JCCC wins $10,000 national Green Genome Award for sustainability efforts

October 3, 2016

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Johnson County Community College is one of nine community colleges from across the nation to receive a 2016 Green Genome Award for exemplary efforts to promote sustainability.

The award is presented by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and its Sustainability Education and Economic Development Center (SEED). More than 480 community colleges representing more than 3 million students have joined the SEED Center, pledging leadership in sustainability education.

Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois, was the overall winner, and two colleges were selected for excellence in each of four categories. JCCC was picked for Program Design and Delivery. Those winners, along with the winners in the Governance, Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, each will receive $10,000.

“This kind of recognition from the AACC and SEED Center is quite an honor. We’re hoping in the next year to using this considerable award in support of a student and faculty-run project: building a tiny house for auction,” said Kristy Howell, sustainability education and engagement coordinator for JCCC’s Center for Sustainability.

“We’re so fortunate to work within a supportive campus community that encourages the work we do in the Center,” she said.  

In the application for the Green Genome Award, the Center for Sustainability outlined the active role it takes both at JCCC and in the Kansas City community.  “Our work encompasses multiple projects, but our goal focuses on two broad categories: integrating sustainability into its curriculum and daily operations, and transforming the physical campus into a living, learning laboratory.”

The awards are based on SEED’s “The Community College Green Genome Framework,” a

free tool for colleges detailing paths for sustainability success and profiles of previous winning colleges. The framework was developed by a national advisory panel made up of senior leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy, industry, national associations and over 50 community colleges.

The Green Genome Award caps off a trifecta of accolades for Johnson County Community College’s sustainability efforts, all given during September. The college previously announced its selection for the Climate Leadership Award and the National Recycling Coalition Outstanding Higher Education Award.

“Winning three national awards within such a short period of time has made for an exciting fall semester,” Howell said. “Most importantly, they’ve inspired us to continue our good work and do even more.”