UMKC’s commitment to sustainability is visible across the entire campus. There are five buildings on campus as of spring 2012-2016 that have attained LEED Accreditation. Herman and Dorthy Johnson Hall and Hospital Hill Apartments along with the Miller Nichols Learning Center are LEED accredited and the Student Union and The Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation are LEED Gold accredited. All buildings have interpretive signage that speaks to the highlights of the green building features. are state-of-the-art green buildings.

Sustainable gardening is encouraged at three rain gardens and a student-led community garden-The UMKC Garden Collective, and the Student Union and Miller Nichols Library (MNL) have rooftop gardens.

The Hub bicycle repair center helps keep students mobile plus there are free loaner bicycles for folks on campus.

Students and the community can stay informed through the Recycling-on-the-Go educational kiosk, and can use the solar recycling center east of the MNL.

We even reused timbers from the old bleachers at Swinney Recreation Center.  To learn more about UMKC’s Office of Sustainability view this video

Use the Green Features Map tour of all UMKC’s green initiatives the next time you are on campus and see for yourself!

Through leadership, collaboration and action, the university will continue to achieve its sustainability goals.

2017 Goals

At the 2016 UMKC Sustainability Team 2017 goal setting meeting held on November 16, 2016 from 2-3pm in the Plaza Room of the Administration Center there were many great ideas shared and voted on by the group.

Here are the top 5 goals for 2017:

  1. Waste Reduction

    1. Create a Community Recycling Center on Hospital Hill like the one at 4825 Troost
    2. Remain in the Recycle Mania Top 10 for 2017
    3. 85% recycling in 2017
    4. Push the envelope in composting
    5. Joint Electronic and shredding Event for RecycleMania 2017
    6. Get to 100% recycling
    7. No Styrofoam on campus
  1. Education

    1. Focus on campus education and communication sustainable efforts
    2. “How to” sessions on reusing items that get tossed. (Glass, jars, wooden pallets etc.)
    3. Involve Geosciences faculty and students in sustainability research opportunities and display leadership in KC
    4. Expand Awareness of Ride Share Program on campus
    5. Establish partnership with student groups for increased awareness and sustainability initiatives
    6. Introduce sustainability curriculum in education to get more faculty involvement
    7. Orientation education for students about recycling
    8. Establish strong Garden Collective Dinning Services with sustainable program
    9. Climate resilience- engage partners off campus for common sustainability actions
    10. Continue and add educational signage about solar on campus
    11. Education remains high priority
    12. Have environmental sustainability/equity as part of the new general education
    13. Bridge building with all our communities
  1. Sustainability buildings

    1. Solar panels on rooftops
    2. Strategize tactics to increase number of buildings on campus with LEED Certification
  1. Funding

    1. Expand community garden to include rentable beds for people living in or around UMKC
    2. Comprehensive visible educational program highlighting sustainable markers throughout both campuses (Tell the Story)
    3. Look for alternative funding for solar wind and other
    4. Obtain additional funding for gardening programs
    5. Financial divestment in fossil fuels
  1. Transportation

    1. Streetcars to UMKC- Encourage student/faculty to vote yes for stage 1 ballot
    2. Closed campus or limit vehicle usage
    3. More electric Vehicles on Campus-Double Charging Stations Volker and Hospital Hill
    4. CNG campus vehicles

Additional Ideas:


Talk to KCMO traffic- slower speed limit on Rock Hill

Post cross walks to protect students better, especially at Katz Hall- Flashing light

Green cleaning         


Water storage tanks to capture rain and water recycle through spin cycle

Water savings initiatives to reduce consumption

Decrease energy use- look at SEM to improve

Reduce Green House Gases (GHG) :

Continue reducing GHG

2010-2016 Awards and Honors:

UMKC has become a leader in our urban community and in the Midwest region because of advancing its Sustainability Initiatives and the hard work of the UMKC Sustainability Team.
Here’s a list of honors and awards 2010-2016

-Kansas City Industrial Council Sustainability Award for Energy 2015
-STARS Silver Rating 2014 v102 and 2015 v.2
-Recyclemania Grand Champion Award #1 2013 #2 2015 and 2016
-Missouri Recycling Association Outstanding Program Award 2013 and 2014
-Mid-America Regional Council Sustainable Success Stories for 2011, 2012, and 2013
-Top 100 Cool School by Sierra Club 2010-2016
-Princeton Review Top Green Colleges 2013-2016
-American School and University Magazine Green Cleaning Award 2011 Honorable Mention
-Mid-America Regional Council 2011, 2013 and 2014 Top Sustainable Success Stories Honoree
-Greenability Magazine Sept/Oct 2011 Issue-UMKC lead article on “Local Colleges Prepare Students for a Greener Future”
-Bicycle Friendly University Honorable Mention 20110-2013 and Bronze Level 2014-2017
-Mid-America Regional Council Solid Waste Management District 2010
Outstanding Program Award
-Bridging The Gap Environmental Excellence Award 2006 Recycling Program
-2016 Kansas City City Energy Project Mayor’s Early Adopters Energy Star Portfolio Manager Role Model


  • Ripple Glass UMKC Partners