Learn how these award-winning owners and tenants are using green leases to save energy, reduce costs and improve sustainability

by Brianna Crandall — June 2, 2021 — The national nonprofit Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance announced the 2021 Green Lease Leaders at the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit, a virtual leadership symposium.

Green Lease Leaders logoLaunched by IMT and the DOE Better Buildings Alliance in 2014, the Green Lease Leaders program sets an industry standard for what constitutes a green lease, while recognizing landlords and tenants who modernize their leases to spur collaborative action on energy efficiency, cost savings, improved air quality, and sustainability in buildings.

This year’s Green Lease Leaders represent portfolios totaling more than 2 billion square feet and comprise a diverse range of buildings from large and small commercial offices to industrial buildings to data centers. The cumulative floor area of all Green Lease Leaders is now more than 4 billion sq. ft. of building space.

Maria T. Vargas, senior program advisor at DOE and director of the Better Buildings Initiative, stated:

Green Lease Leaders are helping to set a new standard in the real estate industry. These organizations are demonstrating that landlords and tenants can both benefit from lower energy costs while improving building comfort. We appreciate their partnership and congratulate this year’s winners.

Lotte Schlegel, executive director at IMT, remarked:

Green leases are a common-sense, proven solution to create high-performing buildings and improve our communities. These leases fix split incentives with agreements that save everyone money, improve indoor air quality, and lock in efficient, sustainable, and smart building operations. The leaders participating in this program are setting an important example of business practices that scale up building decarbonization while improving landlord-tenant relationships, business outcomes, and economic growth.

IMT estimates that green leases can help reduce utility bills by up approximately 50 cents per square foot (22%) in U.S. office buildings alone. If all leased office buildings executed green leases, the market could reap over $3 billion in annual cost savings.

How to receive Green Lease Leaders recognition

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. The application period to be recognized in 2022 will open in October 2021 and will close in March 2022.

To receive one-on-one guidance for greening your lease or support for becoming a Green Lease Leader, contact IMT and DOE staff.

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.

To view a video listing the 2021 Green Lease Leaders, visit the GLL website.

To learn more about the Green Lease Leaders program or how to assess your leasing process, visit the Green Lease Leaders website. To download the free Green Lease Leaders Reference Guides, to read the Green Lease Leaders’ series of case studies, or for a comprehensive collection of green lease resources, visit the Green Lease Library.