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GBCSA launches Green Lease Toolkit

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has announced that the Green Lease Toolkit, which they co-developed with the South African Property Owners' Association (SAPOA), was officially launched at the SAPOA International Convention & Property Exhibition in Durban.
GBCSA launches Green Lease Toolkit

he Green Lease Toolkit was developed from a shared basis of both market need and market demand. South African landlords have consistently requested guidance and resources, to help them harness the benefits of well-designed, well-built buildings. Similarly, South African tenants are increasingly demanding 'green' space, in a bid to take advantage of the healthier and more productive indoor environments that green buildings offer.

"We are happy to have played a role in bringing a practical mechanism to the South African industry which begins to satisfy these needs. With buildings providing up to 40% of greenhouse gas abatement potential, it is imperative that we synchronise the design and construction of new buildings, with the efficient and responsible operation of both these buildings and our existing building supply," comments Neil Gopal, CEO of SAPOA.

Landlords, tenants share responsibilities

A growing interest in sustainable development in South Africa is motivating developers to procure more green buildings, which boast superior asset performance whilst addressing a range of environmentally responsible initiatives. Green leases, which set out the shared responsibilities of landlords and tenants, provide a platform for sharing the benefits of the enhanced performance of the building and balancing the respective costs between each party.

"As the green building movement in South Africa gains traction, we are seeing a more consistent adoption of green building principles by leaders in the local property industry," says Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA. "However, in order to truly yield maximum and longer-term benefits, buildings have to be managed and operated in an environmentally sustainable and resource efficient way. The Green Lease Toolkit is a precursor to shifting the paradigm of 'living green' into the mainstream for owners and tenants alike.

Performance of buildings must improve

"If we are to see a reduction in South Africa's carbon footprint, it is imperative that the building performance of both existing and new buildings is improved. The principal benefit of a green lease is in the ownership and/or occupation of an operationally efficient and sustainable building, that minimises our negative impact on our environment and our planet's infinite resources," Wilkinson says.

Other benefits include improved quality of life, increased staff retention and productivity, improved asset performance, reduced exposure to regulatory changes, reduced operating costs, reputational enhancement and compliance with more stringent corporate reporting requirements.

"The Green Lease Toolkit is useful and relevant to the property industry in preparing lease documents that take both green building design and operational principles into account. It also uses robust methodologies established through market analysis and is applicable across all building sectors," says Jarrod Lewin, project manager on the toolkit at the GBCSA.

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