“Sustainability and energy efficiency are core principles in Oxford’s strategy,” said Eric Plesman, Executive Vice President, North America at Oxford Properties. “We recognize the importance of incorporating renewable energy and reducing the carbon footprint across the Oxford portfolio, and we hope our work can be a model in the real estate industry by demonstrating that solar energy is both environmentally and financially smart. By making this public commitment, we’re holding ourselves accountable to deliver industry-leading sustainability practices to our customers and communities.”
Oxford’s first significant solar project was completed in 2017 at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. The project includes 600 rooftop solar panels installed on 20,000 square feet of Yorkdale’s rooftop. The project generates over 230,000 kWh of clean electricity per year. Square One Shopping Centre and Scarborough Town Centre are next in line to be outfitted with solar panels, with further solar projects across Oxford’s retail and industrial properties to be installed by 2022.
“Our retail and industrial assets provide us with a real opportunity to generate a meaningful amount of clean energy, and in doing so, operate energy efficient, low-carbon buildings. Not only does solar energy make sense for the environment, it also supports Oxford’s commitment to containing operating costs for our customers and stakeholders,” said Darryl Neate, Director of Sustainability at Oxford Properties. “At Oxford, we make decisions with tomorrow in mind. It is with this ethos in mind that we continually build and refine on our sustainability initiatives and are independently recognized as leaders in the space.”
The commitment to building 1 million square feet of solar in North America is a part of Oxford’s leadership approach to sustainability. Since 2015, Oxford has reduced carbon emission intensity by 9%, on way to achieve its target of 30% reduction by 2025, while 11% reduction has been made in water consumption in the same timeframe. Oxford is the 2018 Real Estate Sector Leader in sustainability as recognized by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and has achieved this recognition in five out of the past six years. Oxford’s commitment to sustainable real estate has seen it grow its LEED Certified offices to 92% of its North American portfolio and achieve 100% BOMA Best, and 100% Green Key certifications for its mall and hotel assets.