Climate & energy

Sparking solar for shopping centres

Oxford is committed to being a leader in the development and operation of energy efficient, low-carbon buildings. The economic and environmental benefits associated with solar power ‘sparked’ Oxford’s pledge to create 1 million SF of rooftop solar by 2024.

To date, we have built over 260,000 SF of solar across our portfolios. Our retail assets made significant strides this year.

Our first significant solar project at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Toronto, Canada) features 600 rooftop solar panels, installed on 25,000 SF, generating over 234 MWh of clean electricity/year – equivalent to three months of interior and exterior lighting at the property. Les Galeries de la Capitale followed shortly after, installing 80,000 SF and generating over 590 MWh annually.

In 2020, Scarborough Town Centre (Scarborough, Canada) installed over 900 panels, on 54,000 SF, generating 374 MWh annually. More recently, Square One (Mississauga, Canada) installed a whopping 2250 solar panels atop 96,000 SF of rooftop and will generate 920 MWh of electricity per year.

Combined, our shopping centre’s rooftop solar systems generate over 1,500,000 kWh of clean electricity per year. That's enough to power 200 homes for 1 year. Not only does this save on electricity costs, it also positions our shopping centres for the future low-carbon economy.


WELL Health-Safety Rating

Oxford Investa Property Partnership (OIPP) received the globally recognized WELL Health-Safety Rating from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The achievement demonstrates that our property team at Investa has gone above and beyond the relevant state regulation when it comes to safeguarding its customers upon re-entry.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing buildings, focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-pandemic environment now and into the future. Designed to empower owners to take the necessary steps to prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and customers, the Rating helps to instill confidence in those who come through the buildings.

Strategies that are in practice and have been verified by IWBI, as part of the rating, include enhanced measures to optimize HVAC and water systems, regular indoor air quality and water testing, comprehensive cleaning practices, physical distancing measures, emergency preparedness, and ongoing health programming.

Other regions across Oxford’s global office portfolio are also targeting the stamp of approval for 2021.

Materials & resources

Green Shores for Coastal Development® GOLD

Riverbend Business Park becomes certified Green Shores for Coastal Development® GOLD, by the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia.

The project began in 2011 when Oxford acquired the Riverbend lands (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada). These lands are adjacent to the Big Bend section of the Fraser River. Prior to development, the lands contained a non-operational landfill and had been the site of former heavy industrial uses that extended along most of the shoreline.

As part of Oxford’s commitment, the development would remove the contaminated landfill material and perform site remediation, including innovative flood protection and stormwater management application, along with shoreline restoration. This project retained and improved the local habitat, restored physical processes along more than 1,000 metres of shoreline, and also retained and restored native shrub and tree vegetation, thereby increasing site diversity for local birds and amphibians. A wastewater treatment system was also installed to treat parking lot runoff entering the river. The team worked with local officials and consultants to develop an innovative flood protection dike that supports natural riparian function – demonstrating how cumulative impacts of developments can be minimized or avoided.

Public education signs are shared along the newly established shoreline, which is now home to a community trail. These signs describe the unique development’s work to preserve, restore, and enhance habitat and natural processes. See here for more details.


Pass the Plate

Oxford’s Retail team launched #PassThePlate2020 across 10 Canadian shopping centres in partnership with Food Banks Canada. The organization has a goal to raise $150 million to alleviate hunger in Canada, in response to the pandemic. Food Banks Canada represents ten provincial associations, more than 600 affiliated food banks and more than 300 food agencies. The organization serves 85 per cent of Canadians across the country who rely on food banks. Oxford’s commitment comes in response to Food Banks Canada’s “I ATE” campaign urging Canadians to make monetary donations to help raise funds.

As part of the effort to raise money for Food Banks Canada, Oxford launched a social campaign encouraging Canadians to share a video or photo featuring a plate with the hashtag #PassThePlate2020. Oxford donated $5 for every post, equivalent to ten meals, to Food Banks Canada. Canadian celebrities including Canada’s Drag Race contestant Lemon, TV personality Rick Mercer, Kim’s Convenience’s Nicole Power and Andrew Phuong, and actors Dani Kind and Juno Rinaldi shared videos of themselves passing the plate to launch the campaign and encourage others to do the same. Employees and customers could also add donations to an Oxford shopping centre gift card. The campaign raised $210,000.

Our shopping centres play an important role in their communities. It’s important to use this reach to mobilize the wider community to act against increasing food insecurity that’s been accelerated by the pandemic. Pass the Plate inspired donations at a variety of levels, prompting continual action among employees and customers alike.