GOAL 12 Responsible Consumption and Production
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
SDG 12 calls for action on all fronts: adoption of sustainable practices and sustainability reporting by businesses; promotion of sustainable procurement practices and rationalisation inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies by policy-makers; environmentally-aware lifestyles of consumers; development of new technologies and production and consumption methods by researchers and scientists and others.
SDG 12 envisions sustainable consumption and production, which uses resources efficiently, reduces global food and other waste, disposes safely toxic waste and pollutants.
SDG 12 also highlights the importance of strengthening scientific and technological capacity in developing countries to move to sustainable patterns of consumption and production and developing tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism.
Monitoring SDG 12 in an EU context focuses on progress made in decoupling environmental impacts from economic growth, in decreasing its energy consumption and in tackling waste generation and management.
Education for Sustainable Development Goals
Suggestions for the development of specific sustainability competencies from the action-oriented, transformative educational and learning outcome-oriented guide Education for Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO (2017)
Sugggested learning objectives
Cognitive learning objectives
- The learner understands how individual lifestyle choices influence social, economic and environmental development.
- The learner understands production and consumption patterns and value chains and the interrelatedness of production and consumption (supply and demand, toxics, CO2 emissions, waste generation, health, working conditions, poverty, etc. )
- The learner knows roles, rights and duties of different actors in production and consumption (media and advertising, enterprises, municipalities, legislation, consumers, etc. )
- The learner knows about strategies and practices of sustainable production and consumption.
- The learner understands dilemmas/trade-offs related to and system changes necessary for achieving sustainable consumption and production.
Socio-emotional learning objectives
- The learner is able to communicate the need for sustainable practices in production and consumption.
- The learner is able to encourage others to engage in sustainable practices in consumption and production.
- The learner is able to differentiate between needs and wants and to reflect on their own individual consumer behavior in light of the needs of the natural world, other people, cultures and countries, and future generations.
- The learner is able to envision sustainable lifestyles.
- The learner is able to feel responsible for the environmental and social impacts of their own individual behavior as a producer or consumer.
Behavioral learning objectives
- The learner is able to plan, implement and evaluate consumption-related activities using existing sustainability criteria.
- The learner is able to evaluate, participate in and influence decision-making processes about acquisitions in the public sector.
- The learner is able to promote sustainable production patterns.
- The learner is able take on critically on their role as an active stakeholder in the market.
- The learner is able to challenge cultural and societal orientations in consumption and production.
Advertising, peer-pressure, belonging and identity-creation Production and consumption history, patterns and value chains, and management and use of natural resources (renewables and non-renewables)
Environmental and social impacts of production and consumption
Energy production and consumption (transport, commercial and residential energy use, renewable energies) Food production and consumption (agriculture, food processing, dietary choices and habits, waste generation, deforestation, overconsumption of food and hunger)
Tourism Waste generation and management (prevention, reduction, recycling, reuse)
Sustainable lifestyles and diverse practices of sustainable production and consumption
Labelling systems and certificates for sustainable production and consumption Green economy (cradle-to-cradle, circular economy, green growth, degrowth)
Examples of learning approaches and methods
Calculate and reflect on one’s individual ecological footprint
Analyse different products (e.g. cell phones, computers, clothes) using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
Run a student company producing and selling sustainable products
Perform role plays dealing with different roles in a trading system (producer, advertiser, consumer, waste manager, etc.) Screen short films/documentaries to help learners understand production and consumption patterns (e.g. Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard)
Develop and run a (youth) action project related to production and consumption (e.g. fashion, technology, etc.) Develop an enquiry-based project: “Is sustainability about giving things up?”
Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations
Targets and Indicators of Goal 12