Green leases could help reduce carbon footprint

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon footprint, Renewable energy, Lease

Eco-friendly lease agreements could be the most effective way of helping the pub trade reduce its carbon footprint, a leading building consultancy...

Eco-friendly lease agreements could be the most effective way of helping the pub trade reduce its carbon footprint, a leading building consultancy has claimed.

Commercial buildings account for around 20 per cent of the UK's total carbon emissions - with existing buildings, such as pubs, producing the majority of emissions.

But consultants Tuffin Ferraby Taylor (TFT) claim green leases - an agreement between landlord and tenant on how the building will be managed in a sustainable way - would address this issue.

David Tuffin, founding partner of TFT and president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: "There is a huge amount that can be done to increase the eco-friendliness of existing commercial buildings, such as through the installation of renewable energy sources.

"However, the best place to start is to change the way the occupiers use the building because a building's carbon footprint is not just about the energy used in the day-to-day running. Issues like waste and water management also play a part."

The leases would also include provisions for monitoring and improving energy performance, meeting energy efficiency targets and cutting the environmental impact of the building.

Earlier this month the All-Party Urban Development Group - a committee of MPs and Lords - met in Parliament to look at how to cut the carbon footprint of non-domestic buildings.

Whether pubcos would adopt such clauses in a lease remains to be seen.

A spokeswoman for Punch Taverns said: "We recognise our environmental responsibilities and continually explore new ways to minimise any negative effect on the environment.

"We have committed to reduce our carbon footprint by 17 per cent by 2010."

The pressure on pubs to be more eco-friendly is being stepped up this year with the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). Currently any commercial building with a floor space of greater than 10,000m sq bought, sold, leased or built will need an EPC showing its efficiency rating. From October 1 this will apply to all commercial buildings.

Related topics: Property law

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