Jonathan Wilkinson, the federal minister of environment and climate change, recognized UBC’s shared commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 through climate-action initiatives such as its District Waste Heat Recovery Project, which received approximately $974,000 in funding from the Low Carbon Economy Fund. This initiative will install heat-recovery systems that will reduce the university’s reliance on natural gas. The new system will redirect the recovered heat to the campus’s hot-water district energy system, which supplies the majority of its buildings with heat and hot water so that students can live and work in a cleaner environment.
This funding builds on a 2019 investment of $7.6 million under the Low Carbon Economy Challenge’s Champions stream to support the university’s biomass-expansion project, which increases its renewable-energy capacity.
Over the lifetime of this project, UBC will see a cumulative reduction of about 14,600 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The university will also save $1 million in heating costs annually through this project.
The funding for this investment comes from the partnerships stream of the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which invests in projects that reduce carbon pollution, save money, and create good jobs.
“Canadian universities are leading by example with climate-change solutions through research, technology, and innovative ideas,” said Wilkinson. “Our government will continue to invest in projects that support clean energy in educational institutions like the University of British Columbia so that students can live and work in cleaner, more sustainable environments for generations to come.”