Achieving sustainability goals together

Green leases have encouragingly become increasingly popular in the real estate sector in recent years. For a long time, however, there was no uniform definition in Germany of what makes a conventional lease a green lease. While in other European countries legislation defined the standards, in Germany the real estate sector associations were left to fill this gap. Ultimately, a green lease aims to link a sustainable use of the property by the tenant with a sustainable management by the owner.


“Green leases are an essential part of our strategy towards a sustainable real estate portfolio. We invite our tenants and business associates to contribute as partners to the sustainability goals we have set ourselves. This is part of our social responsibility. ”

Johannes Hermanns, Head of Real Estate Management Germany at Deka Immobilien

Climate change and the influence of buildings on global emissions is attracting growing attention. At the same time, companies are increasingly measured through sustainability factors by the public and their own employees. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a reality. Ever more corporate decisions take the ecological footprint into account. In addition, the environmental footprint of the buildings a company occupies constitutes a key factor. On the one hand, attention must be paid to low-resource operation. On the other, growing demands for health and well-being inside and outside buildings must be taken into account as part of a holistic and future-oriented corporate strategy. Green clauses in leases allow companies to increasingly integrate leased space into their corporate strategy.

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The green lease - sustainable use meets sustainable management

At the international level, numerous “green” regulations already exist for leases. In France, for example, a green annex to commercial leases has been mandatory since 2013. The regulations in force there are intended, among other things, to lead to more transparency with regard to the consumption of electricity, heat, water and waste and encourage the parties to jointly draw up an improvement plan. Such legal framework conditions do not yet exist in the German real estate market. As a result, various market initiatives have aimed to find a definition of the green leases over the past decade. The summary below from the German Property Federation (ZIA) aptly describes the goal of a green lease as the synergy of sustainable use of the property by the tenant and sustainable management by the landlord.


“A green lease is a sustainability-oriented tenancy agreement. Through its special provisions – possibly flanked by existing certification requirements – it encourages the tenant to use the property as sustainably as possible and the landlord to manage the property as sustainably as possible.”

Other countries are also engaging in sustainability and green leases, not least because of the Paris Climate Agreement targets. Just like the German Property Federation (ZIA) in Germany, the national initiatives are guided by the international “three-pillar model”, consisting of economy, ecology and social aspects.

Green leases at Deka Immobilien

To ensure the quality of our property portfolio in the long term, we at Deka Immobilien see a broad implementation of green leases as an integral part of its asset management activities. To this end, we have developed internal provisions that fit in with our overarching sustainability strategy and ensures a higher quality for our tenants. We actively dialogue with our tenants on building consumption and develop improvement measures together. This process simultaneously ensures data availability for the tenant's corporate reporting regarding the building. We support our tenants in creating healthy workspaces for their employees through provisions on the choice of materials for extensions and conversions or on the selection of cleaning agents.

You can find more information about our exemplary regulations in our brochure.

Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

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3 Good Health and Well-being

Deka Immobilien's regulatory content provides for
measures that have a positive impact on indoor air quality.

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6 Clean Water and Sanitation

Environmentally sound cleaning agents should
be chosen.

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7 Affordable and Clean energy

Resource consumption and the associated building operation emissions are
part of the regulatory content at Deka Immobilien.

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11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Als Regelungsinstrument für ein konstruktives und nachhaltiges
Miteinander adressieren Green Leases diesen Aspekt
der UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Being a regulatory instrument for a constructive and sustainable coexistence,
green leases address this aspect of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Further insights into practice