How Green Leases Bring Sustainability and Cost Savings Together

Shawn Turner |

Cleveland, July 30, 2015 – Green leases are increasingly being used by tenants, landlords, commercial real estate companies and others as a way to increase efficiency, bring down costs, and bolster building performance. A green lease encourages collaboration between landlords and tenants to take action to improve efficiency by including specific provisions that address energy efficiency and building environmental performance.

Factoring sustainability into an overall business strategy can have a dramatic impact on a company’s bottom line. Sustainability requirements in a lease can bring utility bills down by up to 51 cents per square foot. Further, energy consumption in an office building can be brought down by 11 percent to 22 percent.

In much the same way members are assisted via business audits and gaining access to capital, COSE is leading the charge to uncover ways for members to realize savings through being more energy efficient.

Some examples of how sustainability measures can be implemented in a lease agreement include:

  • Limiting cleaning services to normal business hours in order to reduce a building’s operating hours.
  • Submetering individual spaces within a building so tenants can track energy use and only pay for what they use.
  • Installing advanced lighting controls and motion sensors increase lighting efficiency and allow more control over the brightness of the office.

“Green leases just make business and economic sense,” says Nicole Stika, senior director, energy services at COSE. “When you put energy-saving language into a lease, you align the financial and environmental goals of both landlords and tenants. Green leases also link corporate social responsibility best practices to building energy performance while demonstrating to potential tenants and investors a commitment to superior operations, tenant satisfaction, and sustainability.”

About COSE

For more than 40 years, the Council of Smaller Enterprises has acted as a leading resource for small businesses. COSE’s solutions, resources and advocacy work are designed to help its members succeed – every day – because small business growth and success is the organization’s priority.