An innovative report published by Marlow Town Council has given the clearest picture of local environmental performance for any small town in the UK.
The Marlow Environmental Performance Index uses robust government and utility statistics to show how Marlow and Marlovians are doing on key environmental issues. It also enables trends to be tracked over time.
The Index clarifies Marlow’s performance on some of the biggest environmental issues, including climate change, resource consumption, waste management, and air pollution.
The Council’s main reason for commissioning the Index was to increase local awareness. Council Leader Jocelyn Towns said: “This is an invaluable educational tool, the contents of which we hope will be read widely across the community, by our businesses and in our schools.”
She added: “Residents will be able to use the Index to benchmark their own environmental performance, and we hope improve it over time. It will also be crucial in informing the Council’s own sustainability strategy.”
The Index features ten indicators. These show that Marlow is in some ways a centre of environmentally responsible behaviours.
Most positively, Marlow is fast becoming a national leader in its take-up of low-carbon electric vehicles. In 2019 the local share of “ultra-low emission vehicles” among all cars registered tripled to reach a level four times higher than the average across Great Britain.
On the other hand, the Index also shows that Marlow households consume more resources than the national average. For example, average consumption of electricity and gas are two-fifths higher than across England.
The average Marlow household also owns more cars than the national average and produces higher levels of carbon dioxide, so contributing more to climate change.
Jocelyn Towns commented: “Overall the Index reveals some big sustainability challenges facing Marlow. However, the Council is proud to be blazing a trail for environmental transparency. Only through better understanding can we reach a greener future.”
The Marlow Environmental Performance Index is available online here: https://www.marlow-tc.gov.uk/environment/