Global consumption and production, a driving force of the global economy, are based on the use of the environment and natural resources in a way that continues to have a destructive impact on the planet. Sustainable Development Goal 12 aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. SDG 12 seeks to promote energy and resource efficiency, sustainable infrastructure and provide access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps achieve general development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.
Sustainable consumption and production aim to do more and better with less, increase the net welfare benefits derived from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution throughout the life cycle and, at the same time, increasing quality of life. Responsible consumption and production are fundamental to sustainable development. Until now, economic growth has been deeply related to unsustainable outcomes, such as the degradation of natural capital, the advance of climate change and violations of human rights. For example, unsustainable consumption and production, to varying degrees around the world, have led to increased greenhouse gas emissions, contributed to severe air pollution, decreased agricultural productivity, jeopardized livelihoods and social cohesion, and increased water scarcity.
The production of waste has led to the emergence of landfills with large methane emissions and negative health impacts, as well as serious plastic pollution in the world's oceans. Food production and consumption are also one of the main causes of biodiversity loss due to habitat degradation, overexploitation of fish, pollution and soil loss. Helping developing countries strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns. Global consumption of materials has expanded rapidly, as has the per capita material footprint, seriously jeopardizing the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 12 and the Goals in general.
Urgent measures are needed to ensure that current material needs do not lead to overextraction of resources or the degradation of environmental resources, and must include policies that improve resource efficiency, reduce waste and incorporate sustainability practices in all sectors of the economy. As suppliers of most products and services, companies have an important role and responsibility to make their use as sustainable as possible and to provide reliable information on their sustainability to buyers. The pandemic offers countries an opportunity to develop a recovery plan that will reverse current trends and change consumption and production patterns towards a sustainable future. SDG 12 on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and the implementation of the SCP and the circular economy by UNEP are fully aligned.
Implement the 10-year framework of programs on sustainable consumption and production patterns, taking action by all countries and taking the initiative by developed countries, taking into account the development and capacities of developing countries. The decoupling of resources and the decoupling of impact are necessary to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns and to make the transition to a greener and more socially inclusive global economy. To what extent (i) education for global citizenship and ii) education for sustainable development are incorporated into: a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher training; and (d) student evaluation. Leading companies can also take steps to close resource circuits throughout the supply chain or switch to sustainable supply chains.
Sustainable production will result in less pollution of land and water, taking into account environmental impacts that lead to a reduction in deforestation and loss of biodiversity (Objectives 14 and 1). One of the greatest global challenges is to integrate environmental sustainability with economic growth and well-being, decoupling environmental degradation from economic growth and doing more with less. Leading companies have room to develop comprehensive tools to track and report on the sustainability of operations from start to finish, including impacts on communities surrounding business activities, including through the development of replicable digital tools and processes for inclusive participation and collaboration of stakeholders. Develop and implement tools to monitor the impacts of sustainable tourism on sustainable development that create jobs and promote local culture and products.