Better Buildings Summit Reveals 2015 Green Lease Leaders

Today, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance announced the 2015 Green Lease Leaders at the Better Buildings Summit in Washington, DC. Established in 2013, the recognition program distinguishes property owners, tenants, and brokers who are effectively using the lease as a vehicle to drive energy and water savings in commercial buildings.2015_Green_Lease_Leaders

Those selected for Green Lease Leader designation use lease clauses that improve sustainability on several key fronts such as allowing for sharing of the costs of energy saving improvements, ensuring spaces are built out to green or energy efficient standards, and increasing transparency by obtaining and sharing access to energy consumption data and ENERGY STAR scores between tenants and landlords—a factor that will assist the growing number of buildings that must comply with energy benchmarking and transparency laws.

The clauses ushered forward by Green Lease Leaders encourage collaboration to improve energy efficiency and align incentives, saving tenants and building owners on average up to 20% each month on a building’s energy and water bills. A study released by IMT last week showed that green leases could deliver nearly $3 billion in annual savings for the U.S. office sector alone.

“Because of this recognition program, brokers, landlords, and tenants now have a blueprint for writing leases that remove impediments to efficiency and align interests so landlords and tenants both benefit from improving building performance. IMT and the Better Buildings Alliance are proud to see that many of today’s Green Lease Leaders are using the lease transaction to lay the foundation for working together to boost sustainability on a major scale,” said Cliff Majersik, executive director for IMT.

The 2015 Green Lease Leaders are:

Bentall Kennedy
Boston Properties
Cadillac Fairview
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management
Forest City
NEO Realty Group

Capital One
TD Bank Group

This year’s program included the addition of a Green Lease Leader designation for brokers, and those recognized in that category are:

Meade Boutwell (CBRE)
Randy Harrell (CBRE)
Laurie McMahon (DTZ)
Greta Garner (Green Coast Realty)
Brant Smith (NEO Realty Group)
Sally Wilson (NGKF)

Nicholas Stolatis, senior director of global sustainability and enterprise initiatives for TIAA-CREF, said, “Increasingly, we are noticing that more markets and tenants are amenable to green leases, and we’ve had great success in some of the largest markets, including New York City, where many tenants understand and demand energy efficient space.”

“Through the Green Lease Leaders program with the Better Buildings Alliance and co-organizer the Institute for Market Transformation, this effort is showing that cooperation on energy efficiency is no longer just a niche practice,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at DOE, during a presentation the Better Buildings Summit.

Historically, real estate owners and tenants have had difficulty integrating sustainability into the lease process due to tension between owners and tenants over responsibilities and cost-sharing arrangements. The Green Lease Leaders program is helping to shine a light on replicable solutions that can be employed by others to get past this split incentive.