Aon Hewitt Best Employers in Canada

A research study that publicly recognizes “Best Employer” organizations that have created great work environments. The annual list of Canadian Best Employers is published in Maclean’s magazine in October of each year.

BOMA BESt (Building Environmental Standards)

A Canadian industry standard for commercial building sustainability certification, which is based on the internationally recognized Green Globes™ environmental assessment platform. BOMA BESt has become a competitive requirement for shopping centres in Canada. Oxford is working towards BOMA BESt certification for all of its Canadian retail assets.

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)

A leading global environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. Oxford is working towards BREEAM certification for its UK office buildings.

Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement (CRESS)

Provides organizations in the sector with a tailored version of the GRI sustainability reporting guidelines. It includes the original guidelines as well as additional commentaries and performance indicators, developed especially for the sector, which capture the issues that matter most for construction and real estate companies.

Deep lake water cooling

A form of air cooling for process and comfort space cooling which uses a renewable, large body of naturally cold water.

Energy intensity

A measure of energy consumption on a per square foot basis.

E-waste (electronic waste)

Discarded electrical or electronic devices.

Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program

This Government of Ontario program is designed to encourage renewable energy generation within the province. FIT is a straightforward way to contract for renewable energy generation. FIT refers to the specific prices paid to renewable energy suppliers for the electricity produced by the generating facility. The pricing structure provides a reasonable return on investment and is differentiated by project size and technology type. Qualifying renewable technologies include biogas, renewable biomass, landfill gas, solar photovoltaic (PV), water power and wind power.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

An international not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder organization that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. Its main tools for achieving this are standard setting, certification and labelling of forest products.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

The release of atmospheric gases that trap heat from the sun and warm the planet’s surface. Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the deforestation of tropical forests have contributed to elevated levels of GHGs (especially carbon dioxide and methane) in recent decades.

Green Key

An international, voluntary eco-label for tourism facilities that promotes sustainable tourism and aims to contribute to the prevention of climate change by awarding and advocating facilities demonstrating positive environmental initiatives. Oxford is working towards Green Key certification for its Canadian hotels.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Globally applicable sustainability reporting guidelines to assist corporations in reporting on the economic, environmental and social performance of their operations.


Temporary construction enclosures made of drywall.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

The technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

A rating system recognized as the international mark of excellence for green buildings in over 132 countries. Due to tenant demand, LEED® has become a requirement for new (LEED® New Construction/Core & Shell) and existing (LEED® Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance) Class A buildings. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. Oxford has set a target of having all of its Canadian office assets LEED certified by the end of 2016.

Lost days

Any days that an employee misses regularly scheduled work due to an injury.

Lost-time accident

Any accidents that result in either medical attention by a health care professional or an employee missing time from work.

Low-E coating

A coating developed to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light transmitted.

National Energy Code for Buildings

Provides minimum requirements for the design and construction of energy efficient buildings and covers the building envelope, systems and equipment for HVAC, service water heating, lighting, and the provision of electrical power systems and motors.

Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)

One of Canada’s leading pension funds. Oxford is the real estate investment arm of OMERS.

Organic waste

Waste that comes from plants or animals and is biodegradable.


An optimization process for existing buildings that improves a building’s overall performance by optimizing energy efficient design features and directly addressing equipment performance and system integration issues.

Solar photovoltaic (PV)

A method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity.


In addition to main load meters used to determine a building’s overall electricity consumption, individual sub-meters give facility managers visibility into the energy use and performance of equipment within a building, such as HVAC systems, indoor and outdoor lighting, refrigeration, kitchen equipment and more.

Waste diversion

The process of diverting waste from landfill through methods such as recycling, composting and converting waste to energy.

Water intensity

A measure of water consumption on a per square foot basis.