responsible consumption and production

Responsible Consumption and Production: Goal 123 min read

Responsible Consumption and Production is the 12th goal of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Agriculture is the biggest user of water worldwide. And irrigation claims about 70 percent of all freshwater meant for human consumption. However, a good number of the world population still consumes far less to meet even their basic needs daily.

There has also always been the issue of irregular distribution in production and consumption.


How we use and manage natural resources in our closed system and the way we dispose of our wastes cause air, water, and land pollution. In addition, the pollution of water is becoming faster than nature can recycle and purify water in lakes, rivers, and bigger water bodies. Sea animals especially ingest these materials in large quantities and die. Furthermore, air pollution from production has adversely contributed to air pollution and global warming.


Each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced end up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers. Not to mention food that spoils due to poor transportation, harvesting, and processing practices.

More than 1 billion people still do not have access to fresh water. Not to mention other challenges that are associated with responsible consumption and production like abuse and balancing supply with demand.


  • Substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse by 2030.
  • Encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
  • Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
  • Ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature by 2030
  • Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production
  • Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
  • By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • 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


  • Efficient use of natural resources within the range of demand to prevent wastage in the long run
  • Reduce air, water, and soil pollution to the minimum by proper waste collection and disposal
  • Emphasize the use of biodegradable packaging and other disposable materials
  • Fewer paper transactions – from print papers to vouchers, and replacing, where possible, with electronic options etc
  • Help with food security by ensuring to buy and eat only what you need and properly preserving the rest or giving away to prevent food from perishing
  • Additionally, switching to energy efficient light bulbs would save US$120 billion globally in a year
  • Sensitize industries, businesses and consumers to know the importance of responsible consumption and production
  • Similarly, creating more efficient production and supply chains will help with food security and a build resourceful economies


Responsible consumption and production have an impact on Climate, Life on Land, below water and Affordable Clean Energy. The conservative management of natural resources and the way we dispose of all kinds of wastes and pollutants are important. Consumption and production should be balanced. Do not buy more than what you need or can consume. Share if you truly care.

Find detailed information and statistics on the UNDP site.

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