Energy service companies as a component of a comprehensive university sustainability strategy
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
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Purpose - This paper aims to quantify and critically analyze the best practices of a comprehensive environmental stewardship strategy (ESS), which included a guaranteed energy savings program (GESP) that utilized an energy service company (ESCO). Design/methodology/approach - The environmental and economic benefits and limitations of an approach utilizing an ESCO are critically analyzed in the context of implementing a comprehensive university sustainability strategy. Findings - A GESP, which utilized the technical and financial expertise of energy service companies, improved the operational efficiency, decreased the ecological footprint, and reduced the operating costs of the university. Practical implications - Energy-saving projects are "win-win" situations, addressing both economy and ecology. Utilizing energy service companies in the university setting is a useful method to catalyze university administration to support sustainability initiatives and accelerate the implementation of comprehensive sustainability strategies. Originality/value - The current waste rampant at most universities provides a large number of opportunities to improve environmental stewardship while reducing operating costs. This paper provides a new model utilizing energy service companies to capitalize on these opportunities to move universities towards sustainability. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.