SDG #12: Responsible Consumption and Production


Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

While the last century has shown tremendous economic and social progress all over the world, it has also shown the environmental degradation that endangers every system the planet needs for survival. At this rate, we are polluting and consuming natural resources far faster than nature can keep up with. With the rise in awareness of these issues, policy makers and organizations are taking strides in implementing sustainable practices that improve consumption and production patterns and we are trying to better understand how the cycle of production affects the environment and society. It’s important that we keep trying to understand the supply chain and what interventions have the greatest impact to achieve sustainable consumption and production.

“If the global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost 3 planets will be required to sustain current lifestyles”.- UN

5 Facts and Figures

  • 1.3 billion tons of food gets wasted every year, that’s 1/3 of the food that is produced

  • We would save $120 billion USD a year if everyone switched to energy efficient light bulbs

  • Less than 3% of the Earth’s water is drinkable and 2.5% is frozen in glaciers, which leaves 0.5% of the Earth’s water for all 7.7 billion of us.

  • Households consume 29% of global energy and produce 20% of CO2 emissions

  • Renewable energy accounted for 17.5% of total energy consumption in 2015.

5 Goals

  • Reduce the amount of global food wasted per capita by half

  • Finally achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

  • Substantially reduce the amount of waste generated through prevention, reducing, reusing, and recycling

  • Encourage the adoption of sustainable practices by companies, especially large and transnational companies

  • Make changes to economics and policies relating to fossil-fuels that encourage wasteful consumption. We can do this by restructuring taxation and phasing out harmful subsidies to reflect their environmental impacts.

5 Ways to Help

  • Reduce the amount of food waste you produce by only buying what you need and freezing food you know you won’t eat before it expires

  • Make the switch to energy efficient light bulbs, turning off lights when you leave the room, and unplugging chargers when not in use

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle

  • Buy clothes that will last you a long time, donate clothes you don’t want or wear, and shop at sustainable clothing companies

  • Support companies and organizations that prioritize sustainable practices to show decision makers that it is important for consumers


Data and inforgraphic by UN

Data and inforgraphic by UN

Fashion in Sustainability

The fashion industry is a huge player in the sustainable consumption and production movement. With the textile industry being the second largest polluter of clean water, the first being agriculture, it’s important that more companies start to recognize the importance identifying “hot spots” in the supply chain to figure out where interventions would have the greatest impact. But it’s not just environmental impacts. Clothing and textile factories are huge employers of people in developing countries and many of them are treated unfairly. Small wages, poor conditions, and strenuous work are just a few the problems factory workers endure. But if you buy from sustainable, local businesses that use fair trade practices, transnational companies will feel the pressure to adopt sustainable practices.

Photo by UNDP

Photo by UNDP

FFC and Responsible Production

Fashion for Conservation was founded by three women with the goal of saving the world from the environmental effects of fast fashion. Artesanías is a FCC and Hoja Nueva sponsored program that allows indigenous artisan craftswomen be financial independent by building a sustainable future for their families while preserving and respecting their ancient traditions. FFC operates hand-in-hand with Hoja Nueva and artisans in Madre De Dios to design community engagement strategies and grow small scale artisan businesses. Exceeding the benefits of feminine empowerment, cultural preservation, poverty eradication and local economic growth, the FFC Artesanias project has a profound environmental impact. By supporting women in the creation of unique clothing, purses, jewelry and more, buyers are providing them with economic opportunities that allow communities to be less dependent on industries such as logging, mining, and intensive farming. These industries threaten both sacred land on which these indigenous communities have lived and protected for generations as well as precious Amazonian rainforest habitat, thus impacting global ecosystem balance. Timing is crucial in order to provide these communities not only with local economic alternatives, but also finances to protect themselves from outside pressures of others wanting to take or invade their land for such industrial activities.

Learn More

You can learn more about SDG 12 here.

Photos by UN and UNDP