The University of British Columbia is holding a contest where participants will set out plans on how to make the Point Grey campus “net positive” in terms of energy and water, as well as reduce greenhouse gas output. The grand prize is $5,000, second prize is $3,000, and third prize is $1,000. The contest is open to UBC community members (ie: Student, Staff, Faculty, Researcher, Resident or Alumni).
Net positive water output seems like something that could be achieved fairly easily. You would capture and purify rainwater, use it to cover all on-campus activities, and export a bit into the water system beyond. It would require infrastructure spending, but it seems clear that it could be done.
Net energy output (in a zero carbon way) might be trickier, though I presume it isn’t necessary for the campus to be exporting power to the grid all the time. As long as net exports are positive, it seems fair to call the campus “net positive” on energy. Wind and solar are the obvious renewable options, though UBC isn’t really an ideal location for either. My guess is that the best option would be to install wind and solar capacity, while retrofitting buildings to make them much more energy efficient.