Green Leases

Advice for those renting

Tenants who do not own their workplaces are not always aware of the actions they can take to address their carbon footprint.

This blog from our climate team highlights the steps you can still make to have an impact.

The reality for a lot of us is that we do not own the building we work in and are unsure what we can do to make improvements. A great first step for groups and organisations is to look at our checklist for help reducing energy and carbon emissions. This buildings checklist goes through what you can do to improve a building or other community asset, in terms of your carbon footprint. We also advise you to prioritise getting an external audit and generating a list of ‘quick wins’ – or at least, find the biggest carbon savings you can make in the shortest time.

Groups have asked us how to effectively engage with their landlord, who may be unavailable, for consent to improvements. There is a conflict of incentives in this situation, the so-called ‘split incentive’. A landlord may resist change which they are unable to make a profit from, even when public funds are available to help. Additionally a tenant might not want to make necessary improvements that are the landlord’s responsibility.

However, standards are tightening and we need to lower our carbon footprint and energy bills.

What can you do?

Understanding what you can do begins with your lease, its heads-of-terms, and your ability to negotiate a greener one.

First, examine your lease. Does it allow you to make improvements? If it does, identify those improvements, apply for funding via CARES, and move forward to reap the benefits. If not, you may wish to renegotiate your heads-of-terms to make your lease greener.

It is possible to change the terms of your lease to allow for more improvements led by you. If you have a public landlord, this negotiation is often easier to conduct. Highlight to them that around 80% of a local authority’s carbon footprint is from its buildings; this will fit with their strategic aims.

Please also check out the following resources from Development Trusts Association Scotland who have provided:

For more help and advice please get in touch with our climate coordinators, Gazelle and Robert, at: climate@gcvs.org.uk 


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