Sustainable Production and Consumption

“Consumption may be regarded as negative production.”
Alfred Marshall

In today’s world, the balance between production and consumption is not maintained. We face many challenges like a shortage of any good due to less production or overconsumption. The problems of production and consumption are interlinked to each other and so the solution can be achieved by maintaining the balance between them.

Sustainable production and consumption are consuming and producing responsibly by using resources wisely, improving energy efficiency and providing access to basic service, and improving quality of life for all. For Developing countries, sustainable development and production play a very important role in the growth of the economy, poverty reduction, and transition towards a green and sustainable environment.

Sustainable production and consumption not only aim at the economy but also aim to end hunger and access food to all in all vulnerable situations, also ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The factors like overpopulation, misuse of resources on a large scale are the barriers to sustainable production and consumption. Some facts and figure which gives a good idea about the barrier and problems faced by the population due to unbalance of sustainable development are:

- Each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes worth around $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.

- If people worldwide switched to energy-efficient light bulbs the world would save US$120 billion annually.

- Over 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress.

- Over the period 1995–2015, floods accounted for over 43 percent of all documented natural disasters, affecting 2.3 billion people, killing 157,000 more, and causing US$662 billion in damage.

- The global population without access to electricity fell from 1.2 billion to 840 million in 2017.

- Land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing, and marine environment degradation are all lessening the ability of the natural resource base to supply food.

Thus it is important to follow a good plan to achieve a goal in future regarding sustainable production and consumption, In 2015 SDG 12 was founded by United Nation to ensure a balance in sustainable consumption and production patterns to do more and better with less the targets of Goal 12 include using eco-friendly production methods and reducing the amount of waste. By 2030, national recycling rates should increase, as measured in tons of material recycled. Further, companies should adopt sustainable practices and publish sustainability reports.

According to the latest projection, the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050. The equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles. To maintain a good lifestyle in the coming decades, more than 93 percent of the world’s largest 250 companies are now reporting on sustainability.

SDG 12 has 11 targets, Four of them are to be achieved by the year 2030, one by the year 2020, and six have no target years. The targets include Implement the 10-year sustainable consumption and production framework, Sustainable management and use of natural resources, Halve global per capita food waste, Responsible management of chemicals and waste, Substantially reduce waste generation, Encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and sustainability reporting, Promote sustainable public procurement practices, Promote universal understanding of sustainable lifestyles, Support developing countries' scientific and technological capacity for sustainable consumption and production, Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable tourism, Remove market distortions that encourage wasteful consumption.

The Government worldwide are now participating actively to ensure availability of basic events to people in all vulnerable situation, Companies are shifting to use of renewable energy, Electric vehicles are one of the biggest step towards a sustainable environment, minimization of plastic, promoting awareness regarding saving of non-renewable energy and utilizing it in such a way so that it can fulfill future generations are the great steps towards sustainable production and consumption, Many life-saving teams are made to help people during disasters and proper financial help and support is given to improve and fulfill their basic need during a crisis.

Aditya Ratley

BITSMUN Research Team