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Sustainable Operations

At Unity College, we believe our biggest impact on creating a sustainable future is by making sustainability education affordable and accessible to all. That is why our strategic plan [link] emphasizes meeting the needs of new audiences, wherever they may be. On top of that, we recognize our responsibility to model how a sustainable business can operate in a manner that supports fiscal, human, and planetary wellbeing. Here are some highlights of our efforts:

Academics

  • 100% of graduates graduate from programs that have at least one sustainability learning outcome
  • 100% of research-producing units are engaged in sustainability research
  • Students taking in-person courses regularly use College facilities as a living laboratory.

Engagement

  • All student and employee orientation programs prominently include sustainability topics
  • An internal revolving loan fund supports sustainability projects 
  • All graduates can voluntarily sign a Green Pledge, “to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider, and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work.”
  • See our sustainability walking tour [link]

Operations

  • Unity College has realized over 25% reduction in building energy use in Unity, ME, through efficient construction and retrofits
  • 15% of electronic purchases, 80% of janitorial products, and 100% of copy paper meet recognized sustainability standards
  • Over 45% of waste is diverted from landfills, including all food service waste, which is recycled into energy
  • TerraHaus received Passive House certification in 2012
  • Unity House was certified LEED for Homes, Platinum, in 2009
  • Dining services always offer menu options that support a healthy planet and healthy people
  • Used cooking oil is recycled into bio fuel
  • Sustainable operations decisions are written into policy

Planning & Administration

  • Unity College was the first to divest from fossil fuels
  • Differentiated tuition rate for learners in the military
  • Focus on career pathways for all students
  • Sustainability has an equal voice at the senior leadership level