Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

More people globally are expected to join the middle class over the next two decades. These socioeconomic and demographic changes are good for individual prosperity but will increase demand for already constrained natural resources. Societies need to find just and equitable ways to meet individual needs and aspirations within the ecological limits of the planet. Sustainable practices in the production phase of products and services will not provide sufficient responses to meet science-based emissions reduction targets, natural resource constraints or the growing demand for basic needs such as food, water and sanitation, and access to energy. Furthermore, demand for materials will likely outpace efficiency gains in supply chains as well as overwhelm already stretched ecosystem services. Consumption patterns need to be made sustainable, particularly lifestyles in industrialized societies and reduce their ecological footprint to allow for the regeneration of natural resources on which human life and biodiversity depend.
Our planet has provided us with an abundance of natural resources. But we have not utilized them responsibly and currently, consume far beyond what our planet can provide. We must learn how to use and produce in sustainable ways that will reverse the harm that we have inflicted on the planet. Goal 12 aims to stop the harm being done to mankind and use certain measures to improve the existing condition.