IMT and the DOE Better Buildings Alliance recognize leading-edge landlords, tenants, and real estate teams representing more than 501 million square feet of commercial, retail, and industrial space whose leasing practices unlock higher-performing buildings and collaborative action on energy efficiency and sustainability.
On Wednesday, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance announced the 2019 Green Lease Leaders at the BOMA International Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, a conference which brings together thousands of commercial real estate professionals to cover the latest industry trends, building innovations, and operational best practices. Launched by IMT and the DOE Better Buildings Alliance in 2014, Green Lease Leaders is the premiere industry recognition program that shines a light on forward-thinking real estate companies and practitioners each year who effectively modernize their leases to spur collaborative action on energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings.
This year’s Green Lease Leaders represent portfolios totaling 501 million square feet (sq. ft.) and comprise a diverse range of buildings from large and small commercial offices to industrial buildings to data centers. For the first time, a city (Cleveland) and a shared workspace company (WeWork) received the recognition. The cumulative floor area of all Green Lease Leaders is now more than 2 billion sq. ft. of building space—a clear indication that green leasing is continuing to grow as a best practice across markets and building types.
“Green Lease Leaders play a critical role in the high-performance building transformation happening across the real estate industry,” said Maria T. Vargas, Senior Program Advisor at DOE and Director of the Better Buildings Initiative. “These real estate professionals are leading the way by demonstrating how smart leases enable landlords and tenants to work together to keep costs down while ensuring energy efficiency and workplace comfort.”
“Each year, it becomes more important for commercial landlords and tenants to use every available tool and strategy to improve building performance to stay in step with the changing landscape of climate action and competitive real estate markets throughout the U.S.,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director for IMT.
“A green, high-performance lease is an incredibly effective tool to help landlords and tenant companies achieve significant win-win business, energy, and health benefits that are good for the real estate industry, good for cities, and good for the air we breathe,” Majersik continued. “IMT and the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance are proud to honor the 2019 Green Lease Leaders at this year’s BOMA Annual Conference & Expo, and we congratulate them for joining the wave innovative firms that are taking energy efficiency and sustainability in leased properties to the next level.”
“For the third consecutive year, BOMA International is pleased to host the Green Lease Leaders awards ceremony,” said BOMA International Chair Brian D. Cappelli, BOMA Fellow, RPA, vice president of Asset Management for GBX Group LLC. “As a longstanding proponent of green leasing in the commercial real estate industry, BOMA provides owners and tenants with green lease resources and best practices, such as its model green lease that was updated in 2018. The 2019 Green Lease Leaders demonstrate the value of these efforts and represent these best practices in action. BOMA congratulates them on their achievements.”
IMT estimates that green leases can help reduce utility bills by up to $0.51 per square foot (22 percent) in U.S. office buildings alone, and if all leased office buildings executed green leases, the market could reap over $3 billion in annual cost savings. The 2019 Green Lease Leaders are implementing lease clauses that set them on a path to significantly higher building and portfolio performance through deeper energy and water savings, adoption of renewable energy, and better indoor work spaces that foster occupant health & wellness. Restricting HVAC hours, requiring plug load management, submetering utility data, and performing periodic retrocommissioning to optimize operations and equipment are just a few of the energy efficiency- and sustainability-focused terms that leading organizations are deploying.
To receive Green Lease Leaders recognition, organizations must meet two prerequisites and earn five or more credits for best practices such as utility data tracking and sharing, cost recovery for efficiency-related capital improvements, sustainability training, and energy efficiency fit-out requirements for tenant spaces, among others. An Innovation in Leasing credit encourages organizations test out new ideas and share them with the market. The application period to be recognized in 2020 is now open and will close in March 2020. To receive one-on-one guidance for greening your lease or support for becoming a Green Lease Leader, contact IMT and DOE staff here.
Last year, the program introduced two new levels of achievement—Silver and Gold. Silver recognition applauds the establishment of foundational policies and business practices that encourage reduced energy and water consumption in leased spaces. Gold recognition builds on Silver-level achievements and requires execution of leases and energy-efficient tenant fit-outs that are verified with an executed lease and other documentation. AEW and LaSalle Investment Management each moved from Silver to Gold this year. Commercial, industrial, and retail landlords and tenants, as well as transaction teams (a combination of landlord, tenants or brokers for a single real estate deal) are eligible for recognition. Designees must reapply once every three years to maintain their Green Lease Leader status.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR MARKET TRANSFORMATION: The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to energy efficiency in new and existing buildings. IMT catalyzes widespread and sustained demand for high-performing buildings and drives action at the intersection of real estate and public policy. We work to make buildings more productive, affordable, valuable, and resilient.
ABOUT THE BETTER BUILDINGS ALLIANCE: The Better Buildings Alliance is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) effort to promote energy efficiency in U.S. commercial buildings through collaboration with building owners, operators, and managers. Members of the Better Buildings Alliance commit to addressing energy efficiency needs in their buildings by setting energy savings goals, developing innovative energy efficiency resources, and adopting advanced cost-effective technologies and market practices.