Friday, March 30, 2007

Bristol still not annually calculating its ecological footprint

1 comment:
Graeme Bell makes a great comparison between his personal experience of the low litter levels in other European countries and how litter-strewn and grubby much of Bristol has become ('Litter', Bristol Evening Post letters, March 28). He uses European cities as a benchmark against which to assess Bristol's aim to be the UK's 'green capital'.

This is one perfectly legitimate way of judging progress and it currently finds that Bristol is sorely lacking (which is no surprise). When one looks at the details of the city council-led 'green city' initiative its hard to find concrete details of how everyone is supposed to be judging how 'green' we are, or more likely aren't, on an overall basis.

The city collects all sorts of data, including a set of quality of life indicators, but the yawning gap is that it has not annually assessed its ecological footprint, perhaps the best overall single indicator of how green or not we are. There is currently only limited footprint data available for Bristol and the council it seems still has no plans to publish a yearly figure so that we can all clearly see any progress made.

If this initiative is to be credible the city must sort this situation out and publish the city footprint, as measured by an agreed standard process, at regular intervals. It could also research a list of Eurpean cities that we could compare ourselves with.