Sustainable Development Goal 12

Responsible Production and Consumption

Sustainable production and consumption is about doing more with less, and doing it better — building sustainable infrastructure, ensuring efficient use of natural resources, and generating cleaner energy and less waste. By engaging diverse stakeholders, achieving sustainable production and consumption will generate lasting solutions that promote healthier ecosystems and economies, and safer livelihoods.

UNU research focuses on the processes, practices, and governance of product cycles and value chains. Our unprecedented monitoring of e-waste, for example, is catalysing the establishment of recycling frameworks that protect workers from toxic substances and ensure sustainable reuse of precious metals. We are spotlighting how traditional practices can be scaled alongside modern management to create locally resilient foodscapes.


Ruediger Kuehr

Ruediger Kuehr


“The world generated 45 million tonnes of e-waste in 2016, including computers, mobile phones, and televisions. E-waste damages our environment, makes us sick, and wastes scarce resources. I am passionate about reducing global e-waste to zero.”

Stephan Hülsmann


“Earth’s climate is facing considerable variability and anticipated further change. This puts pressure on already limited natural resources. To deal with these challenges, we need an integrated Nexus Approach to managing resources that is based on sound assessments of pools and fluxes of resources. My work fosters such assessments by improving reliability of monitoring data and systems analysis.”

Norichika Kanie

Norichika Kanie


“To achieve the global goals, we need to change how we produce and consume. This requires cooperation between the public and private sectors, from policymakers and scientists to retailers and consumers. My research at UNU focuses on this cooperation, and how integrated approaches can advance more sustainable patterns of production and consumption.”


International Satoyama Initiative

To develop resilient agricultural systems that can respond to system shocks from climate change, integrated resource management is essential. This project aims to create environments wherein people and the land have a symbiotic relationship, each depending on the other to thrive.

Solving the E-waste Problem

Electronic waste is one of the world’s largest and most problematic waste streams, accounting for 47 million metric tonnes of toxic garbage each year. This global initiative aims to dramatically reduce e-waste through policy change, product re-design, re-use, and recycling.

Biodiversity and Health

Our daily lives and well-being depend on biological diversity. To ensure that biodiversity is maintained, decision-makers must understand the human consequences of changes to the natural environment. This project seeks to build this understanding among key actors.