We’ve got the power: responsible choices for a better future
Sustainability is not just about adopting the latest energy-efficient technologies or turning to renewable sources of power. Sustainability is the responsibility of every individual every day. It is about changing our behaviour and mindset to reduce power and water consumption, thereby helping to control emissions and pollution levels. - Joe Kaeser
“Responsible production and consumption” is one of the 17 Global Goals that compose the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The implementation of this SDG contributes to reducing future economic, environmental and social costs and eradicating poverty. Sustainable production and consumption aims at “doing more and better with less“, by reducing the outflow of resources and the pollution in the entire production cycle, thus improving the quality of life. This involves different stakeholders: companies, consumers, politicians, researchers, scientists and Development Aid Agencies. For this reason, a systematic and cooperative approach between the different players -from producers to final consumers- is needed. In addition, consumers should be involved in awareness-raising initiatives and educated about sustainable lifestyles.
Now, let’s take a look at the current situation, thanks to data provided by the United Nations.
Less than 3 percent of the world’s water is drinkable, of which 2.5 percent is frozen in the Antarctica, Arctic and glaciers.
Humanity is polluting water in rivers and lakes faster than nature can recycle and purify it.
More than 1 billion people across the world don’t have access to fresh water.
1. If people worldwide switched to energy efficient lightbulbs, the world would save US $120 billion annually.
Households’ energy consumption covers 29 percent of global energy and consequently contribute to 21 percent of CO2 emissions.
The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption has reached 17.5 percent in 2015.
1. Every year, it’s estimated that 1/3 of all food produced ends up in the bins of consumers and retailers, or it’s damaged by poor transportation and harvesting practices.
2 billion people globally are overweight.
The food sector covers almost 30 percent of the world’s total energy consumption and around 22 percent of total Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Moreover, the U.N. established a list of targets that countries should implement to achieve Goal 12. These targets also include some useful advice that everyone can put into practice, starting from our daily routine, in order to provide a personal contribution to making SDG 12 happen.
At present, the resources consumed by mankind are more than our Planet can provide. Therefore it’s clear that our society must modify radically its way of producing and consuming goods. Everyone can do something in the daily routine to make the difference. We can start with simple actions, for example reducing food waste and energy consumption in our homes and recycling goods, instead of getting rid of them. The current situation is alarming, so we cannot conceive to go ahead as we have done so far. Our future depends on the choices we make today. What will we pass down to our kids ? We, as Millennials, must take the reins and give a good example, because the future of our Planet depends mainly on us.
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