Sustainable Development Goal 12

Responsible Consumption and Production

Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption

"Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles."


At the current time, material consumption of natural resources is increasing, particularly within Eastern Asia. Countries are also continuing to address challenges regarding air, water and soil pollution.


Since sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” net welfare gains from economic activities can increase by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole life cycle, while increasing quality of life. There also needs to be significant focus on operating on supply chain, involving everyone from producer to final consumer. This includes educating consumers on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing them with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.


SDG 12 Responsible Consumption

Facts and Figures

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption
  • Less than 3 percent of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable), of which 2.5 percent is frozen in the Antarctica, Arctic and glaciers. Humanity must therefore rely on 0.5 percent for all of man’s ecosystem’s and fresh water needs.
  • If people worldwide switched to energy efficient lightbulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually.
  • 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.
  • Households consume 29 percent of global energy and consequently contribute to 21 percent of resultant CO2 emissions.

Information cited from the UN

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