California Honored Among 2017 Green Lease Leaders

California has been recognized for becoming the first state to make green leasing a statewide policy for government-leased buildings. The state was recognized among other 2017 Green Lease Leaders by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance at the Better Buildings Summit recently held in Washington, DC. This year’s Green Lease Leader portfolios cover nearly 200 million square feet of floorspace in North America, bringing the cumulative floor area of all Green Lease Leaders to over 1.3 billion square feet.

green lease leaders

“Green Lease Leaders continues to lay the foundation for a new standard of practice where tenants and landlords regularly work together to create win-win solutions to advance building energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Jason Hartke, Program Manager of Commercial Buildings Integration at DOE. “Award winners are showing that, through greater collaboration, they are able to realize energy savings, reduce occupancy costs, increase tenant retention, and improve business. We commend the awardees for their leadership this year and their ongoing commitment to these proven energy-saving strategies.”

Green Lease Leaders, now in its fourth year, was established by IMT and the Better Buildings Alliance to set the bar for what constitutes a green or “energy-aligned” lease, and to recognize pioneering property owners and tenants who add energy and water-saving clauses to their leases that drive high performance in commercial, retail, and industrial buildings. IMT estimates that green leases can help reduce utility bills by up to $0.51 per square foot (11-22 percent) in U.S. office buildings alone, and if all leased office buildings executed green leases, the market could save over $3 billion in annual cost savings. Clauses in green leases range from energy management best practices for building systems to requirements concerning tenant spaces such as installing LED lighting, submetering utility data, and reducing plug loads with advanced power strips and ENERGY STAR equipment.

New this year, IMT and the Better Buildings Alliance recognized California for becoming the first state to make green leasing a statewide policy for government-leased buildings. In addition, Rocky Mountain Institute received the award for signing the first net-zero lease for any multi-tenant development of its size, and the real estate investment trust Welltower became the first Green Lease Leader to work in the healthcare sector.

“Welltower recognizes that tenant engagement is crucial to achieve success in reducing the energy and water intensity in the buildings they manage,” said Karen Darcangelo, senior sustainability manager for Welltower. “Most medical office buildings are high users of energy with Ambulatory Surgery Centers, MRI equipment, and radiation bunkers, just to name a few. Securing commitments through our green lease language allows us to bring more awareness to our tenants, align sustainability initiatives so that both parties benefit from adopting efficiency measures, and to measure success against agreed-upon goals.”

The 2017 Green Lease Leaders are:

Landlord/Tenant Recognition

  • Boston Properties
  • California Department of General Services
  • Principal Real Estate Investors
  • Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Washington REIT
  • Welltower

Team Transaction Recognition

  • TD Bank, with CBRE, Crown Realty Partners, and OPTrust
  • Tower Companies, with NIKA

“As more building owners and corporations recognize the strong business case for investing in energy efficiency, they can look to the multitude of Green Lease Leader landlords and tenants for examples of how to transform the leasing process into one that aligns incentives, locks in major energy cost savings for both parties, and raises their sustainability profiles in the real estate market,” said IMT’s executive director Cliff Majersik. “We are pleased to see such a diverse group of leaders this year who are utilizing green leases to overcome complex landlord-tenant engagement issues that too frequently stand in the way of bigger savings.”

For the second year, Green Lease Leaders bestowed the Team Transaction award, which is given to groups of stakeholders who collaborate on an individual lease transaction to incorporate sustainability and energy management elements into the operations of a leased space. This award recognizes deals where all parties come together to push the boundaries of energy efficiency in leased commercial space.

For more information on the Green Lease Leaders program and this year’s recipients, visit, and to learn more about the benefits of green leasing and landlord-tenant collaboration on sustainability, visit the Green Lease Library and the Landlord-Tenant Energy Partnership website.