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By providing the information and tools our lease managers need, we ensure all employees, no matter where they work, benefit from sustainability programs.

Green Lease

Alameda County leases over 1 million square feet of space in 30 commercial buildings, housing a variety of County departments. Leased facilities constitute a significant percentage of the County's overall operational greenhouse gas emissions, as demonstrated in our operational Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. In order to ensure that sustainability initiatives commonplace in our County-owned buildings are also in place in our leased facilities, we developed template lease language and other tools to help the County's leasing managers negotiate green leases.

Examples of products and services that are addressed in the green lease specifications include: finishes and flooring for tenant improvement construction (e.g. paints, carpet), janitorial services, landscaping, and recycling/composting collection services.

How We Did It:

  • We researched public sector best practices and market availability of green products and services for leased facilities. A summary of this research can be found in our Green Lease Research Summary (PDF - 435kb) *.
  • We engaged key stakeholders, including property managers, to better understand the opportunities and challenges for integrating sustainability into leased spaces.
  • We produced environmental performance specifications in several formats to best meet stakeholder needs during different parts of the lease negotiation process. We created a checklist (PDF - 316kb) * for our lease managers to easily reference during preliminary negotiations, and template lease agreement (PDF - 194kb) * and exhibit (PDF - 282kb) * language to include in the leasing contract that ensures compliance with negotiated environmental standards.


  • Property owners and managers don't always have the same commitment to sustainability as the County. To overcome this, we developed contractual language requiring compliance with environmental standards to ensure that sustainability is a factor in designing and operating our leased spaces.
  • Market availability of cost-competitive products is a primary concern for specifying building products and services. To overcome this, we focused on sustainability initiatives that are in many cases cost-competitive and in some cases result in a cost reduction. In our green lease checklist tool, we also provided information regarding market availability for each product and service of interest.


  • Provides a work environment for all County employees which optimizes health and comfort.
  • Fulfills our Board of Supervisors policy commitment to reduce our environmental impact and ensures compliance with local laws like the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance.
  • Reduces environmental impacts of the County's supply chain by setting environmental performance standards for goods and services provided in our leased facilities.


Descriptions and a link to the documents we developed for use in negotiating green leases can be found below. We expect that these documents will be modified over time as we add new sustainability initiatives or gain new insights into what is effective through implementing them in County leases.

Green Lease Checklist

This document provides a summary of environmental requirements to be included in leases and is meant to be used as a tool for the leasing manager to easily reference during preliminary negotiations. The checklist also includes information about where to find products or services that meet each environmental requirement, and which government policies and regulations are relevant to that requirement.

The Green Lease Agreement Language and Green Lease Exhibit

These documents are meant for inclusion into the lease contract; they include the same environmental requirements as the Green Lease Checklist, but are written in the format of the lease contract and include requirements for documentation to ensure compliance. Note that they are not comprehensive lease documents, and should be incorporated into a final lease contract.

Green Lease Research Summary

This document is a compilation of the research we conducted on best practices in the public sector regarding green leasing, lease negotiations, and the environmental impacts of products and services relevant to green leases.