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!
Making smart buildings more sustainable through data-driven management
Oxford is always on the lookout for innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency across its portfolio. One innovation to drive significant energy savings is the use of smart building systems. These systems leverage technology and analytics to operate buildings more efficiently, improve financial performance and create seamless communications between the tenant and building operations to improve productivity, experience and wellness.
Significant energy savings have been realized through the use of smart building technology at 17 buildings Australia-wide covering over 500,000 m2 of floor space. Through working with an Australian company called Bueno Systems these properties, operated by our platform business, Investa, implemented a more efficient data-based approach to maintenance over a 12-month period.
These new systems improved data-driven asset maintenance while also identifying opportunities for energy reduction. Implementing these systems supported the achievement of 5-Star average NABERS ratings across the portfolio and 2,500 MWh of energy savings.
Further, Investa applies this same data-driven approach to the commissioning of all new developments. The use of ongoing data-driven commissioning can proactively identify and resolve issues in the building and help to achieve a fully functioning building that operates in line with the original design intent.
Collecting this information has benefits beyond just new developments. Tracking this information has also led to more informed capital program decisions at many properties.
Energy upgrades stack up at the Sony Center
The Sony Center Berlin is an iconic mixed-use building complex that comprises offices, restaurants, entertainment, residential and retail in the heart of the city. The complex spans eight buildings with over 100,000 m2 net floor area and is connected to Berlin’s District Heating and Cooling energy system.
Two of the buildings are currently undergoing a comprehensive energy upgrade that will improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions. The energy upgrades will also improve occupant wellbeing through enhanced indoor air quality and thermal comfort. Planned initiatives include:
Implementation of Variable Air Volume and Demand Control Ventilation
CO2 sensor installation in occupied spaces for enhanced ventilation
Circulation pump system upgrades and controls optimization
Expansion of LED lighting
Building automated controls
Once completed, the upgrades at Sony Center will result in 375,000 kWh avoided energy consumption and 100 tCO2 of avoided carbon emissions annually.
Oxford is committed to doing our part to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. In advancing our portfolio decarbonization, we are following the pathways set out by the Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM). CRREM defines the greenhouse gas reductions required for the building sector to meet global emissions reductions targets. The Sony Center Berlin is just one example of Oxford’s many efforts to decarbonize our properties in alignment with the urgent global need.
Oxford wins a triple crown
This past year, Oxford’s Vancouver office portfolio was recognized by the Building Owners and Managers Association of British Columbia (BOMA BC), achieving three outstanding awards for building performance.
401 West Georgia – TOBY award (The Outstanding Building of the Year)
This year 401 West Georgia was recognized as one of BOMA BC’s Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY). This highly prestigious award recognizes quality and rewards excellence in building management. Highlights include a 15% decrease in energy use intensity between 2019–2020, regular indoor air quality inspections and a waste diversion rate of 75% or higher.
401 West Georgia & 402 Dunsmuir – Building Operations Team of the Year
This year Oxford celebrated the successes of its building operations team at 401 West Georgia & 402 Dunsmuir who demonstrated a high level of expertise in preventative maintenance, building operation and energy efficiency. Highlights include advising on energy-saving opportunities that contributed to a 40,000 kWh reduction in annual energy use and utilizing Angus Preventative Maintenance system as a tool for inspections and risk mitigation.
Marine Building – TOBY – Historical Building of the Year Award
This year, the Marine building was recognized as the Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) by BOMA BC. This highly prestigious award recognizes quality and rewards excellence in building management. Highlights include the buildings green team committee that meets quarterly to discuss energy conservation and other sustainability topics. The building chief engineering and operations manager also meet annually to review the building’s carbon reduction plan.
These certifications demonstrate that Oxford is operating its buildings efficiently and shows leadership in building performance.
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.
New energy systems = big savings
Our multi-residential team is continuously working to find innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency – a strategy that makes both environmental and economic sense for residents and Oxford.
That’s why the team partnered with Legend Power® Systems Inc. to pilot an onsite energy management technology aimed at finding efficiencies and minimizing a building’s electricity use. The technology metering and monitoring system captures causes of equipment malfunctions, failures and inefficiencies. Legend Power installed two SmartGATE™ platforms at two assets in Canada – Lakeside Place and Forest Lane Apartments. For both assets, the system resulted in an average annual electricity reduction of 6%, which is about 465,000 kWh or $56,000 per year. That’s equivalent to powering 85 apartment units for an entire year!
As a result of these analytics, the multi-residential portfolio is now equipped with the capability of up to 500 control points, giving the operations team the control needed to manage their mechanical equipment.
Engaging our tenants with innovative solutions
Promoting customer engagement is a central pillar of our business strategy. In order to foster meaningful engagement, Oxford is always looking for new and innovative methods to create unique experiences for our customers. In 2021, Oxford developed an online customer experience platform to connect and engage with our North American Office customers. Otto by Oxford helps customers to connect with Oxford and each other, stay informed, organize their workday, and take advantage of local offerings. The Otto platform allows users to:
Access their building
Check building information and FAQs
Book amenities or classes
Submit service requests
Discover exclusive retail offers
Explore upcoming events
Review health and safety protocols
So far, Otto has been implemented in 35 office buildings across Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Boston, Washington, DC and New York City. The platform now has over 500 subscribed users.
This past year Otto featured content and live streams focused on health and wellbeing to encourage our North American office customers to stay healthy while many were working remotely. The Otto platform was also used to keep customers engaged by providing customers with regular access to newsletters, notices, lunch and learns, guest speakers and regular virtual meetings. Otto proved to be an invaluable resource this past year, enabling Oxford’s customers to stay engaged in meaningful ways during the pandemic.
WELL Health-Safety Rating improves customer wellbeing
In November, Blue Fin Building Management and Oxford Properties received the globally recognized WELL Health-Safety Rating from the International WELL Building Institute for the Blue Fin Building. The Health-Safety Rating demonstrates enhanced health, safety, security and wellbeing measures have been established in the building. The accreditation covers:
Management of COVID-19
Cleaning and sanitation
Health and wellbeing
Air and water quality management
The Blue Fin Building achieved 20 of the 26 available features within the accreditation. Buildings must achieve a minimum of 15 to receive the rating.
Cleaning and sanitization features implemented as part of the accreditation included reduced surface contact, improved cleaning practices and reduced respiratory particle exposure. These measures include installing automatic doors, introducing protective coatings and managing physical distancing to prevent pathogen transfer. The building also established a COVID-19 Safe Workplace Plan and business continuity statement to help ensure that the building remains open and available for use.
Air and water quality management features implemented as part of the accreditation included the use of 100% fresh air intake with no recirculation, regular air filter maintenance and the development of an air and water quality testing regime. These measures protect and improve the health and wellbeing of occupants by meeting the highest standards for indoor air and water quality.
In addition to the Health-Safety Rating achieved at Blue Fin, Oxford also achieved a Health-Safety Rating at the portfolio level. This portfolio-wide WELL certification covers over 40 office sites across the United States and Canada. The WELL Health-Safety Rating was specifically designed in response to COVID-19 and is achieved through strict adherence to scientifically-backed best practices proven to safeguard the health and safety of customers and employees as they return to work.
Healthy eating sourced sustainably
There is an increasing focus being placed on creating healthy environments for building occupants. Investing in building features that promote health and wellbeing can help attract tenants while also improving a building’s financial and non-financial performance. Typically, we tend to associate health and wellbeing features with better lighting and daylight, thermal comfort and indoor air quality. However, promoting healthy eating habits is another health and wellbeing action that buildings can implement which is highly beneficial to building occupants.
In France, Rue Blanche has engaged LECOINTRE to provide its catering services to its tenants. The restaurant serves 650 occupants and has an average attendance rate of 78%! LECOINTRE seeks to provide elevated corporate catering and has made ambitious commitments that include:
100% fresh, seasonal and French products
Local sourcing that offers quality raw materials, produced responsibly with a low carbon footprint
Zero plastic policy through the integration of recyclable and biodegradable packaging for takeaway
Employment of passionate and creative chefs who create holistic nourishing meals
The creation of a unique identity and atmosphere for each restaurant
The development and awareness of healthy eating habits
The redistribution of surpluses to neighbourhood associations, every Friday and by bicycle!
LECOINTRE catering has contributed to improving the health and wellbeing of building occupants and acts as a key performance lever for companies when attracting talent.
Hosting mobile vaccination clinics to support community health
Oxford has a history of creating positive impact outside our four walls. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have continued to be present in and care for our communities, both as an organization and as individuals. Last year, Oxford’s Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga (Canada) supported the Ontario government in administering COVID-19 vaccinations by hosting a mobile GO-VAXX bus clinic. These clinics played an integral role in the Ontario government’s efforts to accelerate booster shots and continue first, second and pediatric dose distribution. The clinics made it easy and convenient for the public to get vaccinated while going about their daily lives. They also made vaccination more accessible for those with mobility challenges by bringing clinics into communities.
These clinics required support from local partners to set up convenient and easy-to-access sites to administer vaccinations. Square One Shopping Centre teamed up with GO-VAXX and Medavie Health Services to support administering vaccinations. During the end of 2021, Square One hosted three clinics which administered 460 vaccines to members of the local community.
The GO-VAXX bus clinic continues to be hosted at Square One Shopping Centre. Additionally, Square One donated $100,000 to Trillium Health Partners, the local hospital. We are pleased to have been able to provide an on-site solution to support community immunity, and to show our appreciation for our healthcare workers by contributing to their invaluable efforts at keeping our community and loved ones safe.
Connecting to wellness online
In 2020, several of our on-site fitness facilities were closed for in-person workouts. It didn’t take long for the athletics teams to go digital to offer customers at-home fitness programs. Gym staff from across our global portfolio set up ongoing fitness challenges to keep our customers healthy and active while working from home. Challenges, such as Waterpark Place’s (Toronto, Canada) included a 4-week program with daily home workouts, recipes and mindfulness/meditation exercises sent to participants. Completion was tracked through a dedicated online website.
Following these initiatives, office buildings across the portfolio launched a group of online health and wellbeing platforms. Platforms such as Oxford Connects and the Crown Estate’s Online Bite Size program and wellbeing hub, aim to connect office customers with each other. The platforms offer a host of events, articles and videos designed to help improve health, wellbeing, and daily work life.
Optimizing indoor air quality
What is the quality of our indoor air? Questions like this rose to the forefront in 2020, putting our asset teams to the test. One might suspect a flurry of inquiries would cause a kerfuffle. Quite the contrary, Operations teams across the Oxford portfolio welcomed the conversations and were well-equipped to respond.
Oxford has a long-standing indoor air quality (IAQ) program. Building system maintenance, filtration and ventilation, climate control, and water and plumbing. Maximizing outdoor air, purging and extending system operations, and increasing frequency of MERV-13 filters are some examples of the measures taken to optimize IAQ.
Teams also test and monitor IAQ on a regular basis. Temperature, relative humidity, CO2, CO, total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and 10 are the types of parameters being tested, aligned with the levels required by the WELL Standard and Fitwel Certification, two globally recognized wellbeing certification programs.
The results have often been shared with customers and partners, but in response to the influx of questions, teams, such as those at Richmond Adelaide Centre (Toronto, Canada) and St. James’s Market (London, UK), developed quick and easy 1-page references to help customers feel safe and comfortable upon re-entry.
Materials & resources
Materials selection with carbon in mind
Oxford is committed to being a leader in the development of low-carbon buildings. A significant source of carbon emissions occurs during the development process through the building materials supply chain. Over the last two years Oxford’s platform business, Investa, has set out to reduce the carbon footprint of its capital improvement programs.
Investa has developed a carbon calculator tool to assist in the material selection process for fit-outs and upgrades. The tool provides designers and contractors with a carbon budget and materials database that shows the carbon emissions released through the extraction, manufacturing, and transportation of materials—referred to as embodied carbon. This tool allows for informed decisions to be made when selecting materials that help lower the building’s carbon footprint. In the last two years, Investa has tripled its materials database due to the increase in low carbon materials available in the market.
Examples of carbon savings achieved during capital works projects include:
38% reduction in CO2-e by eliminating ceilings
15% CO2-e savings using carbon neutral carpet
8% CO2-e savings using low carbon ceiling tiles
10% to 50% CO2-e reductions from the re-use of ceiling structures
50% CO2-e reduction through extensive use of re-purposed structural steel
These savings can add up significantly. In one fit-out project alone, Investa found that the project achieved an overall carbon reduction of 38%. In addition, seven other capital upgrade projects exceeded the initial embodied carbon reduction target applied.
Extending our reach through responsible procurement
Oxford is on a journey to lead our industry in managing resources responsibly and works diligently to critically evaluate the materials and resources we procure and use. Currently, five of Oxford’s GTA retail sites, namely Yorkdale, Scarborough Town Centre (STC), Square One (SQ1), Upper Canada Mall (UCM), and Hillcrest are piloting an ESG procurement checklist. The purpose of the pilot is to ask Oxford’s suppliers about their ESG practices and policies. Collecting this information will provide Oxford with information to critically evaluate the ESG performance of suppliers and select suppliers that align with Oxford’s ESG priorities.
The ESG procurement checklist covers three key themes:
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
The questions cover whether the supplier has an environment-friendly purchasing program, makes net-zero commitments and tracks diversity metrics of its workforce. Asking these questions allows Oxford to not only influence its operations but also its supply chain which creates a much larger impact. We are committed to bringing our suppliers and partners along on our ESG journey.
Waste reduction training leads to results
This past year, Scarborough Town Centre (STC) and Yorkdale partnered up with a third-party waste diversion specialist to provide insight on waste management. Representatives inspected waste and recycling areas and provided waste removal training to all staff and tenants. Nearly 500 staff and tenants across both shopping centres were engaged in this initiative!
As a direct result of this initiative, STC’s waste audit found that 1,710,000 lbs of recyclable material were diverted from landfills in 2021. This contributed to an overall waste diversion rate of 54%. This is equivalent to saving 5,370 mature trees from being cut down and saving enough water to fill over three Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Yorkdale’s waste management training specifically focused on single-use plastics education and auditing. The training resulted in over 75% of tenants transitioning away from single-use plastic shopping bags and over 60% providing a reusable alternative for shoppers. Each tenant was provided with an individual single-use plastics scorecard that highlighted the procurement areas they will need to target.
STC and Yorkdale strive to continually improve their waste management system while finding effective ways to create a sustainable environment. This initiative is now planned to take place annually with next year’s focus on food court tenant awareness. With continued dedication from staff and tenants, these major retail centres can reduce its collective environmental footprint and push industry forward in sustainability!
Working towards a circular economy with 100% waste diversion
Diverting waste from landfills helps to conserve resources, preserve biodiversity and reduce air and water pollution. At Oxford, our team understands the importance of increasing waste diversion and is committed to diverting waste from landfills and incineration.
MidCity Place in London continues to set an exemplary standard for waste diversion across our office portfolio. For the last four years, MidCity Place has maintained a 100% waste diversion rate. This means that none of the property’s waste ends up in landfills!
In 2021, over 40,000 kg of waste was diverted into over 10 different streams that included batteries, cans and plastics, cardboard, coffee waste, glass, hazardous waste, IT equipment, mixed paper, confidential paper, biodegradables and e-waste. Based on the material type the waste is either recycled, anaerobically digested, or sent to a waste to energy facility.
The property team carefully sorts waste at an on-site recycling centre into different waste streams. Each bag of waste has a unique barcode that is scanned by the waste operator to track the weight and waste stream. The property team receives detailed monthly recycling reports that provide a breakdown of waste volume, material and diversion streams. This data is used to track monthly performance and identify further opportunities for improvement to the program.
Waste diversion is vital to the development of a circular economy. MidCity is just one example of Oxford’s contribution to industry leadership and learning.
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.
Lewisham Gateway phase 2 delivers on social value
Oxford believes that development projects should aim to deliver positive social and economic value to local communities and future occupants. The social, economic and environmental value of a development project can deliver both financial and non-financial benefits. Oxford-backed Get Living is looking to measure the social value of new development projects to be able to better assess the performance of benefits on the local community.
The Lewisham Gateway project is a mixed-use development that will bring new homes, retail and leisure offerings to the London borough of Lewisham. The project set targets to measure social value aligned with the National Social Value Measurement Standard. The standard is built around five key themes:
Promoting jobs and skills
Supporting regional growth
Protecting the environment
Promoting social innovation
Using the framework, the Lewisham Gateway project measured its social value contribution to the local community based on 12 key performance indicators (KPIs). The project over-delivered on seven of its KPIs and has so far delivered over £60 million ($100 million) in social and local economic value. Notable achievements included over 100,000 car miles saved, over 250 local employees and nearly £50 million ($80 million) spent locally.
BigArtTO at Richmond-Adelaide Centre
Public art can be used to promote community engagement, beautify public spaces and spark thoughtful conversations around social issues. Last year, the Richmond-Adelaide Centre participated in BigArtTO as a way to continue to build community by providing experiential installations for customers to engage with.
BigArtTO is a city-wide public art celebration that offers free access to temporary public artworks projected onto local buildings and landmarks. The event provides an opportunity for residents to explore city neighbourhoods while supporting local businesses and artists.
The Richmond-Adelaide Centre presented a projection of a film and sound composition called Cradle by Philip Beesley, Warren du Preez, Nick Thornton-Jones and Salvador Breed. The film immersed viewers in cyclic imagery and sound that expressed themes related to growth and decay.
Creating inclusive and accessible spaces
Halloween is often viewed as an exciting time of the year for young children; however, it can also be a challenge for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders or mobility needs. Each year on October 31st, Southcentre Mall in Calgary hosts a ‘Sensory Halloween Initiative’ and opens its doors to children with neurodevelopmental differences. Last year Southcentre Mall welcomed 50 families to participate in the event.
The event looks to promote inclusivity, raise awareness around neurodiversity and support the wellbeing of children with neurodevelopmental differences. The Halloween gathering provided children with an opportunity to visit various trick-or-treating stations throughout the mall in a quiet and supportive environment. As part of the event, families receive a special map to guide them through Southcentre Mall and visit each of the trick-or-treating stations. This experience allows families to celebrate Halloween with their children in an environment that is inclusive and respectful of different needs.
After seeing how rewarding this initiative was to the community Southcentre Mall began looking for other opportunities to support children and youth with sensory disabilities. In 2021, Southcentre Mall in Calgary and Kingsway Mall in Edmonton partnered with a charity, Calgary Wildrose Lions and Variety Alberta, to start the Sensory Backpack Program. The program supports children with sensory processing disabilities by providing a backpack guests can rent at the Guest Experience Centre.
The program is aimed at helping families manage the sensory bombardment faced within a retail setting and mitigate sensory overload by providing resources to support self-regulation, attention focusing and body awareness. The backpacks include items such as art therapy boards, bubble poppers, seek and find books, noise-cancelling headphones and sunglasses.
This initiative has helped to make Oxford’s Alberta retail centres more inclusive and accessible for children and youth with sensory disabilities. Oxford continues to expand this initiative and look for new ways to improve inclusivity across our portfolio.
Providing spaces to local creators
In the summer of 2020, many major cities in the United States became hotspots for social justice protests. During this period many buildings were boarded up in the downtown core of Washington, DC. As a way of showing support to the community, Oxford’s Gallery Place partnered with PAINTS (Providing Artists with Inspiration in Non-Traditional Settings) Institute to transform these boards into mural exhibits that showcased artistic expression in solidarity with the Black Lives Matters movement.
After these boards were taken down, Gallery Place continued to look for ways to partner with local artists. The Executive Director of the PAINTS Institute, John Chisholm, proposed that Gallery Place could activate retail vacancies by providing local artists with studio space to create and showcase their work. By offering prime real estate, Gallery Place could promote the work of young artists while also drawing the community into the building.
In 2021, Gallery Place signed an agreement with three core artists to use 16,700 sf of retail space as studio space. While three core artists are responsible for the space, there have been dozens of artists invited to use the space and showcase their work. The artists are currently forming their own non-profit organization, HUE2, to provide opportunities to artists and work with youth. Oxford is pleased to have further developed our relationship with local artists in the community and continues to look for opportunities to support the local community.
Standing up for inclusion and diversity
With a strong people-first approach, Oxford and OMERS are committed to fostering an environment that stands for Inclusion and Diversity (I&D).
OMERS newly launched I&D strategy and governance structure is built on a strong values-based foundation. It was met with enthusiasm and optimism by the entire enterprise and stands on the following pillars: Grow our Culture, Become a Leading Employer, Investing in our People, and Create a Rewarding Employee Experience.
Employees understand that advancing I&D is crucial to unlocking their full potential and to ensure the pension promise is met: to be the steward and guardian of the retirement income of more than half a million active members. Data shows that I&D leads to more engaged employees with less turnover, more trust, increased innovation and collaboration, and greater diversity of thought (Bourke, 2016).
Great strides have been made over the last year to deliver on our I&D mandate and move the dial forward. With the development of ten I&D subcommittees, employees are benefitting from resource groups, community advocacy and an enhanced governance model featuring senior leaders and active business champions across the enterprise. With a strong focus on continued learning, inclusion-centered employee events see strong support, such as with a recent Becoming Anti-Racist webcast that saw +600 attendees. +600 people leaders engaged in live, interactive conscious inclusion workshops — 93% said they would recommend the learning. +800 employees have already accessed online resources, which provide support on allyship and gender affirmation. Additionally, all employees have access to +300 curated activities that encourage them to be part of the change.
These efforts demonstrate how everyone is accountable to the I&D strategy. With strong leadership, trust and transparency, we can continue to cultivate an environment that is good for our business, people, members, and communities at-large.
Industrial EV hits the road
Oxford’s Canadian industrial team has an ambitious sustainability target – to certify its entire portfolio to BOMA Best, one of Canada’s leading green building certification bodies, over the next couple of years. Sustainability is top of mind for the team, with already a handful of buildings certified several years back, it’s no stranger to the program, nor to Oxford’s long-standing corporate sustainability commitments. At the end of December 2020, six more buildings became certified and the team is on track to certify six more in 2021.
As a salute to the joint landlord-tenant sustainability efforts, the Toronto, Canada team added an electric vehicle to the Oxford industrial fleet. This marks the first EV but the team has its eyes set out on adding more, trucks included. Additionally, the team has a plan to install EV charging stations across the Greater Toronto Area business parks, to support customer fleets and parking where anticipated.
The Oxford branded EV is a clear example of the leadership and commitment the industrial team has to sustainability – to do their part to reduce carbon emissions across their communities.