Built environment tool to help with drawing up legal contracts

construction workers

A new tool aims to help those in the property industry – from lawyers to surveyors – to navigate climate-aligned drafting. It helps drafters to find climate clauses and sustainability solutions that can be applied throughout the entire building lifecycle, according to the collaborating partners behind it, UK law firm TLT and The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP).

The interactive tool guides users through their legal contract journey, from Heads of Terms to reporting to clients. It highlights the documents typically used at each stage, points to TCLP contract clauses (freely available on the TCLP website) and highlights other sustainability issues to consider. It suggests climate solutions from pre-planning, planning, funding and construction, through to sale, lease, occupation and reporting to clients, also taking in employment and supply chain/procurement considerations.

The extensive drafting tool will help practitioners to think about the environmental impact of their arrangements and how the law can be leveraged to address decarbonisation and achieve their sustainability goals. For example, by including circular economy drafting for repairs and alterations, they could reduce the embedded carbon in a property; by committing to use electricity from renewable sources, they can reduce their operational emissions.

The project brought a multidisciplinary team of lawyers from across TLT together to work on the tool for TCLP, the world’s largest network of lawyers and business leaders using the power of climate contracting to deliver fast and fair decarbonisation. The initiative recognises the urgent need to decarbonise the built environment – as one of the largest contributors to climate change* – and aims to accelerate sustainable drafting and make this the market standard.

Alexandra Holsgrove Jones, senior knowledge lawyer at TLT, said: “The contract solutions tool is a fantastic resource for everyone in the built environment sector – it aims to encourage decarbonisation and should make it easier for anyone involved in transactions to access innovative and practical drafting and ideas that will improve the sustainability of their projects.

“We look forward to continuing to support the important work done through The Chancery Lane Project, and hope that initiatives like this will accelerate the use of climate-aligned drafting in precedents and commercial agreements, and ultimately effect significant change in the real estate sector.”

Josh van den Dries at TCLP, said: “Decisive, practical action against climate change is critical in the built environment, which generates almost 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions. TCLP publishes a breadth of freely available precedent clauses for use with a variety of sector contracts. This new tool empowers you to quickly identify the content relevant to your client or organisation, offering a range of innovative and creative options to deliver decarbonisation. I encourage all built environment professionals to browse these options, map out which will be most relevant to their needs and start using them in contracts.”

You can join The Chancery Lane Project here.