Johnson County Community College

Sustainability team at JCCC.

What We Do

The Center for Sustainability at JCCC is a vital and active part of the campus community and the environmental conservancy movement. Our work encompasses multiple projects, but our goal is focused. At the heart of our philosophy is our mission statement:

JCCC shall lead through example in integrating sustainability into its curriculum and daily operations, transforming the physical campus into a living, learning laboratory. Being an environmentally, socially and economically responsible institution shall benefit the college in terms of enhanced educational opportunities for our students, cost savings and recognition as a regional leader.

How We Began and Where We’re Going

The Center for Sustainability opened in January 2009 as a direct response to an agreement, signed by other colleges as well as JCCC, to reduce the institutions' carbon footprint. Since then, the Center has organized recycling initiatives, student engagement projects and high-profile events. Center staff members have assisted faculty with creating curricula that incorporate sustainability, which we call the Sunflower Project. In addition, the Earth Days series of events each spring has become an annual celebration that students seek out.

For more information on the Center for Sustainability’s reach, check out our interactive timeline.

Education and Research Goals

  • Integrate sustainability into the JCCC curriculum and student experiences on campus through the Sunflower Project and student organizations.
  • Develop more green workforce training and internship/collaboration opportunities for students.
  • Engage the campus and community on food issues through the JCCC Open Petal Farm and discussion of the links between food production, preparation, nutrition and wellness.

Operations Goals

  • Become a zero-waste-to-landfill campus by 2025, with 50% of waste diverted by 2016.
  • Make JCCC a 100% renewable-energy campus by 2050, with 15% achieved by 2020.
  • Reduce JCCC’s carbon footprint through energy efficiency, renewable energy deployment, carbon sequestration and effective vehicle fleet management.
  • Support continued reduction of energy and water use through conservation.

Planning, Administrative and Engagement Goals

  • Assist the college in developing sustainability policies that focus campus decision-making on creating positive impacts on the environment and the community. This includes input on the campus facilities master plan.
  • Increase student and community engagement in JCCC sustainability initiatives.
  • Develop and implement a sustainable transportation plan that focuses on increasing the use of public transportation, carpooling, bicycling and other lower-impact forms of transportation.
  • Increase community partnerships centering on sustainability in conjunction with JCCC’s new Collaboration Center.
  • Earn a Silver designation from The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) by aligning the college’s strategic goals around AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) reporting tool during the next reporting phase (2017-2018). 
  • Measure and monitor social, environmental and economic sustainability metrics and performance indicators. 


Jay Antle
Professor/Executive Director (bio)

Krystal Anton
Recycling and Waste Minimization Coordinator

Kristy Wittman Howell
Sustainability Education and Engagement Coordinator

Michael Rea
Sustainability Project Manager

Rick Mareske
Campus Farm/Outreach Manager