What Is SDG 12?

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 — also known as SDG 12 —ensures sustainable consumption and production patterns, which is key to sustaining the livelihoods of current and future generations. This post only focuses on goal 12. To learn about the other SDGs, click here.

What is SDG 12?

SDG 12 encourages sustainable consumption and production patterns. Research proves that the current unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are the root causes of the triple planetary crises. The triple planetary crises are climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Read more, here.

As part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, read this overview of how goal 12 includes and seeks to support those who are disabled.

Why is SDG 12 important?

Decent work and economic growth are important for many reasons.

  1. Improvement in resource efficiency.
  2. Consideration of the entire life cycle of economic activities.
  3. Active engagement in multilateral environmental agreements

The three major points outlined above are important because it champions global progress and aims to support and elevate each country and region, allowing everyone to live more supported lives across current and future generations.

  • Food that ends up in landfills generates 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In 2019, the amount of e-waste generated globally was 7.3 kilograms per capita, out of which only 1.7 kilograms were managed in an environmentally sound way.

How does goal 12 work and measure success?

SDG 12 is broken down into eleven targets as a way to pace and work towards achieving this goal. The UN official graphics are included below and typed out below the image block.

The goal 12 targets

Target 12.1 implement the 10-year sustainable consumption and production framework.

Target 12.2 sustainable management and use of natural resources.

Target 12.3 halve global per capita food waste.

Target 12.4 responsible management of chemicals and waste.

Target 12.5 substantially reduce waste generation.

Target 12.6 encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and sustainable reporting.

Target 12.7 promote sustainable public procurement practices.

Target 12.8 promote universal understanding of sustainable lifestyles.

Target 12.A support developing countries’ scientific and technological capacity for sustainable consumption and production.

Target 12.B develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable tourism.

Target 12.C remove market distortions that encourage wasteful consumption.

Read how the Sustainable Business Guide commits to SDG 12, here.


The United Nations. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Available at: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/economic-growth/ (Accessed: 6 June 2023)

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