An Introduction to Green Leases

The commercial property sector is currently responsible for 40 percent of global carbon emissions and is the third most polluting sector.

Green leases are an emerging trend that has been appearing across the global commercial property sector. Green leases are a method which is aiming to slow down and mitigate against the detrimental impacts the industry has on the environment.

So, What is a Green Lease?

Whilst there is not yet a standardized definition that is universally recognized. A green lease can simply be understood as the agreed commitment from the landlord and tenant party to utilize a building in a more sustainable way. For example, sustainable waste management or energy consumption. These commitments are called green clauses, which are included within the lease agreement between the landlord and tenant.

Looking to The Future

As mentioned previously, green leases are not yet commonplace within the commercial property sector, however, in recent years there has been great uptake within the office sector, and also the retail sector is following suit. For example, Marks and Spencer’s have been implementing green leases across their portfolio.

The UN also published its Principle for Responsible Investments, which notes that government intervention is needed to encourage corporations to operate sustainably. One method of doing this, suggested by the UN, is making green leases compulsory across the commercial property sector by 2025.

Green lease's nature and the ‘large’ stakeholders involved have the potential to spark an incredible amount of positive change, which will benefit people across all levels and sectors.

A great resource for further information on green leases can be found at the Better Buildings Partnership:


Celia Aspden