• Caterina Sullivan

#Goal12: #ResponsibleConsumption and #ResponsibleProduction

Updated: Nov 3, 2018



As a child, when I went to someone’s house for a play-date, I was taught always to return things to where I found them. As an adult, when I visit someone’s house, I leave the house the way I found it.

Pretty standard, right?

Well, why don’t we take the same approach to our planet?

Shouldn’t we be leaving the planet as we found it?

This is one of the foundations of the Global Goals and applies especially to Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Target 12.1 focuses on the implementation of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns. This target highlights the importance of all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries. As Australia is a developed country, it is of upmost importance that Australia leads the way, especially in the context of the Indo-Pacific region.

By 2030, Goal 12 also aims to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. This touches on #Goal7: #AffordableEnergy and #CleanEnergy as we move away from non-renewable energy to sustainable and renewable resources.


Target 12.3 looks to halving per capita global food wastage at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses. According to ‘Lunch a Lot’, 20% of the food purchased by Australian households is discarded. That equates to 4 million tonnes of food each year across the entire country – or $8 billion wasted each year on edible food. That is DOUBLE our current budget for government-funded overseas development assistance. By halving food wastage, we could save around $4 billion per year.

By 2020, Goal 12 aims to achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks. The Global Goals also aim to reduce significantly the release of chemicals to air, water and soil in order to minimise their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

Target 12.5 is an incredibly important target: reduce, reuse and recycle. Australia has an incredibly long way to go in our commitments to recycling. This needs to be addressed on a household level. According to SUEZ Australia, despite 93.1% of Australians having access to kerbside recycling collection services, in 2010, Australians recycled only a mere 30.3% of steel cans and 64.7% of aluminium cans.


The Global Goals require the involvement of not only government and individuals but also companies. Target 12.6 aims to encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle. The Global Goals Australia Campaign works with companies and corporations to advise organisations on how to do this to ensure their company is working towards a sustainable future. This also includes consultation on public procurement practices which are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Target 12.8 relates to #Goal4: #QualityEducation where education on a sustainable future is listed as an important target for the Global Goals. It is vital that people all over Australia have relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature. The Global Goals Australia Campaign aims to do this through grassroots advocacy and working with our partner non-government organisations.

To ensure the promotion of responsible consumption and production, Australia must also look beyond its borders to its Indo-Pacific neighbours. This includes supporting developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.


Goal 12 also relates back to #Goal8: #DecentWork and #EconomicGrowth in reference to developing and implementing tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism. The overall aim of this target is to create jobs and promote local culture and products.

Finally, it is important to rationalise inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies which encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions in accordance with national circumstances. This includes restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts. It is also important to take into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimising the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner which protects the poor and the affected communities.

If Australia’s commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling sounds like something with which you would like to become involved, check out “Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production” and head over to our “What Can I Do?” page to see how you can become part of the solution with the Global Goals Australia Campaign!

This article was originally published on the Global Goals Australia Campaign website.

#globalgoals #goal12 #responsibleconsumption #responsibleproduction

Authorised by Caterina Sullivan (2018)

PO Box 6157

O'CONNOR ACT 2602

Australia