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SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

SDG12 is about ensuring that we produce and consume goods and resources in line with a sustainable ecological footprint.

This goal also requires efficient production and supply chains, food security, and a resource-efficient economy. For this SDG, we have decided to use one indicator, the ecological footprint per person. This does not specifically address any of the targets set in the SDG, but rather enables us to give an assessment at the goal level. Human activities consume resources and produce waste, and this must be in line with nature’s regenerative capacity.


All regions have a 2030 footprint that is above the threshold, with the exception of ROW that is more or less on the threshold, giving it a green rating. There is high uncertainty in the assessment we should give for ROW, and some uncertainty for BRISE. The uncertainty for China, OECD, and USA is low.

Understanding the score

Five regions: USA, OECD (excl. USA), China, BRISE (Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and 10 other emerging economies), ROW (rest of the world).
Green light: Goal likely to be reached.
Orange light: Goal not likely to be reached, but more than 50% of the gap between today's status and the goal is likely to be closed.
Red light: Goal not likely to be reached, and less than 50% of the gap between today's status and the goal is likely to be closed.

Marks & Spencer: Awakening our inner sustainability needs

A fundamental change in consumption patterns is required – particularly in industrialized economies, where there is ample room for consumers to reduce their ecological footprints. Business has a leading role to play here, to inspire customers towards more sustainable lifestyle choices.

Marks & Spencer's response to these challenges, outlined through their Plan A Sustainability Programme, aims to embed sustainability into every aspect of their production, consumption, and disposal cycle.

“We have to find a different way to satisfy consumer needs in the future,” says Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business (‘Plan A’), Marks & Spencer. “One that isn't just about using 2 per cent less energy per year, but a step-change in terms of our impacts. More than different business models, that demands entirely new business models – truly sustainable ones.”

Barry stresses that it is no longer a question of intellect or policy. “We have the intellectual solutions, we have the policy framework with Global Goals – what we need now is change on the ground. Not just a few big companies like Unilever and M&S, but tens of thousands of companies to adopt these models. That is all that matters.”

For the complete forecast on SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production and the full M&S story, download the report.

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