Best practice leasing

Moving offices or renegotiating terms at the end of a lease provides a unique opportunity to optimise the operational efficiency and quality of your office accommodation. In this process, tenants themselves have a large role to play in establishing the groundwork for sustainable, good business operations - all of which starts with getting the lease right. Best practice leases - otherwise known as green leases - are an essential component to delivering strong energy efficiency performance for tenancies.

Key elements

  • Office relocation: best practice leasing

    Find out the what, why and how of 'green leasing', including a list of key elements for a green lease and short explanatory videos.


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  • Target environmental performance standards

    Using known and trusted environmental performance standards as targets is a key element of a green lease


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  • Implementing an energy management plan

    Typically, a green lease is accompanied by an Energy Management Plan which provides a structure for the lease and instructs how it will be implemented for the duration of the tenancy.


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  • Using a building management committee

    Effective implementation of an Energy Action Plan is usually achieved through a building management committee.




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  • Resolution of office lease disputes

    With a green lease in place, a collaborative and cooperative approach is taken to dispute resolution.


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  • Metering and tracking energy reduction

    Advanced metering technologies can provide more frequent and detailed information on tenant energy use.




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  • Overview of the commercial building disclosure program

    The Commercial Building Disclosure program provides mandatory performance ratings for offices, in the form of BEECs (Building Energy Efficiency Certificates).


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  • Why choose a high-performing building

    An indicative estimate of the financial benefits of high-performing buildings, in terms of electricity saved, reduced absenteeism, retention and productivity.


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Related Resources

  • Slide Deck: Best practice leasing event

    Slides from the CitySwitch event held for signatories in Sydney: Sharing the love - Tenant and Landlord Guide to Happiness providing insight to help tenants get the lease that makes sustainability happen.



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  • The Tenant & Landlords Guide to Happiness: ebook

    This e-book explores opportunities for improved collaboration and sustainable outcomes between commercial tenants and landlords. Produced by The Fifth Estate in partnership with Sydney's Better Buildings Partnership, it reveals opportunities for an improved leasing process.


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  • A guide to office building quality

    A Property Council of Australia document providing tools for assessing office building quality in new and existing buildings. The tools provide a guide to parameters that typically influence building quality, offering a voluntary, market based approach.


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  • Fact Sheet: Why choose a high performing building

    A business case scenario showing how best practice indoor office environments can create savings above those from energy bills. A good building makes healthy and happy staff and improves their productivity.




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  • Green Leasing Page - Australasian Procurement and Construction Council

    The National Green Leasing Policy sets out the principles for a collaborative relationship between  government tenants and building owners. This set of 18 Fact Sheets is produced by the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council.




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  • Green Lease Lifecycle Tool

    A comprehensive online tool which outlines each step of the leasing process, providing information on who to engage, when to engage them and importantly the key expectations, issues and resources to consider along the way. Produced by the Better Buildings Partnership.


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  • Green Lease Guides

    Tenants Guide to Green Leases (19 pages) and a Handbook for leasing advisors to incorporate green lease provisions (60 pages) created by the Australian government.




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  • CBD Lighting Assessment Guidance

    A tenancy lighting assessment is an important component of a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) required under the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program. The guides and forms required are available here. 


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  • Sustainable Melbourne Fund

    A fund for improving Melbourne buildings established by Melbourne City Council. The Fund provides up to 100% loan finance for building retrofit projects or for innovative technologies that deliver wider environmental benefits.


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Case studies

  • Case Study: Steensen Varming

    Case Study: Steensen Varming
    Steensen Varming used their office move to select a green building with strong credentials and enter into a green lease with their new landlord. Selecting a suitable building, plus an approach that maximized daylight, used zoned air-conditioning and recycled office furniture resulted in savings from day one. Staff were engaged in all stages of the move.


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  • Case Study: Thomson Rossi

    Case Study: Thomson Rossi

    Adelaide architectural firm and CitySwitch award finalist, Thomson Rossi, share the steps they have taken to reduce office energy bills. Measures include harnessing natural light and air-flow and reducing the need for printing and photocopying by issuing all staff with iPads.




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  • Case Study: DTZ

    Case Study: DTZ
    As the first corporate tenant to join CitySwitch, DTZ has since achieved outstanding energy efficiency results in their Sydney office. They've slashed operating costs by 40 per cent and reduced emissions by 375,000 kg CO₂over 8 years.



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Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.