GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
The science is crystal clear – we are putting extreme pressure on the planet. For decades scientists have been laying out how humanity is driving the three planetary crises: the climate crisis, the biodiversity and nature crisis, and the pollution and waste crisis.
The common thread that runs through these three planetary crises is unsustainable production and consumption. Our relentless extraction of resources from the Earth is having a devastating impact on the natural world, propelling climate change, destroying nature, and raising pollution levels.
To ensure sustainable consumption and production practices necessarily entails to respect the biophysical boundaries of the planet and to reduce current global consumption rates in order to fit with the biophysical capacity to produce ecosystem services and benefits.
To address this, the agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development includes a Goal specifically on ensuring Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns: SDG 12. The Goal consists of 11 targets and 14 indicators, ranging from tracking policies and compliance with international standards; raising awareness and education; to measuring material use, recycling, waste management and clean energy.
SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION IS A KEY DRIVER OF TRANSFORMATION.
Sustainable consumption and production consider the entire life cycle of economic activities, from the extraction of resources, processing these resources into materials and products, the use of these products, and finally their disposal as wastes or emissions.
By doing so, Sustainable consumption and production helps to identify and develop solutions for improving natural resource use that achieve multiple sustainability objectives simultaneously or “win-win” gains that occur when economic, social and environmental aspects are jointly addressed.
Based on systems approach Sustainable consumption and production manages burden shift and delivers an overall net benefit on sustainability. It also helps to link activities across time and scale to provide a long-term perspective on their impacts.
Though it has been included as a separate goal, SCP is an enabler for many other goals and a key approach in delivering on Agenda 2030, through decoupling of economic development from environmental degradation, while improving human well-being.
MONITORING AND IMPLEMENTING THE GOAL
The SDG 12 Hub supports the transformation to sustainable consumption and production practices by offering direct access to transparent official SDG 12 data, impactful tools, guidance and official reporting processes all in one place. For government officials and the UN development system, the SDG 12 Hub is your central location for reporting, tracking progress and implementing the Goal. In 2022, the SDG 12 Hub will launch a capacity building mechanism to support national level implementation of the Goal through effective tools and resources.
At a global level, the One Planet network, an implementation mechanism for SDG 12, is a community of practitioners, policymakers and experts, including governments, businesses, civil society, academia and international organisations, that implements the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production and works towards achieving SDG 12.
The One Planet network raises awareness on sustainable consumption and production, and drives global advocacy to encourage action to transform awareness to action and facilitates multi-stakeholder cooperation. It provides a space for the many different actors from across the world who are working on sustainable consumption and production to come together and share, learn, exchange, collaborate and coordinate our work. Through a systems approach, the One Planet network forms partnerships across stakeholder groups on Food Systems, Public Procurement, Consumer Information, Buildings and Construction, Lifestyles and Education and Tourism.
At a regional level, the Global Opportunities for Sustainable Development Goals (GO4SDGs) initiative aims to accelerate regional solutions for inclusive green economies and sustainable consumption and production by sharing best practices and offering science-based knowledge, policy tools and capacity development opportunities in priority areas to “build back better.” GO4SDGs aims to connect the dots towards decarbonization, resource efficiency and sustainability, integrating the circularity, climate and biodiversity agendas. It builds on existing partnerships, tools and pools of expertise around the world to further strengthen regional and local capacities, particularly for those countries transitioning their economies and societies to become more sustainable and inclusive. The core goal of the GO4SDGs initiative is to implement action and change by supporting: governments to strengthen policy coherence; small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase capacities and access for financing innovation and circularity; and youth to amplify their voices and empower them to embrace sustainable lifestyles.
The SCP Hotspots Analysis Tool (SCP-HAT) is a key tool to identify hotspot areas of unsustainable consumption and production for impactful interventions. The tool analyzes a range of environmental pressures and impacts caused by domestic production. It also shows the environmental consequences of a country’s consumption occurring abroad. Results from SCP-HAT can be used to set national SCP priorities. The tool has national level indicators for over 164 countries and regions; version 2.0 of the tool (online since October 2021) covers 97 economic sectors. The period covered is 1990 to 2018. Its power lies in identifying sectors where critical action is needed to achieve sustainable development.
- 12.1.1 Number of countries developing, adopting or implementing policy instruments aimed at supporting the shift to sustainable consumption and production (Tier II)
- 12.2.1 Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP (Tier II*)
- 12.2.2 Domestic material consumption (DMC) and DMC per capita, per GDP (Tier I)
- 12.3.1(b) Food waste index (Tier II)
- 12.4.1 Number of parties to international multilateral environmental agreements on hazardous waste, and other chemicals that meet their commitments and obligations in transmitting information as required by each relevant agreement (Tier I)
- 12.4.2 (a) Hazardous waste generated per capita; and (b) proportion of hazardous waste treated, by type of treatment (Tier II)
- 12.5.1 National recycling rate, tons of material recycled (Tier II)
- 12.6.1 Number of companies publishing sustainability reports (Tier II)
- 12.7.1 Degree of sustainable public procurement policies and action plan implementation (Tier II)
- 12.c.1 Amount of fossil-fuel subsidies (production and consumption) per unit of GDP (Tier I)