Industrial Wins the BOMA National Earth Award
After a five-plus-year initiative to realize the benefits of sustainable operations, 9050 Airport Road achieved BOMA Best Gold certification, along with the Earth Award and National Earth Award. This is the first achievement of its kind in Oxford’s National Industrial Portfolio.
In order to achieve BOMA Best Gold certification, sustainability initiatives were implemented through policies and programs to effectively partner with tenants.
Through tenant engagement and building operations, the property achieved:
- 87% score rating for in-place emissions, effluents and pollution controls as well as good management practices for hazardous products and waste, health and safety
- 82% score rating on use and management of refrigerants and firefighting systems
- Installed high efficiency lighting, including parking area and the exterior of the building
- Implemented a waste diversion program showing the impact to our resources and savings – diversion rate achieved was more than 90%
- Implemented a water reduction program with annual targets in place
- Achieved savings through additional sub-metering equipment installed in various departments within the facility allowing for monitoring of consumption of electricity
Managed with Pride
“A Fresh Take on an Existing Process”
Broken windows in buildings and office towers is a common occurrence. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months before a window can be replaced. Traditionally, broken glass is covered with plywood and often clunky clamps are used to keep it in place. This process usually takes a few hours and a piece of plywood covering a window is not a good thing to stare at either.
The Centennial Place team in Calgary came up with an idea to transform the ordinary white plywood into a world-class experience by using vinyl wrap instead of plywood. This eliminates the need for unsightly clamps, avoids damage to the windowsills, and the best part – it installs in minutes! And who doesn’t appreciate a lovely view of downtown Calgary?
The impact? We’ve transformed a negative experience into a positive one. Instead of tenants complaining about how long it’s taking to replace their window, they're having fun with their new office art.
Utilizing Space to Increase Diversion
Recognizing the importance of making recycling easy, Brampton Towers repurposed some newly liberated space to create well-located interior recycling rooms in 2017. Located within each of the four towers that make up the complex, these new facilities make it easier and more convenient for our residents to sort their garbage and recycling. Relocating the recycling area also created the added benefit of improving the curbside appeal of the property as all bins can now be stored out of sight.
Coupled with recycling facts and knowledge, and appropriate signage, residents find recycling easier than ever. We successfully kicked off the launch of these recycling rooms with an interactive resident event held in conjunction with the Certified Rental Board and the Region of Peel Waste Management team. The event was held in order to promote the new rooms and provide a means of educating our residents on the specifics of recycling in their buildings. The event included Oxford’s famous “Plinko” board to educate residents on waste streams, as well as a draw for Oxford gift cards for those who participated in the recycling games.
This initiative was recognized by the Certified Rental Building Program (CRBP) with an Environmental Excellence Award presented to our team by City Councillor Jeff Bowman.
Joint Customer-Landlord Green Teams
With tenant energy use representing an estimated one-third of a typical office building’s operations, it is important to engage in healthy dialogue around what tenants can do to help reduce energy consumption and costs. As a starting point in 2012, Oxford launched joint landlord-tenant green teams across its office portfolio. Green teams meet quarterly to focus on sustainability goals, best practices and challenges aimed at creating more sustainable workplaces. Green teams also align Oxford’s efforts with customers’ objectives and sustainability priorities.
Today, all of our directly managed office towers have formed their own customer-landlord green teams, representing hundreds of customers operating in 44 office buildings across Canada and the US. We have achieved an average 70% customer participation rate at green team meetings across the portfolio and an overall 90% customer satisfaction rating from members.
Meetings include discussions around energy benchmarking, management and reduction, materials and waste diversion, procurement, indoor environmental quality, comfort and wellbeing, and how all these factors relate to our greater community, buildings and individuals within.
The program engages organizations and their employees in meaningful initiatives that seek to align sustainable actions with business and operating objectives. An example of this is the highly popular Oxford Recycles program and game where properties work with customers to evolve their waste program through proper education and awareness, customized signage tailored to individual customer needs and spaces, a robust organics recycling program, and the introduction of various waste-specific programs such as paper towel and coffee capsule recycling. Office properties across Canada have increased their waste diversion rate from an average of 60% in 2012 to 72% in 2017 due to ongoing discourse and combined efforts.
Our goal is to build strategies with our green team members that create more sustainable workplaces. Together, we can reduce energy use, increase waste diversion, procure responsibly, and promote sustainability and wellbeing for our buildings and the people in them.
Collaborating with Our Contractors – A Day of Customer Service Excellence and Sustainability
In the fall of 2017, the Oxford team held a workshop with our key Contractor Leadership teams to help build a deeper understanding and commitment to our Customer Service Excellence and Sustainability efforts.
As a result, we were able to share expectations, build on existing relationships and develop new ones, discuss opportunities for innovation and leadership, and work toward a common goal of advancing our journeys in the areas of sustainability and customer service excellence. Feedback from the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, and the resulting sentiment to maintain a regular dialogue on the issues was clear.
Our Oxford Real Estate Management teams pride themselves on working together as one team. Extending this notion to our contractors only strengthens and improves our efforts. We are proud of the collaboration and look forward to building it into our improvement plans and performance.