Key Commercial Real Estate Firms to Form Green Lease Action Plan
The movement toward the greening of commercial leases took a decisive step forward with the recent announcement of the formation of an alliance of major commercial building owners endorsing a "Green Lease Action Plan" in which participant organizations commit to incorporate principles of sustainability across their building portfolios. The driving forces behind the Green Lease Action Plan are Greenprint Foundation, an organization whose members seek alternatives to lower carbon emissions in commercial buildings, and one of its founding members, Jones Lang LaSalle, which will be responsible for implementing the plan and securing participants. Commercial building owners and tenants which have already signed up for the Green Lease Action Plan include Bank of America, Beacon Capital Partners, Deutsche Bank, Whirlpool Corporation and JP Morgan.
One of the major obstacles to going green continues to be the high up front cost of investing in energy saving improvements as compared to the resultant savings in energy costs. The Green Lease Action Plan focuses on enhancing sustainable practices while avoiding economic hardship for both the building owner and the tenant. As stated by Charles B. Leitner, III, Chief Executive Officer of the Greenprint Foundation, "This is not about owners or tenants making financial sacrifices to enhance energy and sustainability in buildings -- it's about creating economic incentives on both sides to create win-win scenarios economically and environmentally." Essential to the Green Lease Action Plan will be the identification of green lease practices, the training of personnel to assist in resolving obstacles thereto, and the communication of energy and environmental ratings to tenants.
The green lease movement will no doubt be well served by this alliance of leading national and international building owners and tenants committed to exchanging ideas on how best to merge sustainability with sound business practices. As expressed by Michael Jordan, Senior Vice President of Sustainability Strategy at Jones Lang LaSalle, "We're inviting organizations to join us in addressing these energy and environmental challenges, to create business value for owners and occupiers alike."