SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
1. EU Programmes likely to be relevant for libraries
Final Circular Economy package
On 4 March 2019, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. The report presents the main achievements under the Action Plan and sketches out future challenges to shaping our economy and paving the way towards a climate-neutral, circular economy where pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems is minimised. In 2015, the European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan, which includes measures that will helpstimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.
The EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials and a revised legislative proposal on waste. Key elements of the revised waste proposal include:
- A common EU target for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2035;
- A common EU target for recycling 70% of packaging waste by 2030
New Cohesion policy (2021-2027) - also see the EBLIDA report
|The European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027 report|
A focus on seven investment priorities, where the EU is best placed to deliver.
The main objectives driving EU investments in 2021-2027 are :
- Regional development investments will strongly focus on objectives 1 - to promote the development and adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind - and 2 - covers regions struggling with structural difficulties and helps to reduce gaps in socio-economic development.
- 65% to 85% of ERDF and Cohesion Fund resources will be allocated to these priorities, depending on Member States’ relative wealth.
- Smarter Europe, through innovation, digitisation, economic transformation and support to small and medium-sized businesses.
- a Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement and investing in energy transition, renewables and the fight against climate change.
- a more Connected Europe, with strategic transport and digital networks.
- a more Social Europe, delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights and supporting quality employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare.
- a Europe closer to citizens, by supporting locally-led development strategies and sustainable urban development across the EU.
2030 climate & energy framework
The 2030 climate and energy framework includes EU-wide targets and policy objectives for the period from 2021 to 2030. Key targets for 2030:
- At least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels)
- At least 32% share for renewable energy
- At least 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency
The framework was adopted by the European Council in October 2014. The targets for renewables and energy efficiency were revised upwards in 2018.
Under the broad theme of information & communication technologies the ERDF and EAFRD invest in a range of investment priorities and union priorities to enhance access to and use and quality of information and communication technologies (ICT). Under other themes the ESF through investment in digital literacy, education and training also contributes to human capital development.
Final Circular Economy package
On 4 March 2019, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. The report presents the main achievements under the Action Plan and sketches out future challenges to shaping our economy and paving the way towards a climate-neutral, circular economy where pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems is minimised. In 2015, the European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan, which includes measures that will helpstimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs. The EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials and a revised legislative proposal on waste. Key elements of the revised waste proposal include:
- A common EU target for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2035;
- A common EU target for recycling 70% of packaging waste by 2030
Clean energy for all Europeans
The Commission wants the EU to lead the clean energy transition, not only adapt to it. For this reason the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 while modernising the EU's economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens. The proposals have three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers.
Consumers are active and central players on the energy markets of the future. Consumers across the EU will in the future have a better choice of supply, access to reliable energy price comparison tools and the possibility to produce and sell their own electricity. Increased transparency and better regulation give more opportunities for civil society to become more involved in the energy system and respond to price signals.
The EU Biodiversity Strategy aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and help stop global biodiversity loss by 2020. It reflects the commitments taken by the EU in 2010, within the international Convention on Biological Diversity. On 16 December 2015, the Environmental Council adopted Conclusions on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. On 2 February 2016, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.
6 targets are envisaged:
Protect species and habitats - Target 1
By 2020, the assessments of species and habitats protected by EU nature law show better conservation or a secure status for 100 % more habitats and 50 % more species.
Maintain and restore ecosystems - Target 2
By 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and restoring at least 15 % of degraded ecosystems.
Achieve more sustainable agriculture and forestry - Target 3
By 2020, the conservation of species and habitats depending on or affected by agriculture and forestry, and the provision of their ecosystem services show measurable improvements
Make fishing more sustainable and seas healthier - Target 4
By 2015, fishing is sustainable. By 2020, fish stocks are healthy and European seas healthier. Fishing has no significant adverse impacts on species and ecosystems.
Combat invasive alien species - Target 5
By 2020, invasive alien species are identified, priority species controlled or eradicated, and pathways managed to prevent new invasive species from disrupting European biodiversity.
Help stop the loss of global biodiversity - Target 6
By 2020, the EU has stepped up its contribution to avert global biodiversity loss.
Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF)
Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) is a Commission training initiative covering food and feed law, animal health and welfare and plant health rules.
Main objectives of BTSF
The main objectives of the initiative "Better Training for Safer Food" are the organisation and development of an EU training strategy with a view to:
- Ensuring and maintaining a high level of consumer protection and of animal health, animal welfare and plant health;
- To improve and harmonise official controls in EU countries and create the conditions for a level playing field for food businesses contributing to EU priority on jobs and growth;
- To ensure safety of food imports from non-EU countries on the EU market, and ultimately to reducing risks for EU consumers and providing EU businesses with easier access to safe goods from non-EU countries;
- To ensure a harmonisation of control procedures between EU and non-EU partners in order to guarantee a parallel competitive position of EU businesses with their non-EU counterparts;
- To build confidence in the EU regulatory model with competent authorities of other international trade partners and pave the way for new food market opportunities and increased competitiveness for EU operators;
- Ensuring fair trade with non-EU countries and in particular developing countries.
Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. Seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation and growth. It is the maritime contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The 'blue' economy represents roughly 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year. However, further growth is possible in a number of areas which are highlighted within the strategy. The strategy consists of developing sectors that have a high potential for sustainable jobs and growth, such as: a. aquaculture (Fisheries website); b. coastal tourism; c. marine biotechnology; d. ocean energy; e. seabed mining.
Organic farming is an agricultural method that aims to produce food using natural substances and processes. This means that organic farming tends to have a limited environmental impact as it encourages:
a) the responsible use of energy and natural resources;
b) the maintenance of biodiversity;
c) preservation of regional ecological balances;
d) enhancement of soil fertility;
e) maintenance of water quality.
There is world-wide demand for more efficient products to reduce energy and resource consumption. The EU legislation on ecodesign and energy labelling is an effective tool for improving the energy efficiency of products. It helps eliminate the least performing products from the market, significantly contributing to the EU’s 2020 energy efficiency objective. It also supports industrial competitiveness and innovation by promoting the better environmental performance of products throughout the internal market.
Landfill of waste
The Landfill Directive defines the different categories of waste (municipal waste, hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste and inert waste) and applies to all landfills, defined as waste disposal sites for the deposit of waste onto or into land. Landfills are divided into three classes: a) landfills for hazardous waste; b) landfills for non-hazardous waste; c) landfills for inert waste.
The LIFE Programme s the EU Funding instrument for the environment and climate action.
The Environment sub-programme includes Funds for nature conservation and biodiversity, environment and resource efficiency, environmental governance and information.
The Climate action sub-programme includes Funds for climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, climate governance and information.
Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW)
Construction and demolition waste (CDW) is one of the heaviest and most voluminous waste streams generated in the EU. It accounts for approximately 25% - 30% of all waste generated in the EU and consists of numerous materials, including concrete, bricks, gypsum, wood, glass, metals, plastic, solvents, asbestos and excavated soil, many of which can be recycled.
CDW has been identified as a priority waste stream by the European Union. There is a high potential for recycling and re-use of CDW. Technology for the separation and recovery of construction and demolition waste is well established, readily accessible and in general inexpensive.
Food information to consumers - legislation
The new Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers entered into application on 13 December 2014. The obligation to provide nutrition information will apply from 13 December 2016.
The EU Ecolabel is a label of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services meeting high environmental standards throughout their life-cycle: from raw material extraction, to production, distribution and disposal. The EU Ecolabel promotes the circular economy by encouraging producers to generate less waste and CO2 during the manufacturing process. The EU Ecolabel criteria also encourages companies to develop products that are durable, easy to repair and recycle.
2. SDG12 - oriented projects and Best Practices
Sustainable development is first and foremost a matter of life style : any educational activity linked with waste disposal of non-recyclable material is supporting sustainable practices. Libraries and documentation centres may have great influence on people’s behaviours. Awareness should be raised on sustainable practices linked with circular economy, and misuse of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
An example of a library project meeting SD Goal 12, easily extendible to other libraries, is the one set up by the Yavorov Regional Library “The land is cleaner, we are more knowledgeable”: a 3D Printer is made available to every student in return of plastic bottles.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) was a Citizen Science project taking place on the island Funen, Denmark within the Life Cycle Studies. The project aimed to engage citizens in research regarding electronic waste (phone, tv’s, vacuum cleaners etc. etc) in order to establish whether decommissioned products were recyclable with major involvement of citizens in new and more sustainable life cycles. The outcome of the project served as a basis for new local, national and European legislation. 1,500 citizens participated and handed over products, while interviews and surveys on social media, tv and on the Web reached out ca 130,000 citizens.
[The project was carried out in partnership between the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), TV/2 Funen (regional broadcaster), Refurb (a private company), four municipalities and 15 partners from the private sector and not least civil society (e.g. Repair Cafés), https://www.ecsite.eu/activities-and-services/ecsite-events/conferences/sessions/citizen-science-case-study-bring-your-own.]
3. Opportunities for library funding
This Chapter refers to the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2021-2027, and in particular to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund+ (ESF).
In order to make the most out of these Funds, first refer to the ESIF managing authorities, which are different in every Member State and are responsible for national operational programmes and policies. The list of national authorities, country after country, and region after region, is available at the following link, https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/managing-authorities/.
In the Table(s) below, for each ESIF objective: Column 1 designates the ERDF or ESF+ specific objective. Column 2 and 3 set, respectively, the related outputs and results indicated by ESIF official documents. It can be easily inferred that European Commission criteria for evaluation are quite general and do not get into the detail of the programmes. It is up to Member States to set additional criteria for evaluation.
Finally, Column 4 lists examples of library projects set up to pursue ESIF objectives or to attain specific Sustainable Development Goals. ESIF-funded and SDG-oriented library projects are matched with specific ESIF 2021-2027 objectives and sub-objectives; what is shown in the table, however, is a simulation: under which presumed ESIF specific objective could SDG-oriented library projects have been funded, if they were to be presented within the ESIF 2021-2027 framework?
More detailed information on the Library Projects listed in Column 5 can be found in theSustainable Development Goals and Libraries - First European Report.
4. Main Eurostat Indicators
Key trends in “Responsible consumption and production” show the following evidence (Eurostat Report, pp 233 and ss):
- Productivity of resources and energy has increased considerably over the past 15 years;
- Consumption of toxic chemicals has fallen moderately in the long and short term;
- The decline in average CO2 emissions per km for newly registered passenger cars has slowed in recent years;
- Progress towards the EU’s energy-related 2020 targets has been mixed over the past years, putting their achievement at risk;
- Trends in recycling and re-use of waste are favourable, but generation of non-mineral waste is on the rise again.
Goal 12’s attainment is monitored through the following main indicators: Source: EU SDG Indicator set 2020:
5. Library Indicators
Library Indicators enabling the evaluation of library performances and how they can match SDG indicators.
A report on Library indicators and SDGs has been released by the ELSA working Group: "Towards the implementation of SDG Indicators in European Libraries"
"Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns"
Consumption and production patterns have wide environmental impacts. Sustainable production and consumption patterns use resources efficiently, respect resource constraints and reduce pressures on natural capital in order to increase overall wellbeing, keep the environment clean and healthy, and safeguard the needs of future generations. Since we live on a planet with finite and interconnected resources, the rate at which they are used has relevant implications for today’s prosperity and lasting effects on future generations. It is thus important for the EU to decouple economic growth and the improvement of living standards from resource use and the eventual negative environmental impacts. This involves increasing the circularity of materials in the economy, thereby reducing both the need for resource extraction and the amount of waste ending up in landfills or incineration. It also means managing chemicals safely and shifting away from carbon-intensive energy carriers towards sustainably produced renewable energy sources.
The Circular Economy Package covers the whole cycle from production and consumption to waste management. The Cohesion Policy investments total more than 150 EUR billion for 2014-2020 in environment protection and resource efficiency, R&I, SMEs competitiveness and low-carbon growth. One of the key objectives of the 7th Environment Action Programme, which guides EU environment policy until 2020, is to turn the Union into a resource-efficient, green, and competitive economy.
Targets and Indicators: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg12
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