SDG 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
The twelfth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)

Responsible Consumption & Production

Aims to “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”.

Let's learn a little more about SDG 12.

  • Targets 11 Targets
  • Campaigns 10 Campaigns
  • Pledges 9030 Pledges
  • Actions Uploaded 9488 Actions Taken
  • Reading Material 20 Reading Material
  • Quiz 6 Quiz
  • Overview
  • Facts & Figures
  • Targets

Why Is It Important To Ensure Sustainable Consumption & Production Patterns?

With the global production and consumption of goods and services relying primarily on the use of natural resources, the industrial progress over the last century has been strongly accompanied by destructive effects on the biosphere. SDG 12 deals with de-linking economic growth and environmental degradation, doing more with less, increasing resource efficiency and promoting sustainable lifestyles. The response to the challenge of decoupling economic growth and environmental degradation needs to be rooted in enabling humanity to realise the preciousness of the natural environment

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda shares: “Humanity can no longer sustain a civilisation based on mass production and mass consumption. There is not an unlimited supply of natural resources at our disposal. Unless we change our way of thinking, the human race is going to reach an impasse. In this regard, I have stressed the need for people to take note of the life-philosophy of Buddhism that teaches the harmonious coexistence of humankind and nature” (The New Human Revolution, Vol. 20 – A novel by President Ikeda)


Earth Overshoot Day, an initiative which marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological reso...

Earth Overshoot Day, an initiative which marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year, estimates that humanity is presently using nature 1.8 times faster than our planet’s biocapacity can regenerate.

According to the latest projections, the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050. The equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles. 

Achieving SDG 12 depends on simple actions on a day to day basis by both producers and consumers, which can result in responsible consumption and production practices. For example, reducing food loss and waste can contribute to environmental sustainability by resulting in lower production costs and increased efficiency of food systems. 

Producers/Businesses’ benefit by finding new solutions enabling sustainable consumption and production patterns, through better understanding of environmental and social impacts of products and services, product life cycles and how these are affected by use within lifestyles. They can also help in identifying critical areas of the value chain and intervene in such areas to massively improve the environmental and social impact of the system as a whole. Innovation and design solutions can also result in inspiring individuals to lead more sustainable lifestyles.

Consumers can help by reducing waste and being thoughtful about purchasing, making informed purchase...

Consumers can help by reducing waste and being thoughtful about purchasing, making informed purchases, purchasing locally and choosing a sustainable option whenever possible. They can also ensure not throwing away food, and reducing plastic consumption. Some other daily acts include carrying a reusable bag, refusing to use plastic straws, and recycling/reusing plastic bottles.


How Can I As An Individual Apply Sustainable Human Behaviour To Achieve These Targets For SDG 12 To Help Achieve The Goal Of Responsible Consumption & Production?

  • One of the key steps towards improving resource efficiency and reducing waste is transitioning from the current focus on a linear economy to a circular economy
  • Use degradable waste generated from homes towards other purposes. Eg: As a manure for home plants. 
  • Ensure you don’t throw away food and reduce your consumption of plastic—one of the main pollutants of the ocean. 
  • Cook only such quantities as required and share any leftovers with those who require the most.
  • Buy things only when required and only as much as is sufficient for our use.
  • Carrying a reusable bag, refusing to use plastic straws, and recycling plastic bottles are good ways to do our part every day. 
  • Making informed purchases also helps. Buying from sustainable and local sources can help make a difference as well as exercising pressure on businesses to adopt sustainable practices.
  • Switch off lights and electrical appliances immediately after use to save electricity.
  • Turn off taps to save water.
  • Reduce use of personal vehicles and instead use public transport or carpooling or walking to reduce fuel usage.

Did You Know These Facts About SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption & Production?

  • 8.5 Billion

    According to latest projections, the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050. The equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.

  • 93%

    93 percent of the world’s 250 largest companies are now reporting on sustainability.

  • 3%

    Less than 3 percent of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable), of which 2.5 percent is frozen in Antarctica, the Arctic and glaciers. Humanity must therefore rely on 0.5 percent for all of man’s ecosystems and freshwater needs.

  • 1 Billion

    More than 1 billion people still do not have access to fresh water.

  • 1%

    Water use has been increasing worldwide by about 1 percent per year since the 1980s.

  • 69%

    Agriculture (including irrigation, livestock and aquaculture) is by far the largest water consumer, accounting for 69 percent of annual water withdrawals globally. Industry (including power generation) accounts for 19per cent and households for 12per cent.

  • 2 Billion

    Over 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress.

  • 43%

    Over the period 1995–2015, floods accounted for 43 percent of all documented natural disasters, affecting 2.3 billion people, killing 157,000 more and causing US$662 billion in damage.

  • 3 out

    Three out of ten people (2.1 billion people, or 29 percent of the global population) did not use a safely managed drinking water service4 in 2015, whereas 844 million people still lacked even a basic drinking water service.

  • $120 Billion

    If people worldwide switched to energy efficient light bulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually.

  • 35%

    Despite technological advances that have promoted energy efficiency gains, energy use in OECD countries will continue to grow another 35 percent by 2020. Commercial and residential energy use is the second most rapidly growing area of global energy use after transport.

  • 32%

    In 2002 the motor vehicle stock in OECD countries was 550 million vehicles (75 percent of which were personal cars). A 32 per cent increase in vehicle ownership is expected by 2020. At the same time, motor vehicle kilometers are projected to increase by 40 per cent and global air travel is projected to triple in the same period.

  • 29%

    Households consume 29 percent of global energy and consequently contribute to 21 percent of resultant CO2 emissions.

  • 17.5%

    The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption has reached 17.5 percent in 2015.

  • 89%

    The global electrification rate reached 89 percent in 2017 (from 83 percent in 2010), still leaving about 840 million people without access.

  • 0.5%

    Between 2010 and 2017, the percentage of the population relying on clean cooking solutions grew by an annual average of 0.5 percentage points.

  • 840 Million

    The global population without access to electricity fell from 1.2 billion in 2010 to 840 million in 2017.

  • 1/3

    Each year, an estimated 1/3 of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tons worth around $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.

  • 38 Million

    38 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2019.

  • 30%

    The food sector accounts for around 30 percent of the world’s total energy consumption and accounts for around 22 percent of total Greenhouse Gas emissions.

  • 1 Million

    Around the world 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute.

  • 5 Trillion

    Globally 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are thrown away every year.

  • 1.7kg

    In 2019 each person generated about 7.3 kg of electronic waste but only 1.7 kg was recycled.

  • 92 Billion

    The global material footprint is an indicator of the pres­sure put on the environ­ment to support economic growth and to satisfy the material needs of people and refers to the total amount of raw materials extracted to meet final consumption demands. The global material footprint rose from 43 billion metric tons in 1990 to 54 billion in 2000, and 92 billion in 2017 - an increase of 70 per cent since 2000, and 113 per cent since 1990. The rate of natural resource extraction has accelerated since 2000.

Targets For SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption & Production Set By The United Nations

  • Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries.

    Target 12.1
  • By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

    Target 12.2
  • By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.

    Target 12.3
  • By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

    Target 12.4
  • By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

    Target 12.5
  • Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.

    Target 12.6
  • Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

    Target 12.7
  • By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.

    Target 12.8
  • Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

    Target 12.A
  • Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.

    Target 12.B
  • Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities.

    Target 12.C

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