The University of British Columbia has received a $2 million donation from The RBC Foundation in support of a number of sustainability projects across its Vancouver campus.
The gift, part of UBC’s start an evolution campaign, will be split evenly between The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) and The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) at the UBC Farm.
“RBC’s generous donation enhances UBC’s role in developing sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges,” says UBC President Stephen Toope. “This gift will advance the university’s commitment to green innovations, both in research and in operations.”
CIRS will use the $1 million gift to fund sustainable technologies and systems used at the CIRS building to harvest, treat and recycle water. The donation will also help fund the work of several graduate students, including researcher Ghazal Ebrahimi, who studies sustainable water systems.
RBC’s investment in the CSFS makes them the first major donor committed to helping construct a new eco-friendly building at the UBC Farm, which will be used for research, teaching and community learning.
“RBC is consistently regarded as one of Canada’s most socially responsible corporations and one of the planet’s greenest companies,” said Graham MacLachlan, Regional President, BC, RBC. “We have united our company and our employees around the RBC Blue Water Project and our commitment to help create sustainable communities. That’s why we are pleased to support projects like the UBC Farm (CSFS) and CIRS that have a positive and measureable impact on communities today and tomorrow.”
RBC has donated more than $5 million to UBC.
To celebrate the donation, RBC will be at the first Saturday Market at UBC Farm on Saturday, June 21 from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The donation announcement will commence at 10:30 a.m.
Ray Cole, Academic Director, Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability
“We are enormously grateful for our partnership with RBC and their gift to CIRS. Their support will contribute substantially to our mission to bring the fruits of research and innovation into the decision-making arenas in industry, policy-making, regulation, and non-governmental organizations.”
Amy Frye, Director, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems
“We applaud RBC’s leadership in food systems sustainability. As our first community investor into our infrastructure, RBC accelerates the UBC Farm’s local and global impact as a prototyping site for exportable solutions relevant to communities worldwide.”
About RBC Community & Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) is Canada’s largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 42 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com. RBC is recognized among the world’s financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, and one of Canada’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships, community investments and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more here.
About The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability
CIRS is an innovative, high performance research centre and UBC’s living laboratory flagship project. As one of North America’s most sustainable buildings, CIRS aims to be an internationally recognized research institution that accelerates the adoption of sustainable building technologies and sustainable urban development practices in society. The building, processing its own energy and water on-site, is certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum, one of the highest designations in green building performance.
About The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems
CSFS is a unique research initiative that aims to understand and fundamentally transform local and global food systems. The CFSF manages a diverse range of programs concentrated at the UBC Farm, a working farm in the city of Vancouver that is a living laboratory for food system sustainability. CSFS is committed to finding solutions to the global challenges facing the sustainability of our food system, and our resultant personal, community and environmental health.
About the proposed UBC Farm Centre
The proposed infrastructure will enable CSFS to be a global gathering place to create solutions addressing every part of the food system, from sustaining honeybee populations to promoting the next generation of farmers’ access to land. Plans for the site includes research labs, classrooms, kitchens, flexible working spaces for community groups, increased space for crop preservation and seed saving, and meeting spaces for hands-on learning that are integrated into the farmland landscape.
About UBC’s start an evolution campaign
The most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in Canadian history, start an evolution has the twin goals of raising $1.5 billion and involving 50,000 alumni annually in the life of the university by 2015.