The picture shows a handshake.

Achieving sustainability goals together

Green leases have become increasingly popular in the real estate sector in recent years, and that is encouraging. For a long time, however, there was no uniform definition in Germany of what makes a conventional lease a green lease.

While other European countries have passed legislation to define standards, Germany has left it to real estate sector associations to fill the gap. Ultimately, a green lease aims to link sustainable use of a property by the tenant with sustainable management by the owner.


Green leases are an essential part of our strategy to build a sustainable real estate portfolio. We invite our tenants and business partners to join us on our path to achieving our sustainability goals. That is part of our responsibility towards society.

Johannes Hermanns Managing Director / Global Head of Real Estate Management

Climate change and the impact of buildings on global emissions is attracting growing attention. At the same time, sustainability factors are increasingly being used to measure the performance of companies by their own employees and the public at large.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a reality. More and more corporate decisions take the carbon footprint into account, with the buildings that companies occupy also playing a key role here. On the one hand, attention must be paid to low-resource operation. On the other, growing health and well-being requirements inside and outside buildings must be considered as part of an integrated and future-oriented corporate strategy. Green clauses in lease agreements allow companies to increasingly integrate leased spaces into their corporate strategy.

Green leases – sustainable use meets sustainable management

People sitting and standing in a meeting room with green chairs.
People sitting and standing in a meeting room with green chairs.

At international level, numerous “green” regulations already exist for leases. In France, for example, a green annex to commercial leases has been mandatory since 2013. Among other things, the country’s regulations aim to achieve greater transparency with regard to the consumption of electricity, heat, water and waste and encourage the parties to draw up an improvement plan together. No such legal framework has been established yet in the German real estate market. As a result, various market initiatives have sought to produce a definition of a green lease that is valid for Germany 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.

Other countries are also addressing the topics of sustainability and green leases, not least because of the Paris Agreement. Like the ZIA in Germany, national initiatives are guided by the internationally recognised three-pillar model, consisting of the economy, the environment and social aspects.

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

Green leases at Deka Immobilien

To safeguard the quality of our real estate portfolio in the long term, we at Deka Immobilien see the broad implementation of green leases as an integral part of our asset management activities. To this end, we have developed internal regulations that fit our overarching sustainability strategy and are aimed at ensuring a higher-quality experience for the tenants in our buildings. Together with our tenants, we develop improvement measures on the basis of our active dialogue with them on the building’s resource consumption. This process simultaneously ensures the availability of data for the tenants’ corporate reporting regarding the building. We help our tenants create healthy workspaces for their employees by providing guidance on the choice of materials for extensions and conversions or the selection of cleaning agents.

Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Icon of the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 3. To the right of the number is written "Good health and well-being". Below that, a cardiac tension curve and a heart symbol, in white against a green background.

3 Good health and well-being

Deka Immobilien’s guidance provides for measures that have a positive impact on indoor air quality.

Icon of the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 6. To the right of the number is written "Clean water and sanitation". Below that, a water glass with a downward arrow in white outlines against a light blue background.

6 Clean water and sanitation

Environmentally sound cleaning agents should be chosen.

Icon of the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 7. To the right of the number is written "Affordable and clean energy". Below that, a sun with a power button icon in white on a yellow background.

7 Affordable and clean energy

Resource consumption and the associated emissions from the operation of the buildings are part of the guidance at Deka Immobilien.

Icon of UN Sustainable Development Goal number 11. To the right of the number is written "Sustainable Cities and Communities". Below it, various buildings in white outlines against an orange background.

11 Sustainable cities and communities

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

Icon of the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 12. To the right of the number is written "Responsible consumption and production". Below it, an endless loop in white against a brown background.

12 Responsible consumption and production

The guidance at Deka Immobilien include requirements for the construction materials that tenants are permitted to use for extensions or conversions.