Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Currently, worldwide consumption and production — a driving force of the global economy — relies heavily on the natural world and its resources. If this continues it will have destructive impacts on the planet. Goal 12 encourages large companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability performance into their reporting cycle to better manage natural resources. 

“If we could build an economy that would use things rather than use them up, we could build a future.”

Dame Ellen MacArthur
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year, while almost 2 billion people go hungry or undernourished.

At Veolia Water Technologies, we create technologies for sustainable development. We focus on keeping water resources in use for as long as possible by improving energy efficiency and providing efficient water treatment solutions. This reduces the overall ecological impact of our customers’ production processes and ensures the responsible consumption of water.

How recovering solids and fats for manufacturing helps save the planet

From car manufacturing, to medicine making and canned sardines, all of these processes have an impact on the environment. Public awareness of this has intensified over the last thirty years and, as a result, more and more companies search for solutions to lower their environmental footprint.

Today, groups like GUAYMEX — a leader in the processing of canned sardines in Mexico — are making their contribution by better managing their resources.

In 2019, while expanding its process plant in Matancitas, GUAYMEX sought to upgrade their wastewater treatment plant. For the treatment of their residual discharges they used a dissolved air flotation system to lower chemical consumption, and a self-cleaning screen filter, was used for wastewater pre-treatment and solids separation.

The reduced solids and fats are then recovered, reducing the environmental impact and increasing the profitability of the plant.

Another source of water pollution as a result of food production is when untreated wastewater is discharged from domestic, industrial, agricultural or mining sources. In 2010, more than 70% of Mexico's water bodies were contaminated, especially those in the Valley of Mexico, according to the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). — Greenpeace

Proud to be organic and Halal, AAK Foods adds “green” to the menu

From coconuts found in the subtropical regions of Sri Lanka to shea oil from the Sahel of western Africa, AAK Foods based in Runcorn, UK, upholds the responsible and sustainable sourcing of all its ingredients.

As part of their ongoing efforts to implement the circular economy throughout their business — and in direct alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals — they sought to improve their effluent water treatment performance at their Runcorn facility. They wanted to reduce their overall chemical usage and make sure their operation was as environmentally friendly as possible.

AAK Foods selected our vegetable-based organic coagulant made from the renewable source of black acacia tree bark. This non-toxic coagulant proved to be a greener and more efficient alternative to traditional metal-based coagulants like ferric chloride or polyaluminium chloride which are toxic.

Food processing accounts for up to 30% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions and 25% of worldwide water consumption. Food, therefore, lies at the heart of trying to tackle climate change, reducing water stress, pollution, restoring lands back to forests or grasslands, and protecting the world's wildlife.

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Our conclusion

Since September 2015, when all United Nations member states adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals, our collective global progress has been slow.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has called for a decade of action to ensure we meet the global targets we set ourselves.

We all need to take responsibility and act today — not tomorrow — to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

At Veolia Water Technologies, we are committed to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Are you? Please, share with us your SDG focus and progress!