The Federal Government's sustainability policy is based on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ‘The Transformation of Our World’. The heads of state and governments of the 193 United Nations member states adopted the 2030 Agenda in New York on 25 September 2015. It comprises 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a total of 169 sub-goals. These can be achieved by the year 2030 and are universal, i.e. for all states alike.

With the resolution, the international community acknowledged that challenges to sustainable development – e.g. the global fight against hunger and poverty – can only be resolved by observing the principles of the earth's ecological boundaries and social justice.

The principles and common objectives are formulated in the 17 SDGs, which are mutually interlinked. Each SDG places equal emphasis on all three dimensions of sustainability: social, environmental, economic.

SDG 12 relates to the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns within the 17 goals. Modifying consumer habits and establishing international rules for occupational, health and environmental protection are critical to the long-term preservation of the environment and the creation of fair working conditions for all. Resource and energy efficiency as well as the environmentally friendly handling of chemicals and waste during the entire life cycle are just as important as measures to reduce food waste and the promotion of sustainable tourism.

All countries are called upon to report regularly on national implementation efforts and progress. At the national level, the German National Sustainability Strategy forms the framework of the Federal Government's implementation efforts and is revised every two years. On an international level, regular reporting by individual UN member states takes place at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The Federal Statistical Office reports on the status of Germany’s implementation of global sustainability goals on the basis of national, European and international indicator sets.