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Let’s face it. The world is in pretty bad shape.

Poverty, unemployment, and global consumption of resources are at an all-time high. Also, economic inequalities aren’t going anywhere as the gap between rich and poor widen quickly.

Solving these problems on a global scale requires the collaborative efforts of all nations. Hence, the United Nations released its sustainability development goals (SDGs) in 2015. These are the goals against which the effectiveness of economic, social, and diplomatic efforts are measured.

Of the 17 that make up the whole list of SDGs, SDG-12 is the one that addresses how we consume resources. SDG-12 covers responsible consumption and production.

The Need For SDG-12

Food and water can either be abundant or dangerously scarce. It all depends on who you ask and where your interlocutor is from. And, this is precisely the problem.

For the longest time, food and water have been unevenly available. In third-world countries, they’re in short supply. But, in highly-developed countries, food and water abound to the point of surplus and waste.

Our problems with sustainability don’t stop there. As we grow more reliant on energy, we leave a permanent carbon footprint. We exhaust energy sources to the point where we may be facing an energy crisis within our lifetimes.

Here are some statistics that’ll concern you:

  • While the Earth is more than 70% water, not even a fifth of this is drinkable. Consider yourself lucky if you have a glass of water now.

  • Obesity rates are rising while at least two billion people starve elsewhere. Are you eating too much or enough?

  • People go hungry in many parts of Asia, Africa, and even the Americas. But, more than a billion dollars worth of food waste makes it to landfills daily. When was the last time you threw food into the bin?

  • Four-fifths of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels. Consider how often you leave your lights on.

The Important Pillars Of SDG-12 At A Glance

SDG-12 aims to reverse or mitigate the effects of excessive consumption.

While there are 11 specific actions, these can be narrowed down to three:

Cut Wood Energy And Food Waste by half by 2030

SDG-12 has the goal of minimizing the amount of food waste by 2030. Its resulting reforms and policies are being implemented at the level of industries and retailers.

Cutting food waste by half at these tiers can curb food waste during the production and distribution process.

As for energy production, SDG-12 aims to encourage more sustainable forms of fuel.

Promote Sustainable Practices

SDG-12 also encourages companies and industries to incorporate sustainability practices into their operations.

To this end, the UN is also encouraging companies to include waste and sustainability practices in their reports.

Help Developing Countries Become More Sustainable

Developing countries will be among the first recipients of technological and scientific support. The support aims to nudge developing countries into more environmentally and economically sustainable practices.

SDG-12’s Ultimate Goal: Global Sustainability

Ultimately, SDG-12 has one goal in mind: sustainability.

Sustainability in consumption and sustainable production are key if we want what’s best for the planet and ourselves.

SDG-12 is a guide for nations and ourselves. The development goal’s pillars can point us in the right direction towards a better future.

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Next: Why Sustainable Development Is Important?

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