Green leases

State agency building leases include several provisions designed to reduce the environmental impacts of government operations. This page includes information and resources that can help landlords understand and comply with the sustainability requirements.

Standard lease

Electric vehicle charging stations

Lease provision: Electric Vehicle Charger Stations

Landlord shall, at its expense, install vehicle chargers for use by Tenant, its employees and guests. Said charging station shall include a credit card reader for payment of electrical costs.

Electric vehicles have zero air pollution emissions from the tailpipe—a full electric vehicle has no tailpipe. Use of electric vehicles in place of gas-powered cars is a direct way to improve our local air quality. The installation of charging stations at public buildings supports both fleet and state employee personal use of electric vehicles and is an attractive value added service at your building.

  • Drive Electric Minnesota is an organization dedicated to encouraging the deployment of EVs and the establishment of EV charging infrastructure through public-private partnerships, financial incentives, education, technical support and public policy.
  • Read more about the benefits of installing electric vehicle charging stations here: This site also includes useful tools to help you get started, including a power and energy calculator that estimates and calculates the power and energy needs and identify which charging system would work best for the building.
  • Charging stations are available from the following vendors:

Management (practices that protect health, conserve natural resources)

Lease provision

Landlord shall use its best efforts to employ practices that protect occupants’ health and ensure conservation of natural resources, including but not limited to recycling of recyclable materials, in the operation and maintenance of the Building and the Leased Premises utilizing low VOC-emitting materials and carpet backing material that is free of PVC.

Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns. Using low-emitting materials can improve the indoor air quality in the building.

Carpet backing that contains PVC is not recyclable. Since carpet backing can be difficult to remove from the carpet or carpet tile, specifying carpet backing that is free of PVC increases the recyclability of the carpet.


Utility reporting

Lease provision: Annual reporting

Annually, upon request by Tenant, Landlord shall authorize the applicable utility providers to provide utility usage for any or all of the utilities, electricity, gas, sewer and water, during the timeframe and format as specified by Tenant.

State agencies need utility data to measure the impacts of energy and water conservation behaviors in their buildings. Landlords can assist tenants with gathering this information by authorizing the utility providers to share the data with the tenant annually.

Depending on the utility provider, you may be asked to complete a utility release form, authorizing the provider to share data with the tenant. View Xcel Energy’s standard release form.

Heating and cooling

Lease provision: Heating and cooling

Landlord warrants that the Leased Premises are served by heating and cooling facilities of a design capacity sufficient to maintain the Leased Premises within the acceptable range of temperature identified below under all but the most extreme weather conditions, assuming optimal use by Tenant of all thermostats and other climate control devices, such as shutting off computers, opening or closing of blinds, doors and vents within the Leased Premises. Landlord shall provide Tenant with written instructions defining said optimal use. For purposes hereof, the acceptable ranges of temperature for office space are as follows: a. From October 1 through April 30, between 70.5 degrees and 74.5 degrees. Temperature settings must be lowered to 60°F to 62°F during non-working hours. b. From May 1 through September 30, between 72.0 degrees and 76.0 degrees. Temperature settings will be increased to 85°F during non-working hours.

Using less energy and water is the easiest way to conserve natural resources for future needs and to save money on building operations.

Sustainable Building Guidelines

Lease provision: Sustainable building guidelines

Landlord agrees, when feasible, to follow the sustainable building guidelines ( for maintenance and improvements to the Leased Premises. Feasibility shall be determined by Landlord, in its sole discretion, and consider such factors as long term costs and benefits over the term of the Lease, performance, aesthetics, material/labor availability and impact on Building valuation.

Required for all new building projects and major renovations that receive state bond fund proceeds, the B3 State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines offer an excellent source of sustainability best practices for building maintenance and improvements. In particular, helpful guidance for leased premises is provided on these topics that are not otherwise specified in the Green Lease: E.3 Efficient Equipment and Appliances, I.2 Specify Low-Emitting Materials, M.2 Environmentally Preferable Materials, S.3 Soil Management, S.5 Light Pollution Reduction, S.11 Heat Island Reduction, and S.12 Transportation Impacts Reduction.


Lease provision: Recycling Services.

(i) Pursuant to Minn. Stat. §16B.24, subd. 6(d), Landlord shall provide space for recyclable materials.

(ii) Pursuant to Minn. Stat. §115A.151, subd. (a)(1), Landlord shall, at its expense, provide recycling services to collect at least three recyclable materials, such as, but not limited to, paper, glass, plastics and metal, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Provide all recycling containers, either individual containers at each workstation/office and/or centralized containers throughout the Leased Premises; and

(b) Empty the recycling containers at a centralized recycling station for pickup by the recycler and return of the recycling containers to the Leased Premises.

(c) If there is a facility within 50 miles of the Leased Premises and an available hauler, Landlord must provide containers at a central location for collection of organics for pickup by the hauler.

(iii) Annual Reporting Annually, upon request by Tenant, Landlord shall authorize the applicable recyclers to provide solid waste, recycling and composting disposal amounts, during the timeframe and format as specified by Tenant.

Recycling and composting help conserve resources by more efficiently using items that would otherwise be thrown away. All public entities, including state agencies, are required to recycle a minimum of three materials under the state’s Waste Management Act. State agencies are also are expected to meet or exceed a 60% recycling rate on an annual basis. To ensure this goal is met agencies must track recycling and solid waste data.

Agencies in areas with access to organics collection may also benefit from participating in an organics recycling program. Organic materials (e.g. food, napkins, paper towels) account for a significant portion of the waste that is typically thrown away. Using composting and/or food-to-livestock organics recycling programs can help agencies meeting the state’s recycling goals and in many cases may reduce disposal costs.


C&D recycling

Lease provision: Recycling of Non-Hazardous Construction and Demolition Waste Landlord hereby agrees to recycle at least 50% of the non-hazardous construction and demolition waste produced by the remodeling of the Leased Premises or demonstrate that the waste was delivered to a construction and demolition waste recycling facility that maintains a 50% annual recycling rate.

Construction projects frequently result in significant quantities of construction and demolition (C&D) waste. When available deconstruction, instead of demolition, can help ensure building materials can be reused or more easily recycled. Even when deconstruction is not available C&D wastes can be recycled at a high rate provided that a suitable contractor is selected – as such achieving or exceeding a 50% recycling rate of C&D wastes is viable.


Energy and water conservation

Lease provision: Conservation

(i) Energy In the event energy conservation measures are enacted by any State or Federal authority, it is hereby agreed that Landlord shall reduce the quantity of utilities and services as may be specifically required by such governmental orders or regulations. Utilities, within the meaning of this article, include heat, cooling, electricity, water and all the sources of energy required to provide the service.

(ii) Water Landlord shall ensure that all faucets limit flow rates to 0.5 gallons per minute or .25 gallons per cycle if metered, and install as necessary, at its expense, equipment to facilitate low water flow.

Landlords need to make sure they comply with any State or Federal orders or regulations, including any Governor’s Executive Orders, that specify energy conservation through reductions in heating, cooling, electricity, water and the types of energy sources used to provide those.

Lavatory faucets need to limit water flow to .5 gallons per minute (GPM), or .25 gallons per cycle if they are sensor-controlled (also called “metered”). This can be accomplished by installing faucets manufactured to these flow rates or by simply adding aerators or other accessories that limit flow. An easy way to meet this requirement is to buy EPA WaterSense-labeled faucets and accessories. You can search for specific makes and models at US EPA's Looking for Water–Efficient Products webpage

Water stations

Lease provision: Water Drinking Stations

Landlord shall provide, at its expense, wall mounted filtered drinking station with refillable jug-filler. Landlord shall also be responsible for filter replacement and maintenance and repairs for the drinking stations.

Wall-mounted filtered tap-water drinking stations with jug-fillers and regularly replaced filters are the most environmentally-friendly way to provide drinking water. They allow occupants to use reusable water bottles, eliminating the need for bottled water and reducing about 80-90% of environmental impacts. There are several makes and models on the market. Try searching the internet for terms like “wall-mounted filtered jug-filler”.

Negotiable clauses

Storm water

Lease provision: Storm water

When replacing impervious pavement, Landlord shall, at its expense, improve storm water management on the site to ensure infiltration of a 1.1 inch rainfall using green infrastructure. Landlord shall use its best efforts to prevent run-off of snow and ice removal products to the extent possible by having all contractors or workers applying de-icer attend MPCA Smart Salting level 1 training, receive certification, and keep certification current. Landlord, or its building managers and operators must be MPCA Smart Salting level 2 certified and develop and follow a Snow and Ice Policy.

Stormwater management: Hard surfaces like sidewalks and parking lots cause more water to run off faster than it would from undeveloped land. The Green Lease requires that when any hard surface is replaced that steps be taken so that the site can capture or absorb all the rain from a 1.1 inch rainfall using elements like rain gardens, permeable pavements, tree trenches, or systems like cisterns for collecting and reusing stormwater for watering.

  • Help for planning stormwater management systems can be found at your City, Watershed District, or Watershed Management organization. You can also find information at the Minnesota B3 webpage for stormwater management guidelines.
  • If hiring a consultant or landscape architect to assist you, look for one with expertise in “low impact development” or “green infrastructure for stormwater management”.

Winter salt application

MPCA recommends a low-salt diet for Minnesota lakes and rivers. When winter comes and snow and ice build up on Minnesota roads, parking lots, and sidewalks, one of the most common reactions is to apply salt, which contains chloride, a water pollutant. Salt pollutes. When snow and ice melts, the salt goes with it, washing into our lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater. It takes only one teaspoon of road salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water. Once in the water, there is no way to remove the chloride, and at high concentrations, chloride can harm fish and plant life. Less is more when it comes to applying road salt. Just like a hotter oven doesn’t bake a better cake, more salt doesn’t do a better job of deicing.


Urinal water flow

Lease provision: Urinal Water Flow.

1. Landlord shall use its best efforts to limit maximum flush volume to .5 gallons per flush in urinals.

2. Landlord shall, at its expense, either install new urinals or equipment necessary to limit the maximum flush volume.

Another great way to conserve water is to make sure that any flush urinals use no more than .5 gallons of water per flush. An easy way to do this is to ensure urinals are EPA WaterSense labeled. WaterSense labeled low-flow urinals and toilets perform to the same effectiveness standards as those that use more water.


Green cleaning

Lease provision: Green Cleaning.

Landlord must provide green cleaning plan, including compliance with “right to know” act. The plan must include the following:

1. List of proposed products, supplies and equipment specifications used with their green cleaning plan. The list must include the relevant 3rd party sustainability certification, if applicable, for each product.

2. Landlord and Tenant must approve all products or equipment specification prior to use in the service. If the janitorial service provider wishes to add a new product, supply or equipment to the service at any point during the contract, the janitorial service provider must submit the product, supply or equipment information to the Landlord and Tenant for written approval prior to use.

3. Landlord must insure that the janitorial service provider uses environmentally preferable cleaning equipment.

Over the last several years, green cleaning has become relatively mainstream. Green cleaning products not only perform well, they are also often priced similarly to traditional cleaning products. Many janitorial service providers use green cleaning products in their daily operations or offer a green cleaning program as part of their service offerings. Green cleaning is beneficial to the health of building occupants and facilities staff alike. Since the products are less harsh, they may also be better for building materials such as carpets, floors, and other surfaces.



Lease provision LED Lighting.

Landlord shall conduct an evaluation of an LED retrofit for recessed and florescent lighting inside the Building and parking lots with the results being reviewed with Tenant. For those items where the economic benefit outweighs the costs within a reasonable period of time, Landlord and Tenant will discuss a timeline for retrofit implementation during the Lease Term or any extension thereof.

LED lighting is one of the most energy-efficient lighting options available for buildings. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting. Landlords can save money in product and labor costs by choosing LED lighting for their buildings.