The California Sustainability Alliance yesterday released version 2.0 of its Green Leases Toolkit, an online resource to help tenants and landlords of commercial real estate overcome obstacles to greening their office space.

Among the additions to the toolkit are a list of best practices to assist landlords with the leasing process, along with sample green work letters, marketing materials, and information for tracking and monitoring the efficiency of buildings.

The updated toolkit is a response to growing awareness of the importance of greening commercial real estate: energy consumed by buildings represents as much as 40 percent of the total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of the United States.

"We see many more tenants actively seeking green space, and most new commercial buildings are being designed to very high standards," explained Sean Ivery of Navigant Consulting, the group responsible for administering the California Sustainability Alliance. "Our clients are very interested in greening their leased space but face considerable barriers. The Toolkit provides practical advice and tools designed to help tenants and landlords develop and implement technologies and policies that support sustainable office environments.?

As of the release date of the updated toolkit, just 13 percent of California's commercial office space is certified green, the Alliance said. The toolkit aims to provide a framework for landlords and tenants to work together to reduce the footprint of their facilities while also saving on costs and improving productivity.

The Green Leases Toolkit is available online at http://sustainca.org/green_leases_toolkit.

Buildings photos CC-licensed by Flickr user OiMax.