New report shows Johnson County community has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% since 2013

Electric car, smokestacks, green field during sunset, County Administration Building

The Johnson County community has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent since 2013, according to a new greenhouse gas inventory report that tracked the community’s emissions in 2020.

The county last issued a similar greenhouse gas inventory in 2013. The report shows that most emissions come from the built environment, including residential, commercial and industrial buildings within the county boundaries. That area also saw the most improvement, largely in electric generation as more clean energy options have become operational.

“As we celebrate Earth Day this weekend, it is a good reminder of the importance of our work to improve our environmental resiliency,” said Mike Kelly, chair of the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners. “By continuing to improve our efforts in pursuing sustainable infrastructure, clean energy and low-carbon fuels, we can continue our progress in a way that is good for the planet, the health of our community and our county’s financial bottom line.”

Johnson County achieved LEED Gold certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving sustainability in 2022, becoming just the 25th local government in the world to achieve that accomplishment.

In 2021, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners endorsed the KC Regional Climate Action Plan’s goal calling for net zero regional greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The report also looked at the climate emissions of the county government’s operations. While those levels have increased by 9% since 2013, much of that is due to the overall growth of the county during that time, said Brian Alferman, sustainability program manager for Johnson County.

The county’s electricity usage per square foot has decreased 69% and natural gas usage has decreased by 26% per square foot. Water usage also went down by 23% per square foot.

“As our county grows, so too does our need to serve that growing population,” Alferman said. “The report indicates that despite our growth in facilities, resource consumption has been efficient. Still, the report outlines that we have work to do if we are to achieve our emissions reductions goals.”

The complete report is available on the county’s website, along with a podcast that discusses the report’s findings in greater detail.

Board of County Commissioners
Health and Environment
News Releases