Sustainable Communications

Sustainability is core to the mission of the University and Communications staff have an important role to play by demonstrating sustainability through the choices we make in communicating with our audiences. This section is taken from the UBC Public Affairs Communications Cardinals Handbook.

Sustainable Design Checklist


  • Ask why. Why is this the best method?
  • Ask how.  How can we lessen impact?
  • Ask what. What are the impacts of doing this?
  • Design for re-use/longevity
  • Design cyclically not linearly
  • Choose recycled/non-toxic materials.
  • Minimize waste. (e.g. use entire press sheet)
  • Minimize ink coverage
  • Choose local vendors that use renewable energy
  • Encourage others to design sustainably

Best Practices


  • Specify 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) or treeless paper, or request that the paper be FSC certified
  • Choose paper that is process chlorine-free (PCF)
  • Choose non-toxic vegetable-based inks
  • Choose local materials
  • Select local vendors to minimize transportation
  • Print on demand when possible

Sustainable Purchasing Guide

The Sustainable Purchasing Guide is designed to assist the university in purchasing more sustainable products and services such as catering, couriers, office supplies, event planning and printing. View the Sustainable Purchasing Guide [pdf].

Sustainable purchasing evaluates more than cost. Sustainable purchasing considers: best value (quality, price, service, innovation), impact on the environment, as well as the product’s life cycle and social and ethical impacts. Sustainable purchasing also clarifies what the product or service fulfills. It then evaluates if the need can be meet in another way and if the product or service is truly necessary. Send questions and suggestions to