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How to turn your leases “green”

Top tips on maximising your charity’s ESG objectives by incorporating sustainability provisions into your charity shop leases

Charity retailers are very conscious of the need to adopt sustainable practices in their operations, with many retailers using recycled shop fit-out materials, electric vehicles, smart lighting and heating systems, and non-plastic packaging. But beyond these measures, did you know that you can also make an impact through the terms of your leases? 

From April 2023, it is offence to let properties in England and Wales that do not meet a minimum ‘E’ energy efficiency standard. There is a high likelihood of this standard increasing in the future, which emphasises the importance of energy efficiency in commercial buildings, particularly for landlords.

Negotiating “green” provisions into leases can foster collaboration between landlords and tenants to enhance building efficiency and reduce environmental impact. For charity retailers, this offers several benefits including:

Key provisions to include

There are many different provisions which could make a lease “green”; what is appropriate will depend on your priorities, the type of property and, realistically, how open your landlord is to the idea, especially if you are seeking to modify an already established lease. As with commercial leases generally, there is no “standard” approach to green leases. However, these provisions are becoming increasingly common and are prevalent among larger, institutional landlords with sustainability targets to meet.

Green clauses can range from “light green” to “dark green”, with varying degrees of commitment and detail.

“Light green” provisions:

“Dark green” provisions:

Conclusion

Green lease provisions can benefit both parties and contribute to a more sustainable future. We hope these top tips provide some useful ideas on how your leases can contribute to your organisation’s sustainability goals.

The Green Lease Toolkit provides valuable guidance for stakeholders interested in sustainable leases. It covers topics including green lease clauses, heads of terms, and owner-occupier engagement. To explore further, you can find the Toolkit on the Better Buildings Partnership website.

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