SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Unsustainable consumption and production patterns, historically concentrated in countries and groups with the highest standards of living, have pushed the world against its planetary boundaries. Surpassing these limits poses the risk of resources being lost forever. Climate change, impacted by greenhouse gas emissions, poses escalating threats.
At the high end of consumption and production, patterns can be wasteful. Food losses occur at every stage, from field to table. Forests are cut down and minerals mined for products used one year and thrown away the next.
The world of waste coexists with a world of want. There, people consume barely enough to survive.
A safe and sustainable future depends on reducing extremes. Women in consumption and production must have equal access to means such as land and technology that can boost their standard of living. Women at large must assume equal leadership in striking a better balance—in parliaments and boardrooms, in their communities and families.
UN Women acts to redress imbalanced consumption and production by advocating for policy reforms that back equitable ownership and use of property and resources. Property titles are one area of focus, since these remain out of reach for many women, due to legal or social barriers. Without them, women typically lose access to the technologies and resources they need to achieve sustainable levels of consumption and production.
Preserving the balance between business and nature in Mexico
Supported by a UN Women partnership with the Mexican Government, a hotel run by indigenous women is showing the path to sustainable tourism. It recycles the organic waste, harvests rainwater, uses its composted organic matter to fertilize the garden, has dedicated green spaces to ensure clean air and prepares meals made with locally grown vegetables.
Women living with HIV cultivate leaders and food, in Uganda’s slums
In the Katwe slum in Kampala, a group of women living with HIV are cultivating food, cleaning up the community to reduce waste, and raising awareness of the right to sanitation, adequate housing and healthy and sustainable community living.