Marlow Town Council has shown its commitment to tackling climate change by publishing a first detailed audit of its own greenhouse gas emissions.
The audit is one of the most comprehensive carried out by a parish level council in the UK.
It counts all the emissions produced directly by Marlow Town Council. It also includes emissions from contractors employed by the Council, services that the Council pays for but doesn’t manage, and even products purchased by the Council.
The audit finds that in financial year 2019/20 the Council’s total greenhouse gas emissions were just over 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent. By comparison, Buckinghamshire Council recently reported its annual emissions at 9,000 tonnes per year, which reflects the difference in size.
However, the audit is no less important for that, according to Council Leader Jocelyn Towns. She said: “We recognise the need for every organisation to take responsibility for its own emissions. This audit tells us for the first time and in detail about where our emissions come from. This in turn gives us the starting place to make reductions.”
The audit reveals that five Council activities contribute between them nearly 90% of emissions. Marlow’s town bus, which the Council part-funds but does not manage, accounts for just over 30% alone.
It shows that management of the public realm, including grounds maintenance, security patrols and Christmas lights, result in more emissions than either public transport or Council administration.
It also reveals that all kinds of transport, including staff commuting, contractor vehicles and the town bus, account for nearly half of all emissions.
The Marlow Town Council carbon footprint study 2019/20 is available here: https://www.marlow-tc.gov.uk/climate-change/