/SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Icon SDG12


Erik Hansen
Johannes Kepler University Linz
Tel: +43 732 2468 5520

Susanne Feiel
Montanuniversität Leoben
Tel: +43 3842 402 7230

Agenda 2030

SDG 12, “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”, and its sub-goals are positioned at the ecological-economic intersection of sustainability and is highly relevant for achieving the 2030 Agenda, because of its close links to other SDGs. In order to achieve SDG 12 with all its targets, a wide range of instruments must be used, which comprises companies in the manufacturing industry, service and trading companies along the entire value chain, and end consumers as well. The topics that are considered in the context of SDG 12 are the efficient and effective use of natural resources (12.2), the reduction of food waste and the best possible use of unavoidable food waste in order to reduce food losses (12.3), environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes (12.4), the reduction of waste through prevention, reduction, reuse and recycling (12.5), the adoption of sustainable practices as well as reporting on them by companies (12.6), sustainable (public) procurement (12.7) and the promotion of awareness and, above all, action in the sense of a sustainable lifestyle among the population (12.8) through corresponding product, service and infrastructure offers. The concept of circular economy servers here as a conceptual framework for these targets.

Situation in Austria

SDG 12 ,"Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns", (UN, 2015, p. 24) aims to develop sustainable consumption and production patterns and to ensure their competitiveness, feasibility and practicability. For SDG 12, the circular economy is used as a solution approach with its overriding goal to deal with natural resources in a more efficient way and to achieve a better compatibility of used materials with the natural environment. Austria’s status quo regarding the achievement of SDG 12 is heterogeneous concerning the degree of target achievement and data collection. While material consumption has not decreased since 2010, resource productivity has increased since 2000 (Eurostat, 2020a). There is still great potential for improvement for food waste, in both households and other areas of the value chain (e.g. agriculture, production, trade). For product design (e.g. eliminating hazardous substances, durable product design), suitable indicators to measure progress are missing in Austria. The share of 45 % recycled waste is above EU average. Nevertheless, the Benelux countries show that a significant improvement thereof is still possible (Eurostat, 2020b). Sustainable entrepreneurial practices gain importance due to legal regulations, but the application of corporate environmental management is stagnating (Statistics Austria, 2020). There is an action plan for sustainable public procurement in Austria, but companies are not sufficiently informed about the challenges thereof (Abergel, Dean, Dulac & Hamilton, 2018).

Option list

(based on the options report to be published)

The options elaborated by the SDG groups are to serve as a means of communicating to the federal government which concrete options can be set by Austria in order to implement the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The options report will be published on 02.12.2021.

  • Option 12.1: Sustainable use of abiotic resources from extraction to the manufacture of semi-finished products
  • Option12.2: Action plan for high-quality recycling: Design for recycling, elimination of harmful substances & use of secondary raw materials
  • Option 12.3: Reducing food waste
  • Option 12.4 Changing the waste regime (beginning and end of waste status) to strengthen the circular economy
  • Option 12.5: Promotion of sustainable companies
  • Option 12.6: Integration of life cycle assessments in public building tendering procedures taking into account the pre- and post-procurement phase
  • Option 12.7: Consumption of consumer goods in a circular economy: sustainable and transformative



  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU): Erik Hansen
  • Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL): Susanne Feiel


  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU): Daniela Schrack
  • Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL): Patrick Trummer


  • Danube University Krems (DUK): Bernhard Geissler, Gerald Steiner
  • Graz University of Technology (TU Graz); Stephan Meier, Marco Scherz
  • Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (JKU): Wilhelm Bergthaler
  • Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL): Michael Tost
  • University of Graz (KFU): Rupert Baumgartner, Romana Rauter, Josef Schoeggl
  • University of Klagenfurt (AAU): Renate Hübner
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU): Astrid Allesch, Marion Huber-Humer, Gudrun Obersteiner, Silvia Scherhaufer

forum n / students

  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU): Patrick Frey
  • Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL): Gloria Ammerer

Further contributors

  • Danube University Krems (DUK): Nils Haneklaus, Andrea Hoeltl, Nikolai Neumayer
  • Graz University of Technology (TU Graz): Antonija Wieser
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU): Daniela Ecker, Markus Gall, Manuela Prieler, Horst Steinmüller, Erika Wagner,
    Rainer Weiss
  • Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL): Elisabeth Lachner
  • University of Applied Arts Vienna (BOKU): Friedrich Hinterberger, Peter Knobloch
  • University of Graz (KFU): Christian Kozina, Anke Struever
  • University of Innsbruck (UIBK): Anke Bockreis, Alexander Hanser


acatech – Deutsche Akademie für Technikwissenschaften (2020). Circular Business Models: Overcoming Barriers, Unleashing Potentials: Report of the Working Group on Circular Business Models, Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland. Executive Summary and Recommendations. acatech – Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften e.V. (acatech); Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland (CEID); SYSTEMIQ Ltd., Munich, Germany
Abgerufen von https://en.acatech.de/publication/circular-business-models-overcoming-barriers-unleashing-potentials/

Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung (BMBWF), Bundesministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie (BMK), Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort (BMDW) (Hrsg.) (2020a). Österreichischer Forschungs- und Technologiebericht 2020. Lagebericht gem. § 8 (1) FOG über die aus Bundesmitteln geförderte Forschung, Technologie und Innovation in Österreich. Wien.
Abgerufen von https://www.bmbwf.gv.at/Themen/Forschung/Forschung-in-%C3%96sterreich/Services/FTB.html

Bundesministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie (BMK) (Hrsg.) (2020). Die Bestandsaufnahme der Abfallwirtschaft in Österreich: Statusbericht 2020. Wien.
Abgerufen von https://www.bmk.gv.at/themen/klima_umwelt/abfall/aws/bundes_awp/bawp.html

Europäische Kommission (EC). (2019). European Innovation Scoreboard 2019.
Abgerufen von https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/36281

Vereinte Nationen (UN). (2015). Resolution der Generalversammlung, verabschiedet am 25. September 2015 – 70/1. Transformation unserer Welt: die Agenda 2030 für nachhaltige Entwicklung. Deutsche Fassung.
Abgerufen von http://www.un.org/Depts/german/gv-70/band1/ar70001.pdf