Goal 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption

Reducing our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume our natural resources is crucial for sustainable growth. “The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s finite natural resources.” It is incumbent upon our society to promote resource and energy efficiency, provide access to basic services, decent jobs, sustainable infrastructure, a better equality of life and to reduce poverty. Sustainable consumption is a global issue. Please join the awareness initiative and visit the UN on sustainable production and consumption to learn more about promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns. Join the community. Make sustainable consumption your resolve.


In 2010, UNDP and UN Habitat launched the Waste for Wealth project, which initially trained 37 Malawi women in how to make compost manure from waste products. An organic replacement for fertilizer, the manure enables crops to grow faster and better. The project provides the women an opportunity to support their families and teaches them specialized skills. By learning hygienic methods of treating garbage, the women can earn a living and the residential areas of their community are much cleaner. The project has trained 158 waste entrepreneurs. The incidents of water borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery have been reduced, partly due to efforts of the Malawi to clear locations of garbage.


The challenge becomes more urgent as the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. It is estimated that the natural resource consumption will triple by 2050.

UN Facts on Water:

  • Less than 3 per cent of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable), of which 2.5 per cent is frozen in the Antarctica, Arctic and glaciers. Humanity must therefore rely on 0.5 per cent for all of man’s ecosystems and fresh water needs.
  • Man is polluting water faster than nature can recycle and purify water in rivers and lakes.
  • More than 1 billion people still do not have access to fresh water.
  • Water is free from nature but the infrastructure needed to deliver it is expensive.

UN Facts on Food:

  • 3 billion tons of food is wasted every year while almost 1 billion people go undernourished and another 1 billion hungry.
  • Overconsumption of food is detrimental to our health and the environment.
  • 5 billion people globally are overweight or obese.

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