Starting your new lease in an efficient, green building lets you hit the ground running toward your sustainability goals—and your employees will thank you.
Establish goals for your new space
Finding green space is good for business, but it requires that your organization be selective. Engage organizational leadership and employees in identifying the most important site selection criteria.
You may find that they have environmental goals you have not considered! Getting their input will help you gain clarity in your search for the ideal space.
Some common criteria include:
- Recent ENERGY STAR certification
- Green building certification(s)
- Landlord has a strong energy management program in place, as well as water efficiency and waste management programs
- Energy use data is available for review, and building energy use is benchmarked in EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
- On-site recycling and composting is provided
- Low-flow/WaterSense™ labeled plumbing fixtures are used in most areas
- Access to natural light for a majority of workers
- Proximity (or shuttle service) to public transportation
Share the goals with your broker
Once you know what matters most in your selection process, make sure your broker is on the same page with you and provides options that align with your goals. Ask prospective brokers about their experience with ENERGY STAR and green building certifications such as LEED.
Look for the ENERGY STAR
A simple way to find energy-efficient space is to look for buildings that have recently earned the ENERGY STAR. Just like a refrigerator, commercial buildings can earn the ENERGY STAR, EPA's mark of superior energy efficiency.
ENERGY STAR certification is based on 12 months of actual verified energy performance data, and ENERGY STAR certified buildings operate among the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide. Find ENERGY STAR certified buildings in your target market.
Engage the landlord
Start talking to your prospective landlord about energy efficiency and sustainability now, before you make a long-term commitment. A savvy landlord will understand the benefits of an engaged tenant, and will be eager to demonstrate interest in your goals. So give the landlord a chance to show off the property’s green features and answer your questions.
- Request the landlord’s corporate responsibility or environmental policy to make sure it aligns with your organizational values.
- Ask how building staff will work with your organization to achieve sustainability goals.
- Understand who is responsible for funding energy efficiency projects and who will benefit from energy savings.
- Make sure the property team benchmarks the building in EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Ask for a Portfolio Manager report on the building’s current energy performance.
- Learn how others have benefited from engaging with a landlord from the start.
- Visit the Green Lease Library for ideas about how to incorporate sustainability into your lease.