July 15, 2013 | IMT

A new resource clarifies the concept of a “green” retail lease and shines a light on opportunities for improved shopping center building performance.

Today, 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,” said 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 either 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,” said 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,” said 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. To view the resource, click here.


The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. Much of IMT’s work addresses market failures that inhibit investment in energy efficiency.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad. Visit http://www.rila.org/sustainability to learn more about RILA’s Retail Sustainability Initiative.


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