Monday, 14 June 2010

Green thinking will pay off

Green-thinking Shropshire landlords should work with tenants to reduce the environmental impact of commercial buildings across the county.

Louise Clowes, from our Commercial Property Team, said by working in partnership landlords and tenants could make a huge difference.

“A green lease is not a legal requirement, but it’s a way for landlords and tenants to work together towards reducing the impact their building has on the environment. Usually the green provisions will include improving the energy efficiency of the building, but may also include waste and water management, and transport matters such as providing bike racks or car sharing schemes.”

But Louise said the green clauses did not have to be part of a lease – they could also be included in the rules of the overall industrial estate, or in a general environmental policy for the building itself.

“The most obvious advantage of introducing green policies is that reducing the amount of energy that’s used will cut costs, as will reducing the amount of waste that’s produced. Larger organisations may also decide to use the green lease as part of an overall scheme to demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility objectives.”

Louise said there were some barriers though if landlords were considering adopting greener leases. “Generally improvements to an industrial estate introduced by a landlord are not recoverable through a service charge, and so landlords might be reluctant to spend a lot of money introducing new technologies for no financial return.

“Tenants with shorter leases may also decide they don’t want to spend money on capital items, which might only pay for themselves once their lease has ended. But if you’re really committed to reducing the impact your business premises have on the environment, there are ways to move forward – it just takes determination and effort, but the results will be worth it.”