Green Invades Leased Spaces in Massachusetts

In a step to expand the Massachusetts energy efficiency goals, Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) officials announced on April 1 green guidelines to encourage environmentally friendly office space lease agreements for the department's public sector offices.

The new Green Lease guidelines require landlords submitting proposals for MassDEP offices to equip the premises with energy management systems, meet water conservation standards for all new plumbing fixtures, and provide bicycle commuting facilities at their building, among other green measures. Six pages of environmentally friendly initiatives like these are included in MassDEP office leasing documents to encourage green proposals, contracts, and agreements between the state and office building landlords.

A request for proposals (RFP) using these guidelines is now under way as MassDEP seeks new lease agreements for its central headquarters in Boston, and a regional office in Worcester.

"Businesses want to do the right thing—the green thing—to reduce their carbon footprint," said MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt. "By promoting the use of this unique Green Lease model, MassDEP is paving the way for other state agencies and local businesses that want to bring environmental sustainability to their commercial leasing options."

The sustainable and green business practices requested in the RFPs include:

  • Installation of Energy Management Systems for both lighting and mechanical equipment within the leased premises;
  • Separate metering to allow the agency to monitor and report on its energy usage;
  • Enhanced recycling efforts, including single-stream recycling and adoption of a waste management plan during construction;
  • Use of recycled content during construction of new walls and partitions, and use of low volatile organic compounds in carpet and paint;
  • Water conservation standards for all new plumbing fixtures installed for the lease;
  • Use of green cleaning solutions and practices; and
  • Bicycle commuting facilities for staff, and bicycle racks for visitors.

For a copy of the Green Lease RFP, go to, click on the Solicitation tab and follow the link to Space Leasing.