UBC BEST – Forest Bioeconomy Sciences and Technology

Be a leader in the rapidly growing bioeconomy with the Bachelor of Science in Forest Bioeconomy Sciences and Technology (BEST).

Why a degree in Bioeconomy Sciences and Technology?

Full decarbonization must occur in the 21st century. It is clear that decreasing our carbon footprint is essential to curbing the impacts of climate change. Educational approaches to training students for careers in decarbonizing the economy using green technology must be interdisciplinary with a clear understanding of environmental implications.

A BEST education combines molecular, biological, and ecological approaches for the production and utilization of products made from renewable natural resources, the measurement of environmental impacts, combined with systems thinking, policy planning and implementation for the advancement of the bioeconomy. The program will educate future leaders to develop innovative solutions to help address one of the largest challenges of our time, climate change.

UBC BEST students will learn skills to tackle wide ranging challenges

  • How do you bring about change in behaviours?
  • How do governments create policies around the bioeconomy?
  • How do we measure greenhouse gases, sustainability, land use impacts?
  • How do we manage land use while maximizing carbon capture while maintaining ecological diversity?
  • How do we transform forest and plant materials into renewable products and energy?
  • How do we design innovative bioproducts?
  • Are there “waste” materials that can be used for energy or other products?

What is the bioeconomy?

The bioeconomy is the economic activity derived from the production and use of biological resources, as well as the processes to provide products and services. These biological resources (wood, plants, agriculture waste, organic food waste, etc.) are transformed into innovative products (biofuels, bioplastics, textiles, food additives, and medicine) to create sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based products. By-products and waste from the forestry and agricultural industries are a major source of raw materials for bioeconomy activity.

Why is the bioeconomy important?

A better future requires creative and responsible uses of our limited natural resources. To transition from a fossil fuel-based economy, we need alternatives. This change in societal behaviour for a better and more sustainable world will be driven by the growing bioeconomy.

Bioeconomy activity is a viable and pragmatic way to help mitigate climate change through the sequestration of CO₂ from plant-based biomass and the storage of carbon in biobased materials.

About the BEST UBC program

The UBC BEST program is the Faculty of Forestry’s newest degree program, with the first cohort starting in 2020.

This degree is the first of its kind in Canada to provide a multi-disciplinary and comprehensive education focused on the scientific, economic and policy issues related to the growing bioeconomy and creating a sustainable future.

You will gain a solid foundation for the innovative design and development of renewable materials, energy, and sustainable land use strategies.


Core subjects you will learn

  • Sustainability sciences
  • Applied biotechnology
  • Chemistry of natural resources
  • Development and maintenance of managed ecosystems
  • Sustainable technologies for biomass conversion, bioenergy and bioproducts
  • Product design and innovation
  • Land use management
  • Community engagement and policy development
  • Business and leadership skills


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