Monday, 14 July 2014

Green Leases in France

Written by Yannick Besnier
Sustainable Development Manager, CBRE Property Management (PM), France

To celebrate the first anniversary of green lease legislation, we give a brief overview of their structure and the pros and cons of this new initiative.

French regulation
Green lease legislation (“annexe environnementale”) has been mandatory for all leases in France since July 14, 2013. The purpose of the legislation is to help balance owner and tenant’s environmental obligations with transparency between both parties; this is achieved through the implementation of dedicated “plans for improvement”.

The green leases in depth
Leases for retail or office spaces over 2,000 m² must have an environmental appendix which sets new rules between the parties. Now owners and tenants must:
  • Exchange the following information with complete transparency: energy and water consumption and waste production
  • Meet to discuss the above during  a “green committee” which will be held annually as a minimum
  • Create and follow an improvement plan on the back of these meetings within an agreed time schedule.


Market overview
The industry consensus shows that around 30% of leases on buildings over 2,000 m² have an environmental appendix. We can expect that number to continue rising, especially in a today’s rental market where owners and tenants are more focused on optimizing costs in their current office than relocating. The green lease enables occupiers and tenants to:
  • Reduce costs
  • Increase  transparency of internal communications around green issues
  • Collect information for internal and CSR reports
Difficulties
The main difficulties for green leases in France are:
  • Benchmarking the building’s performance in comparison with the others. One way this can be achieved is through the use of official certifications e.g. LEED
  • The law does not recommend any measurement unit of performance, especially in relation to the size of the building
  • Most of the buildings have only one submeter for water  measurement which is used by numerous tenants
  • Inability to assess the weight of waste, particularly when removed by local bodies as opposed to a private companies
  • Proof of the final destination of waste may not be available
Yannick Besnier, Sustainable Development Manager, CBRE Property Management, France, gives his thoughts:

Most of the owners are already aware of green leases and almost all tenants are willing to take part in the green committee and exchange information, but that doesn’t mean that there are ready to pay.

Getting the green lease signed can take time. Because the subject is new, some tenants are afraid to take on sole responsibility of the energy performance and the costs of refurbishing the building.
All tenants that I meet are doing something to separate waste e.g. a separate bin for paper and batteries, special treatment for printer cartridges but the outcome of the waste also needs thinking about: are they burnt, buried, sold or recycled?

Thanks to the introduction of green committees far more tenants and landlords will be aware of the building’s sustainable performance, particularly paying attention to water use and energy wastage.
Many tenants have now have started to consider the energy performance and expect investment from both the owner and the facility managers in regularly decreasing energy consumption, and they want proof of results.

How can CBRE help?
Our teams are well placed to help you to make the best choices to negotiate the environmental appendices to your leases in compliance with your objectives. We also advise on environmental certifications which provide methodological support for an overarching approach to sustainable operations in your building.

You can read more over at our French blog Cartons Pleins. Click here

French Translation


La réglementation Française
L’annexe environnementale est maintenant obligatoire pour tous les baux depuis le 14 juillet 2013. Elle permet de définir clairement un plan d’actions à destination des locataires et des propriétaires pour améliorer les performances des bâtiments.

Le détail de la réglementation
Tous les baux commerciaux de plus de 2000 m² doivent avoir une annexe environnementale définissant de nouvelles règles.

Désormais le bailleur et le preneur doivent :

• Echanger en toute transparence, les informations relatives aux consommations d’énergie, d’eau ainsi que la production de déchets.
• Se rencontrer selon une fréquence donnée durant un comité environnemental (généralement une fois par an)
• Mettre en place un plan d’actions pour améliorer la performance environnementale du bâtiment.

L’état du marché
Les dernières analyses sur le sujet indiquent que 30% des baux de plus de 2000 m² disposent d’une annexe environnementale.

Ce chiffre devrait augmenter au cours du temps. Notamment dans un contexte locatif actuellement très compétitif (ex. 400 000 m² de bureau vide à la Défense). En effet, les propriétaires et les locataires sont focalisés sur l’optimisation des coûts et peuvent trouver un intérêt commun dans la bonne utilisation de l’annexe car :

• Elle aide à réduire les charges ;
• Elle est utile pour communiquer en interne ;
• Elle fournit des informations clé pour les rapports RSE ou développement durable.

Difficulté rencontrés
Les principales difficultés rencontrées en France sont :

• Le manque d’informations sur la performance des bâtiments tertiaires. Mais des observatoires commencent à fournir des informations de plus en plus complètes (ex. OID, IPD, Green Rating, etc) ;
• La réglementation ne définit pas qu’elle type de surface est à prendre en compte (surface utile, brute, thermique,..) ;
• La perte d’informations des années précédentes ;
• La plupart des bâtiments n’ont qu’un seul compteur d’eau pour l’ensemble des locataires ;
• Il est parfois impossible de connaitre le tonnage des déchets, surtout lorsque le ramassage est assuré par la collectivité ;
• Le manque d’informations concernant le traitement des déchets en fin de vie ;
• Le mélange des déchets précédemment triés par les locataires.

L’équipe CBRE
Nos équipes dédiées aux conseils utilisateurs et aux conseils en environnement peuvent vous aider dans vos choix lors de la négociation des annexes environnementales.

Nos conseils peuvent également portée sur la mise en place de certifications environnementales en exploitation tant sur la pertinence de leur mise en place que sur la méthodologie à adopter.

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