(pronounced green lees)
A fresh term for an emerging era. In fact, this term is so new, that there is not an exact definition for it. We will, however, give you an approximate one. Essentially, a green lease is a tenant/landlord lease for space within either a traditionally constructed building or a structure that has been executed with sustainably-minded systems in place. It puts environmental pledges into a requisite legal document for a determined period time. The idea is to make certain that both parties will take responsibility – both financially and otherwise – for implementing environmentally-friendly practices, thereby minimizing ecological impact. Some typical goals include reduction of energy use and waste, reduction and/or recycling of water, the use of recycled materials in tenant improvements, the assurance of healthy interior environments, etc.
According to Craig Roussac in the June 2005 issue of Urban Land (page 70): “To be effective and beneficial for both tenant and owner, green leases must include: 1) Appeal for both parties. Appeal for tenants is a key feature distinguishing green leases from tenant-initiated conditions, many of which can be very hard for building owners to satisfy. 2) An atmosphere of trust and confidence. Consenting to unusual requirements that oblige them to cut their environmental impacts is a bit scary for both parties. 3) Shared obligation. While some green leases impose obligations on the tenant, it tends to be only the landlord who has exposure to financial penalties even though tenants directly account for about 40 percent of energy use and almost all of the landfill waste generated in a typical commercial building. 4) Enforceability. They must have the same legal standing as other requirements. 5) Specified damage for noncompliance. If a lease is to appeal to tenants, a breach must carry a punishment that fits the crime."