Climate & energy
Renewable energy procurement makes a difference
Oxford is committed to reducing carbon emissions across its global portfolio. To this end, Oxford is continuously seeking opportunities to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy usage.
Oxford’s portfolio of hotels in Banff has faced unique challenges in setting a decarbonization strategy due to the high carbon intensity of Alberta’s electricity sector. To tackle this challenge, Oxford has established renewable energy procurement contracts to offset the region’s high grid emissions associated with coal-fired electricity generation. Renewable energy credits (RECs) are an effective approach to purchasing clean electricity for properties regardless of the local electricity grid. They also increase demand for renewable energy, supporting the development of additional renewable energy developments.
Five years ago, Oxford’s Banff hotels portfolio procured RECs equivalent to 5,500 MWh. This initiative has had a significant impact on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of Oxford’s hotel portfolio and will be continued in the coming years. During that time, RECs have been used to generate 38,500 MWh of green electricity resulting in over 19,000 tonnes of avoided carbon emissions. This is equivalent to the electricity consumption of over 12,700 homes!
The use of RECs has been ramping up at other properties across Oxford’s global portfolio. Oxford recognizes the urgency of climate change—RECs enable Oxford to lower emissions from building energy consumption now, rather than waiting for the electricity grid to decarbonize. In 2021, Oxford purchased nearly 40,000 MWh of renewable energy credits which represents 6.5% of Oxford’s total electricity use, up from 2.3% in 2020. Over the last few years, Oxford’s use of RECs has been steadily increasing. It is expected that the use of RECs will continue to rise each year across the portfolio!