Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.

Anthropocene – the geological age in which humanity has the dominant influence on climate and the environment – is here. Given humanity’s unique ability to influence Earth’s natural processes, and the fact that material consumption of natural resources is increasing, particularly within Eastern Asia, sustainable consumption and production need to be integrated into national and sectoral plans, sustainable business practices and consumer behavior.

Sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” and net welfare gains from economic activities can increase by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution while increasing quality of life. In order to achieve this, supply chains need to involve all stakeholders – from producer to final consumer – in establishing practices that preserve natural resources, reduce pollution and waste and educating consumers on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing them with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement.

Eco-Efficiency & Resource Decoupling

Decoupling economic growth from natural resource use is fundamental to sustainable development. Global figures, however, point to worsening trends: domestic material consumption (the total amount of natural resources used in economic processes) increased from 1.2 kg to 1.3 kg per unit of GDP from 2000 to 2010. Total domestic material consumption also rose during the same period — from 48.7 billion tons to 71.0 billion tons. The increase is due in part to rising natural resource use worldwide, in particular in Eastern Asia.

Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Countries continue to address challenges linked to air, soil and water pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals under the auspices of multilateral environmental agreements. Almost all States Members of the United Nations are party to at least one of those conventions. Under the convention’s obligations, countries are requested to regularly report data and information related to hazardous wastes, persistent organic pollutants and ozone depleting substances.

However, from 2010 to 2014, only 57 per cent of the parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 71 per cent of the parties to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and 51 per cent of the parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants provided the requested data and information. All parties reported to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.


Harmonizing Our Sustainability Efforts

Focusing only on economic growth costs us more than we can gain, causing tragic consequences to society and the environment. War, famine, joblessness, natural and man-made disasters compound this trajectory. We can improve economic growth while preserving our lives and protecting the planet. We can harmonize our economic, social and environmental progress to develop sustainably.

Earth Overshoot From Consumption

Each year one third of the food we produce is wasted in the bins of retailers or consumers, or during transportation and storage. Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050 and we continue with current lifestyles, society would need natural resources from three planets like the Earth to fulfill our needs.

Information Technologies For Resource Management

Information and communication technologies accelerate progress towards each SDG. Connected home systems allow the optimization of energy and water consumption, leading to overall improved resource management.


Global socioeconomic and demographic changes will see more people join the middle class around the world, increasing demand for the resources that are already in short supply. Businesses must incorporate sustainable practices throughout their supply chains in order to work within the ecological limits of the planet, but even this will not provide the relief needed to meet science-based emissions reduction target or the growing demand for food, water and energy. As such, firms must help to shape the consumption patterns of the consumer and encourage more sustainable lifestyles – particularly those in industrialized areas – to reduce the ecological footprint from both the production and consumer.

Businesses need to find new solutions that will ensure this happens. The private sector needs a better understanding of the environmental and social impacts of products and services, of product life cycles and the impact of each stage in a product’s life.  Interventions into the “hot spots” within a value chain will help improve the impacts of the system as a whole, and businesses should use their innovation and R&D power to design the solutions that inspire individuals and other firms to pursue more a more sustainable future.

GRI, UNGC Release 'Practical Guide' for Companies to Report Their Impact on the SDGs

Many companies already act and report on climate change, water management and labor conditions. This guide can help companies take stock of their current actions and discover additional priorities to contribute to achieving the SDGs (read more).

KPMG: How to Report on the SDGs & Global Goals

4 in 10 of the world’s largest companies already reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their corporate reporting, suggesting that business interest in the SDGs has grown quickly since their launch in September 2015 (read more).

Project Breakthrough: Growing The Businesses of Tomorrow

If we are going to achieve a sustainable future, as outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the role of business will be critical. In fact, if viewed in the right way, achieving the SDGs presents huge market opportunities for businesses (read more).


1) Media Package

  1. Program Photographs & Illustrations (Max. 10 Images)
  2. Detailed Project Description (Max. 500 Words)
  3. Optional: URL/Link to Supporting Video

2) Financial & Strategic

In order to determine financial performance & potential for scalability, please answer the following questions:

  1. Please describe how the SDG business initiative is linked to your company’s core competency/competencies.
  2. Please provide an overview of the business case associated with your SDG business initiative.
  3. Please provide evidence of planned program expansion over the coming quarters and/or fiscal years.

3) Magnetism & Inspiration

How has your business initiative been a source of magnetism and inspiration? Please provide examples of your company’s  influence on each of the following:

  1. Industry Impact
  2. Corporate Culture
  3. Key Stakeholder Groups

SDG #12 - Responsible Consumption & Production - The Global SDG Awards

4) SDG Impact Metrics

What progress has your organization made towards achieving SDG #12? Please select and provide one (or more) supporting metrics to help evaluate your environmental & economic impacts (see below for a list of possible options to select from).

Please describe how has your company has:

  • Increased the availability/abundance of a material or product, while simultaneously reducing the associated environmental impacts. Please provide details regarding: net increase in global/regional production in # of items or %, direct environmental impact metrics gathered from suppliers, or indirect metrics from LCA studies.
  • Reduced food waste resulting from microbiological, chemical, or physical changes (i.e. – post-harvest losses, retail spoilage, consumer waste, etc). Please provide details regarding: the volume/weight of food saved by your company or via your company’s technology.
  • Reduced or achieved zero waste in industrial manufacturing processes, facilities or supply chains. Please provide details regarding: the net reduction in waste to landfill by weight and %, volume/weight saved by others via your company’s technology.
  • Increased the rate of safe treatment for hazardous wastes (i.e. – household or industrial). Please provide details regarding: the net increase in safe hazardous waste treatment by your company, or via your company’s technology.
  • Other KPI (please insert and describe).


OPTIONAL: Please provide a description/overview of 3rd party assurances relating to the verification of the metrics and figures provided above.


SDG #1 - No Poverty - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #2 - Zero Hunger - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #3 - Good Health & Well-Being - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #4 - Quality Education - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #5 - Gender Equality - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #6 - Clean Water & Sanitation - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #7 - Affordable & Clean Energy - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #8 - Decent Work & Economic Growth - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #9 - Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #10 - Reduced Inequalities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #11 - Sustainable Cities & Communities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #12 - Responsible Consumption & Production - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #13 - Climate Action - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #14 - Life Below Water - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #15 - Life On Land - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #16 - Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #17 - Partnerships For The Goals - The Global SDG Awards