Unity College welcomes new Chief Sustainability Officer
Melissa Couture brings with her an abundance of experience in strategic operations leadership, data-driven decision-making
With sustainability at the heart of its mission, one of the most pivotal roles at Unity College is its Chief Sustainability Officer, someone who not only oversees the College’s nationally recognized green initiatives, but also serves as a leader and decision-maker for the business, facilities, and IT functions. With a role so key for the College to live its mission and carry out day-to-day operational excellence, it’s vital to find the right candidate for the role, and Unity College has found that person.
Melissa Couture joined Unity College as its Chief Sustainability Officer on Jan. 18, 2021.
“We’re very excited to have Melissa join us as CSO of Unity College,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “Though her resume is impressive, to say the least, she also has demonstrated success as a leader through tangible accomplishments in her previous roles that can easily be applied to Unity College to benefit students and staff and ensure the College’s sustainable future.”
Couture comes to Unity College from Androscoggin Bank where she served as Vice President of Bank Operations Manager. There, she worked to transform business processes, managed renovation and construction projects, and collaborated with direct reports to ensure they met their goals. She had previously served as Executive Director of Starting Point, a nonprofit providing services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in Carroll County, NH, and as a Special Projects Administrator for Northway Bank in New Hampshire. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wheaton College, and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University in Orange, Calif.
“I am excited about Unity College’s sustainability focus and commitment to providing affordable access to higher education. Through the use of innovative technology solutions that support student access, I am confident the College will continue to advance its mission to be “America’s Environmental College,” said Ms. Couture.
Chief Sustainability Officers at Unity College have left a legacy of success, having most recently helped lead the College to a STARS Gold award for sustainability in the curriculum. In recent years, the Chief Sustainability Officer has helped the College realize a 25 percent reduction in building energy use at the College’s 90 Quaker Hill Road property, more than 45 percent of waste diverted from landfills, and introduced low-residency models of learning to limit the College’s carbon footprint.
“As we continue to reach more learners from all over the country, and continue to transform Unity College into a leading institution of higher education nationally and globally, I believe this role will be of the utmost importance. I know, also, that Melissa is the right person for this role, to help us achieve our goals, and help us educate sustainability leaders of tomorrow,” said Dr. Khoury.