A strategic plan priority
One of the six priorities of the KCC Strategic Plan (2009-13) is to grow sustainability initiatives as a locally and regionally recognized feature of the college. The Strategic Sustainability Plan integrates sustainable initiatives into KCC's wider strategic priorities.
KCC will be a model of sustainability for District 520, for Illinois higher education, and for community colleges nationwide. KCC also will be a leader in sustainability education, preparing students to successfully negotiate inevitable challenges and to live happy and constructive lives that serve the betterment of humanity and future generations.
Strategic sustainability goals
To support this vision, KCC will:
- Achieve carbon neutrality for KCC by involving faculty, staff, and students in creating and maintaining a culture that embodies the ideals of sustainability.
- Expand KCC’s curricula to support sustainability and the growing renewable energy industry, and share those curricula with educational institutions across Illinois.
- Create models that illustrate sustainability and share these models with the local community as well as with educational institutions across Illinois.
- Create partnerships between KCC and other community organizations to promote and nurture sustainability beyond the college.
Because the goals of sustainability are broad, the Strategic Sustainability Plan will develop initiatives in accordance with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) STARS program (Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System) for colleges and universities. The STARS system has three categories: education and research, operations, and administration and finance. We will use the STARS system to help prioritize our initiatives and to benchmark against other community colleges in the nation.
KCC's president, Dr. John Avendano, is a signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. The ACUPCC, launched in early 2007. It includes schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Participating ACUPCC schools are working to cut a combined estimated 33 million-plus metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. As a participant, KCC's commitment is detailed in its Greenhouse Gas Report, Climate Action Plan and 2011 Annual Report.
KCC also has signed the 2010-2015 Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, participating at the Gold Level. The compact is prepared by the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council in cooperation with universities and colleges across Illinois.