Combined Authority Sustainability Benchmarking Technical Report – analysis of metrics 2018

Date of the resource

May 2018

Author of the resource


Purpose of the resource

Sustainability West Midlands (SWM) is the sustainability delivery partner for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). This report is part of an ongoing support programme to help the WMCA integrate sustainability within its strategy and operations, drawing on good local and national practice.

This report provides an overview and analysis of the data used to underpin sustainability performance and monitoring in the WMCA area and how these compare to the eight other CAs areas in England. It follows the first iteration published a year ago.

Key findings

Environment Progress

  • The WMCA has made better than average progress at reducing its overall and per capita emissions in the years 2010 to 2015 but remains the CA region that emits more carbon than any other.
  • The West Midlands breached air quality standards on more days than in any other CA region bar one in 2017, but showed a reduction by recording less breached days in 2017 than in any other year since 2010.
  • The West Midlands has generated much less electricity from renewables than the CA average, but saw a 17% increase in renewable generation between 2015 and 2016.
  • The West Midlands recycles slightly less of its non-household waste than the CA average and recycling rates in the region are decreasing overall.
  • West Midland household waste recycling rates have generally declined over time and are lower than the CA average.
  • The percentage of sites in positive conservation management has increased in the West Midlands since 2010, but remains low compared to the CA average.
  • The percentage of the population within the West Midlands CA with access to a 2+ hectare wood within 500 metres has increased since 2009, but remains low compared to the CA average.

Social Progress

  • Health inequality is slightly lower in the WMCA than in other CA areas, but remains high overall. The gap between male and female health inequality is low in the WMCA compared to other CA areas.
  • Fuel poverty levels in the West Midlands are worse than the average across all CAs, but the gap is beginning to narrow.

Economic Progress

  • The West Midlands is performing well in economic productivity compared to other CA areas and has a about an average performance per head.

Recommendations to the WMCA include: establishment of more integrated targets, consistency of data and presentation, clear accountability and integrated working, clear annual reporting, resource to drive objectives and reporting of metrics into the WMCA and partners project systems and more action required on air quality, health inequality, fuel poverty, natural environment and recycling.

Links and contact information

Please contact SWM on 0121 237 5890 or at for more information.


WMCA Sustainability Metrics Report Final May 2018