Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Sustainable Development Goal 12 aims at ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. SDG 12 is about 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. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty. Sustainable consumption and production aims at "doing more and better with less", increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole lifecycle, while increasing quality of life.

Space technologies can assist with:

  • Natural resources management
  • Food and dangerous goods traceability
  • Monitoring of endangered species trafficking and products of human slavery
  • Smart Agriculture by combining Earth observation, satellite telecommunications and Global Navigation Satellite Systems
  • Spin-offs of In-situ resources utilization (ISRU), such 3d printing technologies to create structures in orbit, could have applications on Earth

Quick facts

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  • 93% of the water on board the International Space Station is reclaimed.

  • Currently, 40% of the oxygen in the International Space Station is recycled, but NASA is researching technologies to increase that rate to 75%.

  • Since the activation of the International Space Station urine processor assembly in 2008, more than 10 tonnes of drinkable water have been recycled from crew members' urine. If this amount of water had been resupplied from Earth, it would have cost more than $225 million to launch and deliver it to the Station.

  • Lighting can account for up to 40 per cent of a city's energy consumption. As a result, city administrations and other agencies operating large streetlight networks are continuously looking to enhance the efficiency of the overall system

  • Smart streetlights are equipped with low-cost GNSS receivers and connected to a mesh radio network that relays their data to a Cloud Gate Gateway device for review and analysis in a centralized location, by using smart lighting technology defective lamps communicate their status in real time and can be precisely located for replacement, improving the maintenance process, which reduces maintenance costs by up to 30 per cent.

Zero-gravity instrument project (ZGIP)

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Under the Access to Space for All initiative, UNOOSA offered the Zero gravity Instrument Project (ZGIP), which distributed microgravity-simulating instruments called clinostats to schools and institutions worldwide. The project enables research observing natural phenomena in simulated microgravity conditions, and the creation of datasets of plant species which could be used to design future space experiments. Growing plants grow under microgravity conditions allow us to better understand their biology better, improving crops on Earth.

UNOOSA developed the "Teacher's Guide to Plant Experiments in Microgravity", which provides step-by-step instructions for educational experiments to discover the effects of gravity on plants in school laboratories.

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