Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Who Will Pay for the Green Schemes? PROPERTY BRIEFING

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Who Will Pay for the Green Schemes? PROPERTY BRIEFING

Article excerpt


IN THESE difficult economic times, no landlord or tenant is going to take kindly to yet more costs being piled on their shoulders.

But, as I have said before, 2010 is likely to be the year when owners and occupiers of property all really start to feel the economic impact of the need to reduce carbon emissions and reverse climate change.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment Efficiency Scheme, which starts in April, highlights the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from buildings.

Coming out of the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is the concept of the "green" lease. No one has actually drafted a definitive green lease.

The term is now being used to cover a variety of documents or clauses covering aspects of environmental obligations.

In brief, a green lease is the standard form of lease that you would find for an office, shop, industrial building or unit in a retail park but with a number of additional provisions designed to minimise the environmental impact of those premises.

Any existing lease can be converted into a green lease. There are a number of far-sighted landlords and tenants who have got together to agree a memorandum of understanding which is to be read alongside the existing lease document, all of which, taken together, have the intention of improving the sustainability of the building or unit.

Most green leases contain obligations concentrating upon the improvement to energy efficiency.

Reducing carbon emissions, as we all know, is at the top of the agenda and it is carbon emissions that, so we are told, drive climate change.

It is, of course, possible for the green provisions of leases or the memorandum of understanding to go beyond this and to influence wider environmental impacts.

Thus, they can cover the more efficient use of water, aspects of minimising waste, improving recycling facilities, using energy-efficient and/or recycled and/or non-polluting and/or local materials or encourage car-share schemes, showers and cycle racks.

In April last year the Better Buildings Partnership, a group of London's leading commercial property owners, published a Green Lease Tool Kit. …

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