Document Assists Retailers and Retail Owners Improve Facility Energy, Waste and Water Efficiency

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) are releasing the Retail Green Lease Primer, a first-of-its-kind document that helps retailers and retail owners improve the efficiency of their facilities. The Retail Green Lease Primer was developed with significant input from national owners and retailers to educate real estate and leasing agents on the specific retail lease provisions necessary for achieving reductions in energy, waste, and water use—and cost.

“Retailers recognize that there are opportunities to improve the efficiency of the buildings they lease,” says Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability & retail operations at RILA, “and green leasing is a tool to help do that.”

For two years, many top U.S.-based retailers and landlords have collaborated to identify the opportunities for more sustainable facilities and the barriers to achieving them. They have identified the lease as a pivotal mechanism to promote sustainability; the retail leasing process can uncover or hinder opportunities to implement reduction practices for energy, waste and costs. Through the Retail Green Lease Primer, RILA and its members, together with IMT, have begun to define “green leasing” for the industry, namely, the provisions in retail leases that reduce the costs associated with energy, water, waste and other resource use.

“This document will be an important educational tool to help facilitate internal conversations and negotiations between parties,” says Adam Sledd, program director for Commercial Real Estate Engagement at IMT.

Already, retail landlords are seeing the value that green leasing can provide. “Pyramid Management Group recognizes the benefits to efficient facilities and has a strong interest in developing leases that promote efficiency,” says Lauren Staniec, tenant coordinator and sustainability coordinator at Pyramid Management Group, a developer with 17 properties in New York and Massachusetts.

In February 2012, Pyramid’s Destiny USA property received LEED Gold certification; now Pyramid is actively working with its retail tenants to improve their energy, water, waste and indoor air-quality performance, creating a more comfortable shopping environment and reducing costs.

When it comes to investing in technologies and processes that promote more efficient and sustainable facilities, owners and retail tenants often don’t know how to start the conversation. The Retail Green Lease Primer aims to solve this problem by presenting the 13 most important lease topics in a clear and simple format.

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