A new initiative launched in Sydney aims at improving the sustainability of commercial office buildings by enabling both landlords and tenants to better assess their green leasing arrangements. 

Sydney’s Better Building Partnership (BBP) has released a new commercial green leasing standard that will enable both landlords and tenants to better assess the sustainability and efficiency performance of their lease arrangements.

BBP’s leasing standard encompasses a total of 20 categories that can be used to determine the green building chops of a given rental arrangement for commercial property.

An online tool makes accessing and applying the standard incredibly easy, enabling users to produce a lease scorecard and a rating badge that indicates the sustainability of a proposed lease compared to other leases.

According to City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone, the standard was developed in response to unprecedented  demand for green leasing and related sustainability tools within the commercial office sector. Barone said that the market uptake of such leases is rising at 10 times the rate witnessed less than a decade ago during 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,” said Barone. “The development of the BBP leasing standard will help members further reduce their emissions and make even greater savings over the coming years.”

Barone said that the new standards provide the parties to agreements with a basic framework for better incorporating sustainability into their leasing agreements.

“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 lift of the lease,” she said.

Property Council of Australia Chief Executive Ken Morrison hailed the release of the BBP leasing standard as an effective tool for shoring up the sustainability of Sydney’s built environment.

“It should help deliver better environmental outcomes and reduce outgoing for both landlords and tenants,” said Morrison. “These clauses can fit easily into standard lease agreements and we’ve seen a good take up in leases over the past two years.

“International investors are increasingly asking for greater levels of transparency. A clear benefit of standard clauses such as these is to help property owners demonstrate to investors how they’re proactively engaging tenants on a range of sustainability issues.”

BBP is a collaborative undertaking between the City of Sydney and leading property owners and building managers that was established to improve building sustainability and help meet the Sustainable Sydney 2030 target of reducing emissions by 70 per cent compared to 2006 levels.

Barone said that BBP members have already reduced their emissions by 45 per cent over the past decade, achieving savings of $30 million per annum.