Marks & Spencer is to unveil a new property lease policy which will come with a “green clause” to facilitate better management of the environmental performance of its buildings.

The retailer has reached an agreement with members of the Better Building Partnership, which includes major retail landlords, to retro-fit green clauses to the leases of its existing stores

The collaboration, which M&S claims is the first of its kind on this scale in the UK, will add retro-fit agreements to 70 sites including Meadowhall in Sheffield, Brent Cross in London and Silverburn in Glasgow. 

The green clauses, whether in new leases or retro-fit agreements, will facilitate the sharing of waste information and data such as gas, electricity and water usage in M&S occupied buildings to encourage both landlord and tenant to make significant carbon reductions.

The move is part of M&S’ eco programme Plan A, in which it has committed to reducing energy usage by 35% by 2015 across its stores, offices and warehouses. Since the target was set in 2007 it has already achieved a 28% reduction.

M&S director of property Clem Constantine said: “Unfortunately, big carbon reductions from the UK’s building stock cannot come only from new stores. 70%of current commercial buildings will still exist in 2050, so if we are genuinely going to tackle the problem we have to invest in eco solutions for existing buildings. 

“Currently it can be difficult for landlords and tenants to work together when it comes to a building’s environmental performance, particularly for older leases. There’s often no real structure for measurement, incentives or sharing of goals. Green leasing changes this situation as it provides the framework within which both can work together.”