for free, including management and resolution of interpersonal conflicts, facilitation of contentious group conversations and capacity building for having difficult conversations
  • Provides education across UBC about creating a socially sustainable community, mutual respect and inclusion
Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (SVPRO)
Phone: (604) 822-1588
Email: gethelp@svpro.ubc.ca
On-Campus: Orchard Commons
6363 Agronomy Road, Room 4071Mon to Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

  • Safe place for students who have experienced sexual assault, regardless of when or where it took place, to get the support they need.
  • All gender identities, expressions and sexualities are welcome.
  • If you’ve been assaulted within the last 7 days, there is a special team of nurses at the hospital who can help you. You may need medical attention even if you don’t have visible signs of injury.
  • If you have been drugged, choked, strangled or have difficulty breathing, swallowing or speaking, go to the nearest hospital immediately.
  • Can help you find somewhere safe to stay, go with you to the hospital/police/court, arrange academic and workplace concessions, and explain your reporting options.

Additional Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Resources

UBC Counselling Services
Check website for walk-in hoursPhone: (604) 822-3811
On campus locations
Brock Hall, 1874 East Mall Room 1040First Nations Longhouse; 1985 West MallLower Mall Research Station, 2259 Lower Mall, Room 358

Off-campus location
Oak Street Campus, Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of BC
4500 Oak Street

  • Free for students
  • Drop-in and emergency counselling
  • Specific services provided for Indigenous students
  • Sexual assault counselling
  • Can help students with ongoing concerns that are affecting academics, sleep, or motivation, including sadness, stress, anxiety, relationship troubles, loss/grief, past experience of physical, sexual or emotional violence, or other mental health challenges.
  • Wellness Advisors are trained Masters-level counsellors who meet students for a one-time 15-20 minute assessment. They’ll listen to your needs and connect you with resources to best help you reach your goals. This could include self-directed resources, workshops and coaching, group therapy, or individual therapy.
UBC Wellness Centre & Wellness Peers (Student Services)
Check the calendar on the website for daily peer hours and events
Phone: (604) 822-8450
Email: wellness.centre@ubc.ca
Wellness Centre, 6138 Student Union Boulevard, Room 1301
Most weekdays 10am-5pm
  • Free for students
  • Trained student volunteers can answer your questions, talk with you, & recommend resources for everyday concerns related to health, relationships, and workload.
  • Talk to a nurse about any health concern during Nurse on Campus hours
  • Wellness Peers can help with mental health, sexual health, academic stress, and student life.
Student Health Services
Phone: (604) 822-7011
Email: student.health@ubc.ca
UBC Hospital, 2211 Wesbrook Mall
Koerner Pavilion, Room M334
Most weekdays 8am-4pm
  • Offers a wide range of health assessments and treatments provided by doctors, nurses, and specialists.
  • Referrals to specialists (e.g., psychiatrists)
  • Services offered include sexual health and birth control, mental/health illness, sports medicine, injuries and wound care, immunization and allergy care.
  • Students can book appointments online
Empower Me
(Password: “Studentcare”)Phone: 1 844 741-6389 (toll-free in North America)
  • Free phone line, free with AMS/GSS plan
  • Direct connection to a trained counsellor through 24/7 helpline
  • Multiple languages, gender inclusive, confidential, faith inclusive, culturally sensitive
Hope for Wellness Helpline
Toll-Free Helpline: 1-855-242-3310
Online Chat
Chat: 24/7
  • Indigenous-specific support and immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada
  • On request, phone counselling available in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut
  • 24/7 phone & chat counselling available in English and French as well
KUU-US Crisis Line Society
Adult/Elder: (250) 723-4050
Child/Youth: (250) 723-2040
Phone: 24/7
  • Indigenous people throughout British Columbia and callers from the Port Alberni area can call this 24/7 number if distressed
Graduate Student Society (GSS) Advocacy
Phone: (604) 822-3203
Email: advocacy@gss.ubc.caMon-Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00 PM
  • Confidential assistance provided to graduate students by graduate students
  • For those experiencing academic and/or non-academic difficulties, including academic misconduct, bursaries, harassment & discrimination, & more
Law Students' Legal Advice Program
Phone: 604-822-5791Please note that LSLAP cannot give legal advice over the telephone.Office hours: Mon - Fri: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Non-profit run by law students at Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC to provide free legal advice & representation to clients who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance
  • Clinics throughout the Lower Mainland, with ability to set up Chinese language appointment at Chinatown clinic (call (604) 684-1628)
Aboriginal Student Affairs
Phone: (604) 827-5467
UBC Faculty of Arts, Buchanan D 112B, 1866 Main Mall
  • Supports the success of new and continuing First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students through providing guidance and answering any academic and course planning questions that you may have
Indigenous Portal
  • Resource for information relating to Indigenous spaces, programs, initiatives, research and services that are available on the UBC Vancouver campus, including the Longhouse, First Nations House of Learning, Xwi7xwa Library and more
  • Provides information about general services like a directory of Academic Advisors on campus, information about Housing, Childcare, Recreation and Counselling, and much more.
First Nations Health Authority
Toll free: 1.866.913.0033Health Benefits (toll-free):
501-100 Park Royal South
Coast Salish Territory
West Vancouver, BC
V7T 1A2For Health Benefits in-person inquiries please visit the Alberni office at:
1166 Alberni Street, Room 701
Coast Salish Territory
Vancouver, BC, V6E 3Z3
  • Health and wellness partner to over 200 diverse First Nations communities and citizens across BC
  • Provides community-based services are largely focused on health promotion and disease prevention which include primary health care; children, youth and maternal health; mental health and wellness; and much more
AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC)
Phone: (604) 827-5180
Email: sasc@ams.ubc.ca
AMS Nest
6133 University Boulevard, Room 3127
Every day 8am-10pm
  • Crisis and emotional support for sexual assault survivors and their friends and family members
  • Referrals to other services as needed
  • Services include Crisis and short-term emotional support, support groups, advocacy, education and outreach, community lending library, and a resource area.
Battered Women’s Support Services
Crisis Line: (604) 687-1867Email: information@bwss.orgWednesdays: 10:00AM - 8:00 PM
Other Weekdays: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Provide education, advocacy, and support services and work toward the elimination of violence from a feminist perspective that promotes equality for all women.
  • Services include a crisis and intake telephone line, counselling, support groups, and several programs tailored to specific groups (e.g., Indigenous Women’s Program; AWARE Program to help women find employment; LGBTQ2S and non-binary survivors of violence group; etc. Full list
AMS Food Bank
Phone: (604) 822-2371
Email: foodbank@ams.ubc.ca
UBC Life Building
LIFE 0032, 6138 Student Union BlvdMon & Thur: 10:00AM - 4:00PM
  • Emergency food relief service for UBC students that offers non-perishable foods, personal hygiene supplies, budgeting tips and information on additional resources
  • Allows all UBC students requiring emergency food relief to use the Bank up to 6 times per term (Terms: Sept - Dec, Jan - Apr, May - Aug)
  • Referrals to other Lower Mainland food banks and sources of financial assistance
AMS Colour Connected Against Racism
Facebook page
Email: colourconnectedubc@gmail.com
  • AMS resource group that works to end racism, and all forms of oppression, discrimination and prejudice.
AMS Pride Collective
Email: prideubc@gmail.com
The Nest
Resource Groups Centre
Rm 2103-6133 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC
  • This is a resource group that offers educational and social services dealing with sexual and gender diversity to the UBC community, including but not limited to students, staff, and faculty.
  • Provide support and information to those who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, asexual, queer, questioning, intersex, other identities, those who do not identify and allies
  • Assists people who are coming out and supplies a forum for dialogue about sexuality and gender identity.
AMS Women’s Centre
Facebook pageEmail: ubcwomenscentre@gmail.com The Nest
Rm 2113-6133 University Blvd
  • This student run organization has been the voice for women's needs and issues at UBC.
  • See here for more women’s resources

Accessibility is something we are committed to as an Institute, but also something we strive for in all that we do as a community.


This website was designed with accessibility in mind. You may notice that the background is slightly off-white, to help those with colour blindness and dyslexia. We have also increased the line height, and colour contrast. All colours used throughout the website adhere to a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 between the background and foreground. We have also ensured to use proper headings to help facilitate screen reader navigation. We have also introduced a suite of directional URL link icons that will help you understand where will end up when you click.


    • : This arrow means the link will take you somewhere within the IOF website


    • : This arrow means the link will take you to an external website


    : This indicates an email will be generated

And more accessibility tools are planned!

Physical Accessibility

The AERL building is equipped with an elevator which has access to all four floors of the building.

Hallways and paths in the IOF lofts are wide, and accessible by wheelchair or other mobility devices. IOF's Health and Safety team does regular inspections to ensure that these are clear and there are no tripping hazards.

Should you have any questions about the accessibility of certain rooms in AERL, please contact Scott Finestone, Manager Finance and Facilities, at s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.

Parking Lots

The parking lots closest to AERL that have accessibility parking are:

  • AERL Parking Lot; there is a parking lot behind the AERL building, which is good for shorter term parking and has only one accessible parking spot.
  • Michael Smith Lot; street parking located in front of the Michael Smith Laboratories near the UBC Bookstore. This is good for shorter term parking and only has one accessible parking spot.
  • Health Sciences Parkade; Parkade located at corner of East Mall and Health Sciences with multiple accessibility parking spots. Best for longer term parking. Exit at southwest corner for easy access between buildings to AERL (follow signs to Beaty Biodiversity Museum).

UBC also offers an Accessibility Shuttle across campus by reservation, with a shuttle stop location outside of the Earth Sciences building on Main Mall located across from the AERL building. See here for more information.

At the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, sustainability is not only something we are committed to as an Institute, but also something we strive for in all that we do as a community. From encouraging low-emissions transportation to curbing carbon emissions to participating in local shoreline cleanups, we are constantly taking actions to become better leaders in environmental and social sustainability at UBC and beyond.

Sustainability at IOF

100% Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood
When ordering seafood, the Institute ensures that what our community is consuming is Ocean Wise-recommended and therefore sustainably fished. As of 1 July 2019, UBC adopted a similar policy, in which it announced it would only purchase and offer 100% Ocean Wise recommended sustainable seafood in its food services.

Skipper Otto
We have a working relationship with Skipper Otto Community Supported Fishery (CSF), an organization founded in 2008 that supports local Canadian fishing families by connecting them directly to consumers. As the first CSF in Canada and the second worldwide, Skipper Otto aims to protect ocean resources and increase food sovereignty by creating an alternative to the dominant model of export-oriented industrial food production.

Local & Sustainable Catering
For our events we aim to support local and sustainable catering businesses, many of which are located within UBC and also source their produce locally, to reduce transportation-related emissions in our food consumption.

Low-Emissions Transportation
Many staff, faculty and students bike or take public transit to work, a step towards reducing emissions that the Institute strongly encourages. Please take a look at UBC's Transportation Maps and the City of Vancouver's Cycling Routes and Maps to learn how you can plan your route to UBC.

IOF Building Certified LEED Gold
The Aquatic and Ecosystems Research Laboratory (AERL) building, where IOF is based, is certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold and in 2011 received the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal in Architecture for sustainable design.

Student Society Beach Clean-Up
The IOF Student Society regularly organizes shoreline cleanups, to pick up garbage along local beaches like Wreck Beach, in order to help make our oceans cleaner and healthier. They also collect data as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Project, the results of which contribute to a better understanding of what kinds of garbage are most prevalent on these beaches.

In 2018, an analysis of shoreline cleanup data by students Cassandra Konecny, Vanessa Fladmark and Santiago De la Puente found that cigarettes account for half of waste recovered on Vancouver and Victoria shorelines. This project, which arose from the Training Our Future Ocean leaders program at UBC, appeared in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Sustainability at UBC

UBC Sustainability Initiative
Established in 2010, the UBC Sustainability Initiative aims to connect, curate and facilitate a wide breadth of sustainability programs and activities across campus.

Some of their projects and programs include:

Ranked #1 in Climate Change Action and Sustainable Cities
In April 2019, UBC was ranked number one in the world for taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, and was also ranked first in Canada for making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, according to Times Higher Education (THE).

UBC Green Buildings
As part of UBC’s Sustainability Initiative, the university aims to create buildings that encourage human and ecological well-being, through initiatives like the Green Building Action Plan and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for all UBC buildings from 2008 onwards.

UBC Sustainability Fellowships
Part of UBC’s Sustainability initiative, Sustainability Fellowships are awarded to full-time UBC Vancouver faculty members who are leading the design of new sustainability courses and programs through an Interdisciplinary Education Grant.

Ways you can help!

From choosing sustainable transportation options to making better consumer choices, there are many things the IOF community can do in their everyday lives to be more sustainable.

What Why Resources
Bus or bike to work and around Vancouver Lower carbon emissions compared to driving a car
  • IOF has bike racks - bring your own lock!
  • Visit UBC Bike Kitchen for repairs, bike parking cages and bike lockers at UBC
  • U-Pass is assessed as part of student fees, and offers transportation across the Lower Mainland at greatly reduced rates
  • Use Mobi, Vancouver's public bike sharing system, around Vancouver
  • Check out Vancouver's bike routes
  • Check out Translink bus routes
Carpool or carshare if you need a car Lower carbon emissions compared to driving solo
For long-distance travel for vacations or conferences, take the train, group coach or bus instead of plane Lower carbon emissions compared to taking a plane
What Why How
Bring your own reusable plates, mugs and utensils to IOF and UBC Reduces use of single-use plastics and utensils like paper plates, plastic utensils and related items
  • You can wash your plates and utensils at IOF sinks!
  • Eating out? Bring your own reusable container for leftovers to avoid disposable takeout containers
  • Campus groups like Sprouts provide food and encourage sustainable consumption, largely by donation
Try to buy local, in-season foods Limits transportation emissions and supports local communities
  • UBC Farm sells local, in-season food during growing season at their markets
  • Check out your local supermarkets for seasonal, local foods
Try to buy foods without plastic or less packaging, and in bulk Reduces plastic or packaging waste from food purchases
  • Check out Vancouver's no-packaging grocer Nada
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bag
  • If plastic is the only option, choose numbers 1, 2 and 5 (compared to 3 and 6) - these plastics are more likely to be recycled and stay on land [1]
  • Try to avoid single-use plastics
If buying seafood, try to purchase sustainably Reduces chance of buying threatened species and supporting companies with inequitable fishing practices
If possible, try to consume less meat, especially red meat Production of meat, especially red meat, can emit large amounts of carbon emissions
  • Look to consuming a mostly plant-based diet if possible
Consumer Purchases
What Why How
Consider buying items, appliances and clothes second-hand as opposed to new Reduces waste by repurposing an older item that might have been thrown away
Donate old clothing and items, or recycle old items Reduces waste by repurposing an older item that might have been thrown away
Avoid buying products that are especially destructive to the environment, like microplastics Reduces the chance of your purchase harming the environment once it is unusable
Resource Conservation
What Why How
Try to conserve water Reduces water usage
  • Turn off taps when not in use
Try to conserve energy Reduces energy usage
  • Turn off lights when not in use
  • Turn down heat and put on sweater if possible
Limit paper and printing use if possible Reduces paper waste
  • Print double-sided
  • Consider keeping copies digital rather than printing if possible
Social Sustainability & Citizenship
What Why How
Be politically active Supporting officials who encourage sustainable action can lead to more sustainable changes on a wider level, like at the municipal or federal level
  • Write to elected officials, attend public meetings and contribute to public consultations for sustainable action
  • If you're a Canadian abroad, you can vote through this process
  • If you're an international student in Canada, you can view your country's own voting procedures for voting abroad
Support Indigenous communities [2] Indigenous stewardship of their traditional territories produces the healthiest ecosystems, so supporting Indigenous rights can create as well as conserve healthy environments
  • Learn about and support the Coastal First Nations, an alliance of 9 BC nations who aim to protect the coast while building their economies
Participate in oceans outreach and sustainability outreach programs Outreach can help spread awareness and instigate change at both local and broader levels
  • The IOF Student Society organizes a Shoreline Cleanup every year - contact the team for details on how to join
  • The Ocean Leaders Program may offer opportunities for outreach
  • UBC has many environmental groups and clubs you can get involved in
Getting Involved in Vancouver

There are many ways to get involved in sustainability beyond IOF and UBC, including:

[1], [2] "Ten Things You Can Do to Protect Ocean Health", written in collaboration by Ocean Leaders Fellows
Fiona Beaty, Cameron Bullen, Sara Cannon, Fanny Couture, Kaleigh Davis, Rocio Lopez de la Lama, Santiago de la Puente, and Heather Summers.