Ann Arbor real estate management company Oxford Companies
recently announced a new initiative to use all electric landscaping equipment on all of Oxford's commercial properties by 2025. Oxford will partner with Saline landscaping company A&H Lawn Services
to invest in equipment serving one-third of Oxford's commercial portfolio this year, another third next year, and the final third in 2025.
Oxford Director of Commercial Property Management Mike Van Patten describes this new initiative as being inspired by the city of Ann Arbor’s ongoing A2Zero
campaign, which was introduced in 2020 and designed to help the city transition to carbon neutrality by 2030.
"As Ann Arbor’s largest commercial real estate manager, we feel it’s our responsibility to be a leader to continue pushing the community forward," Van Patten says. "We have a long-term plan to do what we can to continue to be sustainable for all of the properties we manage."
Oxford manages nearly 3 million square feet of both commercial and residential properties, including Nickels Arcade
in downtown Ann Arbor and the 777 Building at State Street and Eisenhower Parkway.
Oxford Marketing Manager Margaret Wyzlic says the new initiative is the result of several Oxford leaders continuously attending A2Zero events to find inspiration for Oxford's sustainability efforts.
"We thought about what are some of the things we can do within our scope of influence that will help to move this community initiative forward," Wyzlic says. "We want to be part of the change."
In addition to attending A2Zero events, Oxford has also developed a green council in order to develop further sustainability efforts for Oxford’s properties and corporate offices.
Oxford's partnership with A&H is long-running, with the company handling "more than half" of Oxford’s landscaping needs, according to Van Patten.
"When A&H joined us as a vendor, we quickly realized the value added and how our values and vision were aligned," Van Patten says. "This is a small step, but it’s all about keeping momentum."
A&H Operations Manager Jim Hoeft says A&H’s mission statement includes "a belief in constant improvement and innovation," which Wyzlic says "speaks to their commitment to sustainability and the community."
"A&H have been tremendous partners with us. They do great work," Wyzlic says. "Regardless of what the specific initiative is, anything that improves our community as a whole and helps all people to live here in a sustainable way, that is good for all of us."
Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.
Photo courtesy of Oxford Companies.
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