Green Lease Guidance


Many organizations across North America and the world lease, rather than own, real estate for commercial use. Conventional lease structures can make it difficult to integrate sustainability into the workplace, let alone reap the benefits of zero energy and high performance buildings. Leases typically do not incentivize tenants to conserve energy or water in their leased facilities because energy costs are set at a standard rate per square foot rather regardless of how much energy the tenant is actually using. “Green Lease” agreements typically include an explicit focus on sustainability.

A Green Lease creates an agreement among the building owner, property manager, and tenant that defines how energy, water, waste, and other sustainability factors are addressed. Green Leases promote energy efficiency by better aligning the costs and benefits of efficiency investments between building owners and tenants. In a Green Lease, utility costs are allocated between tenants and owners differently than in a conventional lease agreement. Green Leases also typically specify sustainability measures that tenants are expected or allowed to undertake. The curated resources in the sidebar (under Learn More) include best practice guidance, example lease language, and the Green Lease Library.
Last Updated January 2019.