SDG #12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

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It can be argued that at the core of all issues, lie the consumers. Money makes the world go around and thus we vote with our money. However, not all responsibility lies with the consumer, as corporations also carry the responsibility of turning their production around and becoming green. It can be perfectly summarized in a not-so-fun fact: about one third of all food produced ends up rotting away, either due to the consumer wasting food, retailers throwing perfectly edible food away or even due to poor harvesting practices.

 

There are eight targets:

  • Implement the 10-year framework 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
  • Achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources 
  • Halve the per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
  • 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
  • Substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
  • Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
  • Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance to national policies and priorities
  • Ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

 

What does it mean and what can we do?

As this goal targets a very broad and complex issue, it makes sure to maximize impact by spreading the effort both through the member states as well as their populations. They do this by targeting legislation but also making sure to include that all consumers should have access to the correct information. It also briefly mentions corporate responsibility, but at the core identifies the states and their policies as the key to solve the issue. 

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