Enhancements to Green Lease Leaders Raise the Building Efficiency Bar


Green Lease Leaders introduces new recognition criteria, website, and helpful resources to better shine a spotlight on innovative landlords and tenants who incorporate efficiency and sustainability into their leases and corporate best practices.

October 19, 2017 Washington, DC– (RealEstateRama) — Today, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), launched several enhancements to the Green Lease Leaders recognition program. Landlords and tenants recognized as Green Lease Leaders in the commercial office, retail, and industrial sectors are setting a new standard for leasing and breaking down long-standing barriers to high-performance buildings by addressing building energy and water use through lease clauses and corporate guidelines.

Since IMT and DOE established the program in 2014, forward-thinking organizations collectively representing over 1.3 billion square feet of commercial building space in the U.S. have been named Green Lease Leaders. Today, the program is taking a leap forward by announcing revised criteria, two new levels of recognition, a redesigned website that includes an online lease assessment tool, and new resources including reference guides with sample lease language and templates for free download.

“Over the past four years, Green Lease Leaders have sent a strong signal to the real estate community that energy-aligned leasing is no longer a niche concept but a best practice that provides a competitive edge to both landlord and tenant companies,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director for IMT. “With strong support from DOE’s Better Buildings Alliance, LBNL, and industry leaders, IMT is excited to launch the newest phase of the Green Lease Leaders program to set high standards and to showcase the efforts innovative companies and real estate professionals are making to achieve new levels of building performance through green leasing.”

According to a 2015 study by IMT, green (also called “energy-aligned” or “high-performance”) leases have the potential to save the U.S. office market $3.3 billion annually and cut energy consumption by up to 22 percent in leased buildings. Unfortunately, typical leasing practices deter landlords and tenants from investing in cost-effective energy and water efficiency solutions. Green Lease Leaders shines spotlight on the landlords and tenants who eliminate these split incentives and galvanize efficiency investment through smarter leases that help lower utility costs, improve building operations, and achieve organizational sustainability goals.

“Every lease negotiation presents an opportunity for landlords and tenants to implement mutually beneficial lease clauses and corporate practices that essentially automate energy, water, and cost savings over the life of a lease,” said Holly Carr, Energy Technology Program Specialist for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable energy. “Enhancements to leased spaces that often produce resource and cost savings, such as lighting and HVAC upgrades, can also improve occupant experience, contributing to increased tenant productivity, lower tenant turnover, and fewer vacancies.”

How to Become a Green Lease Leader in 2018

To receive Green Lease Leaders recognition, organizations must meet two prerequisites and earn five or more credits for best practices such as utility data tracking and sharing, cost recovery for efficiency-related capital improvements, sustainability training, and energy efficiency fit-out requirements for tenant spaces, among others. A new Innovation in Leasing credit encourages organizations test out new ideas and share them with the market. The application period to be recognized is now open. All applicants who wish to receive recognition in 2018 must submit their applications by March 1, 2018.

In addition, the program now recognizes two levels of achievement—Silver and Gold. Silver recognition applauds the establishment of foundational policies and business practices that encourage reduced energy and water consumption in leased spaces. Gold recognition builds on Silver-level achievements and requires execution of leases and energy-efficient tenant fit-outs that are verified with an executed lease and other documentation. Participation in a case study is also required for Gold recognition. Commercial, industrial, and retail landlords and tenants, as well as transaction teams (a combination of landlord, tenants or brokers for a single real estate deal) are eligible for recognition.

“Kilroy Realty Company was proud to be named an inaugural Green Lease Leader in 2014 and we are excited to see the growth of the program as the market moves to meet sustainability expectations,” said Sara Neff, Senior Vice President of Kilroy Realty Corporation. “Our green leases are fundamental Kilroy’s sustainability programs because tenants play a significant role in the environmental performance of our buildings. Green leasing allows us to comply with California’s energy and water benchmarking regulations, and the capital-recovery language allows us to deploy wide-ranging efficiency investments. Tenants were excited to collaborate with us on our Green Lease Leaders Team Transaction award in 2017 because tenants also want lease language that promotes sustainability in their spaces.”

“As one of the largest banks in North America, with a footprint of over 25 million square feet and more than 200 LEED-certified stores and corporate offices, TD Bank is committed to ‘green’ buildings that are better for the environment and the communities that we serve,” said Jacquelynn Henke, Sustainability & Innovation Director of TD Bank. “TD is proud to have received the Green Lease Leader designation in previous years for our efforts to reduce environmental impacts across our operational footprint by incorporating energy, water and waste management focused provisions into our leases. We are excited to apply again this year and join other environmental leaders to advance leases that support a transition to a low-carbon economy.”

New Green Lease Leaders website, guides, and resources

The redesigned Green Lease Leaders website includes a new lease assessment tool, as well as a streamlined recognition applications. New Green Lease Leaders Reference Guides for landlords and tenants provide details on each prerequisite and credit, example lease clause and corporate guideline language, and links to templates, trackers, and resources. Participants commit to complete a lease assessment, receive access to one-on-one technical assistance for updating leasing practices, as well as support to apply for Green Lease Leader recognition if desired. Participants also receive access to peer networking opportunities and webinars. For more information, click on the links below and visit www.greenleaseleaders.com.

  • Downloadthe Green Lease Leaders Landlord Reference Guide (Tenant Guide Coming Soon)
  • Register onlineto apply for Landlords, Tenant, and Team Transactions categories by March 1, 2018 to be recognized at an industry event TBD in 2018.
  • Watch“Year of the Lease: New Tools for Leased Space Energy Efficiency” (webinar recording)
  • Downloadgreen leasing resources and information at www.greenleaselibrary.com 
  • ContactIMT and DOE to receive one-on-one guidance for becoming a Green Lease Leader

About IMT: The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a national nonprofit organization laser focused on increasing energy efficiency in buildings to save money, drive economic growth and job creation, reduce harmful pollution, and tackle climate change. IMT ignites greater investment in energy-efficient buildings through hands-on expert guidance, technical and market research, policy and program development and deployment, and promotion of best practices and knowledge exchange. IMT’s efforts lead to important new policy outcomes, widespread changes in practice, and ultimately, lasting market shifts toward greater energy efficiency, with substantial benefits for the economy and the environment. For more information, visit imt.org and follow us on Twitter at @IMT_speaks.

ABOUT THE BETTER BUILDINGS ALLIANCE: The Better Buildings Alliance is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) effort to promote energy efficiency in U.S. commercial buildings through collaboration with building owners, operators, and managers. Members of the Better Buildings Alliance commit to addressing energy efficiency needs in their buildings by setting energy savings goals, developing innovative energy efficiency resources, and adopting advanced cost-effective technologies and market practices.

Chris Potter
Senior Communications Associate
Institute for Market Transformation (IMT)
1707 L Street. NW, Suite 1050 | Washington, DC | 20036
"> | www.imt.org | @IMT_speaks


Chris Potter, Institute for Market Transformation
240-244-7568 |

Sam Rinderman, C+C Communications
704-840-2822 |

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