Green your lease
Running an environmentally sustainable business is often easier said than done. You might encourage your employees to work from home and recycle to reduce your company’s carbon footprint, but convincing your landlord to make changes for the sake of sustainable business practices can be a challenge. If this sounds familiar, a green lease agreement might be for you. According to Peter Townshend, managing director of Know More Waste, a green lease is an official or unofficial document between the owner and tenant of a building that outlines sustainable practices for the duration of the lease agreement.
Depending on the willingness of your landlord to engage, a green lease could require a significant upfront investment and a bit of retrofitting, or small changes that can be rolled out over a period of time. Your landlord might be willing to replace all existing geysers with solar water heaters, or simply agree to implement recycling and employ an environmentally conscious cleaning service.
You might not be able to convince your landlord to agree to a green lease as part of your current lease agreement, so remember to bring it up when your lease comes up for renewal. A number of environmental consultancies across the country can also assist in the negotiation and draw up the legally binding agreement. The Green Building Council of South Africa is a good place to start looking for an agent.
GREEN YOUR HOME
Green leases are far more prevalent in the corporate world than residential leases, but Townshend says that with a bit of negotiating, you might just convince your landlord of the merits. The Government offers a rebate on solar water heaters that will significantly reduce the upfront investment costs for the landlord. Also offer to split the cost of the saving with your landlord.
“Solar water heaters and heat pump systems can save the tenant about 45% on electricity costs,” says Townshend. Offering your landlord half of your saving means you both benefit, which will probably make him or her more eager to negotiate.