SEEDS Sustainability Program

Welcome to the SEEDS (Social Ecological Economic Development Studies) Sustainability Program!

We are an internationally recognized leader in Campus as a Living Laboratory work with 20 years’ experience and thousands of projects completed. We create innovative applied research and partnerships that advance UBC’s ambitious sustainability commitments, while also addressing critical societal issues.

SEEDS infographic
SEEDS cultivates innovative applied student-led applied research and interdisciplinary partnerships that advances UBC’s sustainability commitments, while addressing critical societal issues.


SEEDS is an internationally recognized program that creates applied research and interdisciplinary partnerships between students, faculty, staff and community partners to advance sustainability ideas, policies, and practices and create societal impacts by using the Campus as a Living Laboratory at UBC.

Our Goals:

  • Advance the universities ambitious ecological, social and economic sustainability commitments
  • Build interdisciplinary partnerships that integrate operational and academic efforts in sustainability
  • Support staff and community to develop and implement sustainability strategies and policies
  • Generate innovate sustainable solutions that use the Campus as a Living Laboratory
  • Provide impactful student research, learning and professional development experiences
  • Integrate applied sustainability research into the curriculum

Learn more about SEEDS

Interdisciplinary Research Collaborations

Unique to the SEEDS framework, is our interdisciplinary research model. SEEDS has three interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder research initiatives that serve to catalyze student-led applied research that inform UBC’s ambitious sustainability commitments, integrate sustainability research into curriculum and pedagogy, while contributing to enriched student educational and professional experiences. 

CBIRD banner

CBIRD is UBC’s interdisciplinary hub connecting academics, campus practitioners and the wider community in collaborative applied research to advance urban forestry and biodiversity ideas, policies and practices at UBC and wider regions to advance towards a community with net positive outcomes for human and ecological health. Using a Campus as Living Laboratory approach, CBIRD advocates for urban biodiversity enhancement, conservation, and stewardship through meaningful engagement, as well as advancing sustainability education and research on campus.  

UBC FSP banner

The UBCFSP is a collaborative, cross-campus initiative that brings together students, faculty and operational staff to advance UBC’s food system sustainability. The project assesses the sustainability of our food system, identifies gaps and opportunities, and leverages the Campus as a Living Laboratory to accelerate the transition towards greater food system sustainability.

CCUB fosters community-based and student-led applied research collaborations to develop solutions for conserving and enhancing urban biodiversity in a changing climate. Applying an inclusive research design and engagement model, CCUB addresses the climate and urban biodiversity crises by advocating they be solved in concert rather than in isolation.

Our 5 Big Moves 

Over the next 5 years, the SEEDS mission will be achieved through a focus on student-led research and collaborations that support our 5 big moves:

  1. Accelerate climate action
  2. Maintain & enhance urban biodiversity
  3. Alleviate food insecurity
  4. Create circular economies
  5. Foster wellbeing and inclusive, place-based communities


SEEDS research produces tangible impacts at UBC and in the wider communities in which we are embedded. 

Our Stats

Since 2001, SEEDS has engaged:

  • 9,391+ student, faculty, staff and community participants
  • 1,122+ sustainability projects
  • 1,800 research reports
  • 250+ courses
  • 12+ faculties and schools
  • 45 sustainability plans and policies advanced

SEEDS Sustainability Library

The SEEDS Sustainability Library is UBC’s largest and most comprehensive repository of student-led sustainability research.

Explore the SEEDS Sustainability Library

Connect with Us

Collaborate with SEEDS in an applied research project or interdisciplinary collaboration. With a twenty-year history and thousands of projects completed, we invite you to partner with us. 

  • Are you a UBC staff seeking practical and innovative solutions that advance your mission and the University’s sustainability commitments? 
  • Are you an external community partner curious about how our internationally recognized model of applied research can advance shared ecological and social sustainability goals?
  • Are you a faculty member interested in integrating impactful research experiences into your curriculum? Applying your expertise by mentoring a student or partaking in an interdisciplinary collaboration?
  • Are you a senior undergraduate or graduate student wanting to gain valuable career capital, applied research and project management experience and advance sustainability issues?