(L-R): Alberto Tobia, City of Sydney; Monica Barone, City of Sydney; Ben Thomas, City of Sydney; Claire Hashman, DEXUS; Paul Wall, DEXUS.

The City of Sydney’s Better Buildings Partnership has released an updated green lease standard designed to help tenants and landlords deliver stronger sustainability performance.

As covered in our Tenants and Landlords Guide to Happiness series with the BBP, adversarial tenant–landlord relationships can be a huge barrier to high-performance buildings. Green leases help to get tenants and landlords on the same page regarding sustainability outcomes.

The new BBP leasing standard includes 20 categories that help to classify a lease as being green, including on energy, water, waste and IAQ management; sustainable transport; sustainable procurement; fitout works; social initiatives; comfort; and information sharing.

Participating companies are able to generate a scorecard and display a BBP Leasing Standard logo so they can be recognised as committing to collaboration on sustainability. The scorecard and badge allow easy comparisons of proposed leases, which can then be compared to others in the industry, hopefully encouraging companies to raise ambitions.

City of Sydney chief executive Monica Barone said there had been a great increase in the number of green leases being signed, and was currently at an all-time high – 10 times the rate of the 2008-09 financial year.

“We are increasingly seeing businesses of all different sizes with a desire to operate out of buildings that complement their green focus,” Ms Barone said.

“While owners and tenants may not be able to build all 20 categories into the lease, they have the option to work together and agree on a set of clauses achievable by both parties over the life of the lease.”

DEXUS, a BBP member, released its “Simple and Easy Lease” this year, which has incorporated green lease elements, and has rated itself through the new BBP tool.

“DEXUS is committed to optimising the environmental performance of its buildings and the BBP leasing standard helps us communicate this to our customers,” DEXUS head of group sustainability Paul Wall said.

“We are pleased that our new lease is scored as gold under the BBP leasing standard, which is the highest level available.”

Mr Wall has also been announced as the incoming BBP chair, replacing Mirvac’s Paul Edwards.

The BBP is one of the City of Sydney’s key programs to reduce carbon emissions, with participating companies having cut carbon emissions by 45 per cent since 2006, saving around $30 million in energy bills.

“The development of the BBP leasing standard will help members further reduce their emissions and make even greater savings over the coming years,” Ms Barone said.

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison said there was potential for the program to be expanded across Australia.

“It’s an example of business and government working together to achieve strong outcomes in terms of energy usage, waste, standards and compliance,” Mr Morrison said.

“It should help deliver better environmental outcomes and reduce outgoings for both landlords and tenants.”

He said in a market where international investors were seeking greater levels of transparency, green leases could demonstrate how building owners were actively engaging tenants on sustainability issues.

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