Real Estate sustainability

As interest in sustainability grows, legislation will develop to reflect that. And with £3bn going into green investment, sustainability has become of greater significance to the government. We want to help our clients get out ahead of this transition and now is an opportune time to be reviewing your portfolio and ensuring you are compliant.

We are committed to working with our clients to help them achieve their sustainability objectives as efficiently as possible. Our dedicated team focus on working with landlord, tenants, investors and developers to update their documents and get ahead of the curve on hot topics such as green clauses. 

Pressure for sustainability within Real Estate is arriving from multiple directions. Increasingly, consumers care about the sustainable credentials of their local restaurant, their clothing retailer, even their local bar. From the other end of the spectrum, investors and shareholders can see both that a resilient long term investment should take into account the climate emergency and that businesses with impressive ESG credentials are often outperforming those without. These pressures are increasingly driven by fund managers and general partners who see the intangible connection between sustainability and financial viability. 

Landlords may find that they are unable to charge the same amount in rent for non-green properties in their portfolios and that these also take longer to re-let or refinance. Some are also finding that these assets depreciate more quickly and carry higher risks than their green counterparts, making non-green properties less desirable to investors.

Both landlords and tenants need to work together collaboratively as each sees the clear advantages to sustainable buildings:

For landlords this is a reduction in their carbon emissions, reductions in power and water costs, possibly higher rents and higher desirability; especially important when staring down the barrel of a possible recession.

For tenants, it's a similar reduction in utility costs and the ability to deliver on corporate sustainability objectives. As well as this, there's the clear connection between green buildings and employee health and wellbeing, productivity and staff retention.

How can we help you with real estate sustainability?

We are able to review your portfolio and craft clauses specifically to suit your sustainability requirements. Every business will require a different level of support and we adapt our approach to support each client's needs. Below are examples of some of the areas we can add value to your business and help you to achieve your sustainability objectives:

  • Green buildings: We advise clients in relation to making their buildings greener including the financing, development, construction, retrofitting, and third-party certification (including BREEAM/LEED certification) of commercial, energy, retail, leisure, industrial, and residential projects.
  • Relationship and membership with the UKGBC: As corporate members of the UKGBC (UK Green Building Council), we introduce clients to key stakeholders in the UK Green Building Council for further advice on things such as the Circular Economy and Towards Net Zero initiatives to get ahead.
  • Protecting against costly disputes: We offer advice regarding emerging contractual and litigation issues in the design and construction of green buildings, including BREEAM/LEED-certified buildings.
  • Plan to be green from the get-go: Assisting developers through the planning process as local governments heighten focus on sustainable development issues.
  • Landlords, tenants and investors: Representing clients with regard to green leasing, including drafting and negotiating agreements for lease, signed letters, memorandums of understanding, leases and related legal documents.
  • Ethical financing: Advising clients on green funding and suggesting ways in which funds can be structured for a greener investment.
  • Webinars and thought-leadership: Regularly hosting industry-leading events/webinar useful for clients and stakeholders to engage with.
  • Get one step ahead: Keeping up to date and advising our clients on legislation and regulatory developments and their areas of work, such as banks and developers.

Driving change collectively

Listen back to this Bisnow webinar which examines how the industry can drive the creation and management of sustainable places through a greater partnership between landlords and tenants. The panellists explore the ins and outs of Green Leases and how these innovative agreements can set the path for commercial partnerships that lock in sustainability. Panellists are:


  • Astrid Stanley, Partner at Howard Kennedy (Moderator)
  • Phil Birch, Sustainable & Healthy Buildings Manager at John Lewis 
  • Thom Elliot, Founder of Pizza Pilgrims
  • Munish Datta, Head of Insights & Membership at UKGBC
  • Tor Burrows, Director of Sustainability & Innovation at Grosvenor

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