The environment covers energy, water, materials use, air, the quality of our land for recreation and wildlife, and our changing climate.
The way we integrate environment into activity that will deliver long term economic, social and environmental improvements is called sustainability. In the West Midlands we call this clean, inclusive and resilient economic growth.
We measure the state of the environment as part of our annual 'State of the Region' report and our sustainability indicators report. For example:
- The WMCA area has made better than average progress at reducing its overall carbon emissions since 2010, but remains the region that emits more carbon than any other. This is because we are the largest Combined Authority area and the centre of the UK motorway network and manufacturing.
- In 2017 the region showed the biggest improvement in daily air quality standards since 2010. Although the region is still one of the poorest performers compared to other Combined Authorities and there are local ‘hotspots’ that need to be tackled.
- In 2015 over 12% of households in the region were in fuel poverty. This is worse than the average across all Combined Authorities, but the gap is beginning to narrow.
- Despite much of the WMCA area benefiting from a high quality environment around the urban areas, overall the region has one of the lowest percentage of designated of sites in positive conservation management and local access to green space such as woodland.
- Recycling rates for commercial and domestic waste are less than average compared to other Combined Authority areas and are also declining over time.