Updates from Johnson County Community College: Student committee dubbed champions of sustainability

JCCC’s Student Sustainability Committee was recently awarded a Champion of Sustainability award. Photo taken pre-COVID.

Johnson County Community College is committed to being environmentally, socially and economically responsible, an achievement that would not be possible without the dedication of our Center for Sustainability.

A student involvement opportunity in the Center for Sustainability, the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) proposes and oversees countless eco-friendly projects around campus. Requested, funded and staffed by students, the committee is charged with allocating the Sustainability Initiatives Fund.

Since its creation in 2009, the SSC has played a major role in many aspects of campus culture, operations and community. Through the years, campus projects implemented by the committee have helped JCCC save millions of dollars on energy costs and reusable materials.

Committee projects include:

  • Purchasing an electric vehicle for JCCC’s Driver Education program.
  • Installing electric vehicle charging stations across campus.
  • Providing equipment to the College’s 2.5-acre Open Petal Farm, where Sustainable Agriculture courses are taught.
  • Installing our first LED lighting and outdoor solar panels.
  • Improving our compost shed and developing our campus recycling center.

“Though the Student Sustainability Committee’s work is ongoing, its efforts to date are impressive. In terms of projects supported, the Committee has funded more than 100 individual proposals since its inception, totaling nearly $3 million,” said Kristy Howell, Sustainability Education and Engagement Coordinator and SSC advisor.

Recognizing the Champions

The hard work completed by our SSC hasn’t gone unnoticed. The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) recently honored the committee with a Champion of Sustainability award. This achievement is granted to the individual or group that best models the bottom line of sustainability: healthy environments, social justice and strong economies.

The purpose of the ACPA is to enhance student affairs and share the knowledge and achievements of college students at all levels within higher education. Each year, the ACPA recognizes exemplary students, administrators, educators and programs or initiatives.

Commitment to Sustainability

The SSC’s commitment to transforming abstract ideas about sustainability into reality is key to meeting our goal of making campus a zero waste to landfill institution by 2025. This status is achieved by diverting 100% of waste from a landfill to an alternate disposal source.

“JCCC’s advances in sustainability enrich every aspect of our campus and provide useful tools as we foster student and organizational preparation for a rapidly changing world,” JCCC President Andy Bowne said.

Check out our Center for Sustainability webpage for more information on JCCC’s ongoing mission to prioritize sustainability in all aspects of campus life.