Sustainability Team

Our Mission

The UMKC Sustainability Team aspires to provide the framework for environmental stewardship, natural resource conservation, emissions reductions and sustainability. The team acts as a resource to support and promote the university’s environmental commitments and policies.

The Sustainability Team is committed to enhancing awareness and understanding of the principles of sustainability throughout the university community.

2014 Goals


  • to work towards Zero Waste Goal by 2015 by reducing, reusing and recycling.
  • to Reduce Energy Usage on Campus and explore renewable sources.
  • to Communicate about Campus and Community Events
  • to Look for Funding Opportunities
  • to Educate and Communicate to create awareness surrounding sustainability initiatives on campus.
  • to expand alternative transportation through planning.

2013 Accomplishments

  • Expand Recycling and Waste Reduction
  • Reduce Energy and Natural Resource Use On Campus
  • Expand Sustainability Communication and Education
  • Increase Sustainability Office Funding
  • Water Resource Conservation


Education and Funding

Co-chairs: Sheri Volpe
Members: Suzi Ward and Kellie Case

The Education subcommittee provides educational resources for the campus and the broader community including sustainable living guides, interactive sustainability blog, Eco-educational events for the campus, and field trips and tours.


Co-chairs: Randy Shingleton and Jeff Vandel
Members: Mary Cleveland, Karen Lavendusky, Bob Simmons, Elvis Butler, Kaye Johnston and Mike Norris

The Energy subcommittee works to reduce the amount of energy used on campus through a voluntary energy management program with renewable alternative sources of energy such as solar panels and promoting the use of timers on electronics.

Lawn, Landscaping and Gardens

Chair: Steve Jenks
Members: Julie Bauer

The Lawn, Landscaping and Gardens subcommittee initiatives include utilizing more native grasses to reduce water usage on lawns, assisting in securing funding for UMKC Garden Collective, planning plant exchange events and creating a farmer’s market on campus.


Chair: Cathy Simonds
Members: Kaye Johnston

The Purchasing subcommittee is creating a sustainable green purchasing policy for the campus, working to reduce cardboard from vendors on campus and emphasizing carbon neutral purchasing practices on campus.


Co Chairs:Velda Robins and Jody Jeffries
Members: Justin Goddard, Tommy Lao, Suzi Ward, Kellie Case

The Recycling subcommittee goals are to expand recycling to all buildings on campus, meeting zero waste goals, expanding composting programs, creating community composting programs and reducing trash cans on campus.


Chair: Henry Marsh
Members: Marsha Pirtle , John Aust and Braden Anderson

The Transportation subcommittee has created larger car-free and idle zones on campus, expanded use of electric vehicles, assists in creating purchasing policy to ensure all new vehicles are alternative fuel vehicles, and creates comprehensive alternative transportation programs on campus.


Chair: Steve Jenks
Members:  Julie Bauer

The Watershed subcommittee works with the university engineering department to reduce water runoff, develop a plan to reuse gray and storm water, and to create more rain, community and rooftop gardens.

  • Habitat For Humanity Kansas City - Restore UMKC Partner