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SACRAMENTO, CA- The California Sustainability Alliance has added to their Web site a link to a “Green Leases Tool Kit” designed to help both owners and tenants of commercial real estate overcome barriers to “greening” leased office space. The kit is designed to provide a framework for owners and tenants to work together in reducing the environmental footprint of their facilities.

Founded in 2006, The California Sustainability Alliance is a market transformation program managed by Navigant Consulting, administered by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), and funded by California utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Available at www.sustainca.com, the Green leases Tool Kit was created after the CSA brought together representatives from Bank of America, JP Morgan, CB Richard Ellis, Thomas Properties Group and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. to work alongside Governor Schwarzenegger’s Green Action Team. Their task was to come up with a strategy for promoting the greening of leased office space, which can result in operating cost savings, enhanced productivity, a healthy environment, and increased asset values.

“Office buildings represent a large untapped opportunity for significant savings of energy, water and waste,” says Craig McDonald, managing director of Navigant Consulting’s sustainability services unit. “In California, about 90 percent of office space is leased, yet only 6% of that space is certified ‘green.’ Until now, much of the effort to green office space has focused primarily on new construction.”

Sean Ivery, a Director with Navigant Consulting’s real estate consulting practice says its clients are very interested in greening their leased space but face considerable barriers. “The Tool Kit provides practical advice and tools that will help tenants and landlords develop and implement technologies and policies that support sustainable office environments,” he says.

Navigant defines green leasing as the integration of energy and water efficiency, emissions reduction, waste minimization and other sustainability objectives throughout the entire commercial leasing process. The integration of sustainability objectives throughout the leasing process includes service provider selection, needs analysis and communication, request for proposal (RFP) and letter of intent (LOI) drafting, site due diligence, site selection, and ultimately, the negotiation and drafting of realistic and enforceable lease language.

In promoting use of the tool kit, Navigant says that if the 810 million sf of leased class A and B office space was fully “greened” this year, 45% of California office building waste would be eliminated; water usage would be reduced by 36%; energy usage would be cut by 27%; and greenhouse gas emissions would drop by 25%.

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