12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development 12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development

12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development
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Sub-goal 12.8 aims to provide people everywhere with relevant information and awareness of sustainable development and a way of life in harmony with nature.

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One milestone in Germany is the National Action Plan for the implementation of the UNESCO Global Action Program Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which was adopted by the National Platform for ESD in 2017. The action plan serves to anchor ESD in the educational landscape structurally and has become an important element of the National Programme on Sustainable Consumption. One concrete initiative with a high degree of communication impact is the German Sustainability Code for Higher Education Institutions (HS-DNK), which is being developed by universities and the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE). The Federal Ministry for the Environment also offers educational materials on sustainable consumer behaviour via the online portal for teachers www.umwelt-im-unterricht.de. There are also numerous educational competitions aimed at raising awareness of sustainability issues in different population groups. One example of this is the challenge ‘Lass’ Machen’ (‘Let’s Make’) (UBA), which is aimed at younger generations. Funding programs such as ‘Promoting Vocational Training for Sustainable Development’ (BMU), for example, address people making decisions about higher education.

In addition, there are numerous initiatives that make sustainability information about product labels or eco-labels widely available. Examples include the national eco-label ‘Blue Angel’ or the promotion of the implementation of the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). Germany is also involved in the international ‘Consumer Information Program’ for the development of guidelines for product information. There are also various multi-stakeholder partnerships and networks, such as the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, which promotes sustainable consumption. With regard to the various eco-labels, the Centre of Competence for Sustainable Procurement offers helpful guidance to the public sector and creates transparency. For consumers, the information portal ‘Seal Clarity’ (BMZ) was created for this purpose.

Currently, there is no established monitoring methodology for this sub-goal. However, the ‘UNESCO 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Cooperation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’ provides a basis for the development of a monitoring tool. Preliminary work on the development of indicators in Germany exist, for example, in the framework of the implementation activities of the UN Decade of ESD, the Curriculum Framework of the Standing Conference or the German Resource Efficiency Programme II. The BMBF also offers support for the development of indicators for sustainable development education.

Initiative Save Food; FAO; UNEP; Messe Düsseldorf; interpack
SAVE FOOD Initiative

On 27 January 2011 in Berlin, Germany SAVE FOOD was introduced to the public by the partners Messe Düsseldorf and the FAO. SAVE FOOD puts the issue of global food losses onto the political and economic agenda. Together with members from business, politics and civil society, SAVE FOOD aims to drive innovation, promote interdisciplinary dialogue and initiate debate in order to generate solutions to reduce food waste, across the entire value chain "from the field to the plate".

12.1 Sustainable consumption and production patterns 12.2 Sustainable management of natural resources 12.3 Reducing food losses 12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development
SDG 15 SDG 17
Research Network Sustainable Global Supply Chains

In today's globalized world, production and consumption take place across borders. Around 80 percent of world trade is based on global value chains. The sustainable transformation of global supply chains is therefore an important prerequisite for decent working conditions and higher value creation in developing and emerging countries, as well as for ecologically, economically and socially sustainable global development.

Against this background, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is funding the work of the Sustainable Global Supply Chains Research Network. The network pools the expertise of

  1. the German Development Institute (DIE), 
  2. the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), 
  3. the Leibniz Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA),
  4. the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
  5. and about 100 other scholars from the Global North and the Global South. 

The network partners take a close look at pressing issues in the field of sustainable supply chains and develop policy recommendations based on evidence-based research. For example, they shed light on how the sustainable design of complex global supply chains can succeed in the interplay of different stakeholders, take a look at the impact of due diligence regulations on developing countries, and examine the links between sustainability and resilience in global supply chains.

12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development
SDG 8 SDG 17
German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)

The German Council for Sustainable Development (Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung = RNE) was first appointed by the German government in April 2001. The Council has 15 members.
The Council's tasks are to develop contributions to the implementation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy, to identify concrete fields of action and projects, and to make sustainability a public concern.
The Council is independent in its choice of topics and forms of action.

12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development
SDG 16 SDG 17
The Green Button

The Green Button is a government seal for sustainable textiles. 
Since 2019, the seal shows which companies fulfill their human rights and ecological due diligence obligations along the entire supply chain. In addition, it must be proven by recognized seals that the respective product has been produced socially and ecologically. 
The inspection is carried out by independent inspection bodies. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is the seal provider. The Green Button offers orientation when buying socially and ecologically produced textiles. In this way, it is intended to raise awareness among companies and consumers on the subject of sustainable textile production and supply chains. The Green Button criteria have recently been further developed with the help of an independent advisory board. The new standard version Green Button 2.0 will be introduced in the summer of 2022. 

12.1 Sustainable consumption and production patterns 12.4 Environmentally sound management of chemicals 12.6 Responsible companies 12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development
SDG 8 SDG 9 SDG 10
National Programme on Sustainable Consumption

The National Programme for Sustainable Consumption (NPNK) is a step towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from a consumer and product perspective. It aims to contribute to bringing our consumption patterns and lifestyles in line with ecological and economic limits. The programme identifies goals and needs for action and explains previous activities of the Federal Government in the field of sustainable consumption. Based on the guiding principle of sustainability, central ideas for a policy of sustainable consumption are developed. The programme contains 170 measures for the overarching approaches to action as well as the areas of need in order to systematically strengthen sustainable consumption.
The NPNK was further developed on 3 May 2021. The 45 measures and targets adopted by the Committee of State Secretaries for Sustainable Development prioritise and focus the Federal Government's existing programme for sustainable consumption from 2016. The measures relate to the areas of mobility, housing and household, nutrition, work and office, clothing, and leisure and tourism, as well as cross-cutting measures, such as those to tap the potential of digitalisation for sustainable consumption. They are intended to contribute to halving consumption-related greenhouse gas emissions per inhabitant by 2030, among other things.

12.1 Sustainable consumption and production patterns 12.2 Sustainable management of natural resources 12.3 Reducing food losses 12.5 Reducing waste generation 12.7 Sustainable public procurement 12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development 12.B Sustainable tourism
SDG 16