Marks & Spencer to unveil green lease policy for stores

New York -- Marks & Spencer, one of the leading retailers in the United Kingdom, is set to unveil a new property lease policy under which all new M&S stores will have ‘green’ clauses as standard enabling landlords and tenants to better manage a building's environmental performance.

In addition, the retailer has reached agreement with members of the Better Buildings Partnership (a collaboration of London’s major commercial landlords) to ‘retro fit' green clauses to the leases of existing M&S stores. The collaboration is the first of its kind on this scale and will see the signing of 70 retro fit agreements across sites from London to Glasgow.

The green clauses, both in new leases and retrofit agreements, will facilitate the sharing of waste information and data such as gas, electricity and water usage in M&S occupied buildings to encourage both landlord and tenant (M&S) to make significant carbon reductions. It also encourages a joint approach to investment in eco building technology such as biomass boilers, LED lighting and rainwater harvesting to further reduce building impacts and costs.

“Unfortunately, big carbon reductions from the U.K.’s building stock cannot come only from new stores,” said Clem Constantine, director of property at M&S. “Seventy percent of current commercial buildings will still exist in 2050, so if we are genuinely going to tackle the problem we have to invest in eco solutions for existing buildings.

Constantine added that it can be difficult for landlords and tenants to work together when it comes to a building's environmental performance, particularly for older leases

“There's often no real structure for measurement, incentives or sharing of goals,” he said. “Green leasing changes this situation as it provides the framework within which both can work together. And both will benefit, a store with a reduced environmental impact and lower costs is more marketable for landlords and more cost effective for tenants to occupy – a genuine win, win.”