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Marlow making environmental progress but still far to go

The share of zero-emission electric cars in Marlow increased by half in 2020 and the number of rooftop PV solar installations by two-fifths in 2021, according to the second edition of the Marlow Environmental Performance Index (MEPI), published by Marlow Town Council.

The Index shows Marlow faces big challenges too. Per household consumption of water, gas and electricity in Marlow is higher than the national average, and the average Marlow household has nearly a one-third higher overall climate impact.

The MEPI shows how Marlow households compare with the rest of the country and highlights positive and negative trends and is one of the most detailed sustainability insights published by any town or parish council in the country. It consists of eleven sustainability indicators: those listed above plus average household waste generation and recycling, number of cars owned, emissions intensity of cars registered in Marlow, and level of air pollution in Marlow town centre.

The report is vital to understanding Marlow’s environmental impact so that the Town Council and Marlow’s residents can address the real issues and track progress. The goal of the MEPI is to support the collective effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and to create less waste. The power of the MEPI lies in its insights into behaviours and the data to implement informed sustainable change.

Deputy Mayor Jocelyn Towns, who heads Marlow Town Council’s Environmental Committee, welcomed the new figures. “The Index confirms that we have a lot of work to do as a community. But it also shows that with a collective effort we can make substantial progress”.

The Council is planning to launch a Sustainable Marlow Challenge programme, involving and engaging with residents to make positive lifestyle changes that reduce environmental impacts. “The figures in the Marlow Environmental Performance Index will provide an important factual basis for this programme”, Jocelyn Towns said.