Last edited 07 Feb 2018

Green lease


[edit] Introduction

Recent years have seen the emergence of an increasing amount of guidance, policy and legislation relating to sustainability and corporate social responsibility aimed in particular at commercial and public properties which are significant consumers of energy.

In this regard, green leases are seen as a progressive step forward for sustainable development. In very broad terms, they are leases which contain specific provisions in relation to the sustainable operation of a property. This can include measures relating to; energy efficiency, waste reduction, waste management, water efficiency and so on as well as social and ethical issues. Typically they are used for leases for commercial or public buildings, whether new or existing, and may include obligations for both the landlord and tenant.

Green leases first emerged in Australia, where they have been used for government-owned and occupied buildings since 2006.

[edit] Benefits

Green leases can help:

[edit] Shades of green

There are a variety of shades of green leases from 'light green' to 'dark green':

  • A light green lease may include the setting of obligations but without any targets or legal status.
  • A mid-green lease might involve the establishment of specific targets and the development of an environmental or energy action plan for monitoring purposes but without legal enforcement if targets are not met.
  • A dark green lease might include obligations and targets formalised through Heads of Terms which become legally binding, with a breach potentially resulting in financial penalties or a dispute resolution process.

For example, a ‘darker green’ obligation might read: ‘The landlord will provide to the tenant an environmental information pack before entering into this lease and update it annually within 1 month of the end of the service charge year”.’

[edit] Example lease clauses

In 2009, The Centre for Research in the Built Environment (CRiBE) at Cardiff University has published Greening the commercial property sector: A guide for developing and implementing best practice through the UK leasing process, which provides examples of ‘green’ clauses which could be incorporated into leases.

These are grouped under the following headings:

The Cardiff University website ‘Green Leases building management’ provides further information about green leases within the UK and worldwide.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.

[edit] External references

  • Greening the Commercial Property Sector: A Guide for Developing and Implementing Best Practice through the UK Leasing Process, Good Practice Guide. Centre for Research in the Built Environment.