Johnson County Community College

The staff of Johnson County Community College’s Center for Sustainability

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.

We are proud to have earned a Silver designation from The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

How We Began and Where We’re Going

In 2008, JCCC signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) to reduce its carbon footprint. The Center for Sustainability is the result of that commitment.

Every day, you benefit from these efforts. Since opening in January 2009, the Center has organized recycling initiatives, student engagement projects and high-profile events, including:

  • Open Petal Farm
  • Sustainability Dinner
  • Garden at Hiersteiner Child Development Center
  • Green stormwater management
  • Solar-powered buildings and charging stations
  • Low-flow plumbing and water bottle refilling fountains

Campus-wide, we are reusing materials, reducing energy use and recycling up to 59 percent of the waste we generate each year.

During the fall semester, we celebrate the harvest – both at Open Petal Farm and beyond – with Harvest Days. In spring, we offer a similar week of programming around Earth Day. Both weeks give us an opportunity to encourage sustainability on campus and in our community. Year-round, we support teachers who develop sustainability curricula as part of JCCC’s Sunflower Project.

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. We successfully met our original goal of 50 percent of waste diverted by 2016.
  • Make JCCC a 100-percent renewable-energy campus by 2050, with 15 percent 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 Gold designation in our 2019-2020 reporting period from The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
  • We will achieve this by developing a Quality Improvement Program with campus leaders to better reflect the College’s sustainability work and goals.
  • Measure and monitor social, environmental and economic sustainability metrics and performance indicators. 


Jay Antle
Professor/Executive Director

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