SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

Renewability, resource efficiency, and responsible sourcing of forest products are central to sustainable production and consumption given the wealth of benefits forest can provide.

SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

Sustainable Development Goal

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 is at the heart of SDG 12. With a growing world population, in a business-as-usual scenario there would be increasing demand for already constrained natural resources.

Sustainable consumption and production is therefore fundamental to a sustainable and equitable future by “doing more and better with less”: increasing economic gains and quality of life, while reducing resource use and degradation.

Forests & SDG 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Renewability, resource efficiency, and responsible sourcing of forest products are central to sustainable production and consumption given the wealth of benefits forest can provide – and it already exists. Paper and wood, for instance, can be sourced from sustainably managed forests. After use, they can be recycled and turned into new products. Sustainable packaging (for example for food) is a green alternative for materials such as plastics. 

In construction, wood has a lower embodied energy than comparable building materials such as concrete, steel, or bricks. The forest industry also produces second generation biofuels and bio-based materials that can substitute fossil-based fuels and products.

Sustainable production can only succeed if accompanied by positive changes in the consumption patterns and lifestyles of households and governments. These include developing policies that encourage the use of wood products by businesses and public institutions.

Related SDG target (abbreviated)

12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources 

12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle 

12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities

How PEFC contributes to SDG 12

There needs to be significant focus on the supply chain, involving everyone from producer to final consumer. This includes educating consumers on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing them with adequate information through standards and labels, and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.

We are working along the entire value chain – from the forest to producers to consumers and end users – to promote sustainable production and consumption.

Our sustainable forest management standard, implemented by more than one million foresters globally, provides assurances that their forests are managed sustainably.

Thousands of companies around the world are PEFC chain of custody certified, which means that they track certified wood in their manufacturing processes, ensuring that their products use certified, sustainable timber. We also work with numerous companies and public institutions to advocate the benefits of sustainable procurement policies for timber products.

Finally, everyone can benefit from the PEFC label, which is present on an increasing number of products around the world that originate from sustainably managed forests, to support responsible forest management with their buying decisions.

Selected PEFC criteria (abbreviated) and standards

  • Sustainable Forest Management, PEFC ST 1003
  • Chain of Custody, PEFC ST 2002:2020
  • PEFC Trademarks Rules, PEFC ST 2001:2020

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