A green lease is a lease that focuses on the environmental performance of a building, obligating both owner and occupier to take steps to manage and improve the social and environmental impact of their premises.
There is currently no legal requirement in the UK to have a green lease or include green clauses. However, given that real estate provides for 40% of global annual CO2 emission, this is a hot topic, which is generating significant interest.
A green lease includes additional clauses which are either dark green or light green. Dark green clauses have a higher level of commitment on environmental issues, requiring the parties to meet certain environmental targets. While light green clauses impose less responsibility on the parties, requiring them to discuss environmental matters.
Provisions in green leases cover things like energy efficiency objectives and improvements, use of renewable energy, recycling and waste management obligations and commitment to using sustainable materials when maintaining premises.
As well as the environmental benefits, a green lease can:
- Help landlords to achieve compliance in terms of minimum energy efficiency standards,
- Improve the experience of occupiers and reduce running costs,
- Enhance an organisation’s brand by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability.
Green leases can be used for new and existing leases. They are typically used for commercial and public buildings, but many of the key players in the retail sector are currently looking at implementing green leases, M&S being a prime example.
It could perhaps be the case that green leases will form part of the solution as we tackle climate change issues.
Whether you are considering a new commercial lease or have an existing one, talk to our commercial property team about what steps you can take to turn it into a green lease. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone our Stoke-on-Trent solicitors on 01782 205000 or our Altrincham solicitors on 0161 929 8494.