Change Agent.

Sustainability Theme Toolkit

The University of British Columbia is a global leader in sustainability.

At The University of British Columbia, sustainability means simultaneous improvements in human and environmental wellbeing — not simply reducing damage or harm. Sustainability is a societal conversation about the world we want to live in.

As a Living Laboratory we aim to embed sustainability across the University throughout teaching, learning, research, partnerships, operations and infrastructure, and the UBC community.

UBC sustainability communications should employ aspirational language that creates a desire in our audience to become change-agents, community leaders, and responsible global citizens. By using cohesive, enterprise-wide visual elements, sustainability at UBC becomes a societal conversation about the world we want to live in and an active realization of our commitment to being a living laboratory.

Key Considerations

Key Considerations

Use the official Ripple visual element

For institutional communications relating to climate and energy, recycling and waste, food and purchasing, transportation and social well being, please download the Ripple graphic design file.


Prompt sustainability behaviours

The Ripple is a visual reminder to behave more sustainably. Be strategic about where you use the Ripple and ensure it has good visibility and can be easily understood by a broad audience.

Use Emily character in student focused communications

For student communications on sustainability, the character and messaging of ‘Emily' is used to engage and educate students on various sustainability initiatives at UBC.

Use the official sustainability URL and hashtag

On all digital sustainability communications, please use the official UBC sustainability website URL,, and utilize the Ripple Effect hashtag, #RippleEffectUBC, to engage audiences at UBC and beyond on important sustainability issues, events, campaigns and research.


Be positive

The language and tone for sustainability communications at UBC should be positive and encourage versus negative and punitive.

Think Strategically

Think Strategically

Make the most out of your project. Here are some strategies that we think will help you.

  1. Knowing where to start with any sustainability project can be tough. Reach out to UBC Sustainability Initiative and/or Campus and Community Planning for support or resources and ways to ensure that your project or initiative helps advance UBC’s sustainability goals.
  2. Make sure you know which visual elements to utilize for your event, campaign or publication. For complex environmental graphics or to create new Emily creative, consult with Communications and Marketing on how best to prepare graphic files and execute your idea.
  1. Stay consistent. Keep your sustainability communications on-brand by using the Ripple element and keeping your tone positive and encouraging.
  2. Share the UBC sustainability story in ways that engage and inspire others.
  3. Ensure your sustainability messaging includes both environmental and human wellbeing considerations.
  1. Did your communications have a tangible impact?
  2. Measure your efforts: survey stakeholders, analyze your web and social engagement, and assess whether you were able to meet your goal and increase sustainability awareness at UBC.

Sustainability Stories

Sustainability Stories

Here are some video examples of UBC sustainability stories. They aim to positively promote ecological awareness to the UBC community.

In the boughs of the UBC Botanical Garden

During the #RippleEffectUBC campaign, students were given the opportunity for a free tour of the Greenhart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research.

Two-wheeled Fleet Race

In an effort to highlight UBC’s Transportation initiatives to students, Louise Cowin, Vice President Students and AMS President, Caroline Wong put two Swiss made Stromer bikes to the test during a Ripple Lab.



Sustainability Signature Package

This package contains the complete suite of UBC’s Sustainability signatures in all available colours, files types, and colour modes (PMS, CMYK and RGB).


Sort it out icons

These icons can be used on waste stations to help instruct what items can go into each waste bin.


Social media images

Show you support for #RippleEffectUBC and be a sustainability ambassador like Emily! Use one of these images for your Twitter or Facebook cover.