Our work on Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption

Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption

As one of the world’s leading research institutions and the UK’s first university to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, learning and students, public engagement activity and operations.

Here’s a selection of our work addressing Goal 12.



Through the Diverseafood project, our researchers are investigating how seafood can contribute to sustainable, healthy diets.

They are assessing the best methods to transition to more diverse seafood intake by looking at the impacts of sustainable aquaculture at the levels of business models, policy, and consumer acceptance.

Sustainable materials research

Our One Bin to Rule Them All research programme has drawn on our Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub in our Henry Royce Institute, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and  Sustainable Consumption Institute to work with 17 industry partners and local authorities to address key challenges in the plastics lifecycle.

Researchers from our Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub are also working with the manufacturer Callaly to develop alternative sustainable materials for menstrual hygiene products to help combat the growing need for natural-renewable alternatives for plastics.


Learning and students

Want Not Waste

Want Not Waste is a student-run, zero-waste shop on campus, supported by the University to grow from a small stall operating out of our Students’ Union, to owning its own independent unit.

They’ve also developed a series of online resources to foster a community of knowledge sharing and inspiring pro-sustainable choices.

Study programmes

Our students learn about sustainable consumption and production of natural resources through a range of programmes.

For example, Sociology students undertake a Sustainability, Consumption and Global Responsibilities unit exploring the ways consumers, businesses and governments are responding to the sustainability challenge.

Chemistry undergraduates learn about how to advance cleaner, more efficient chemical reactions and alternative fuels through an Environmental and Green Chemistry unit.


Public engagement

The carbon footprint of the music industry

Climate scientists at our Tyndall Centre are partnering with Bristol-based band Massive Attack to jointly examine the carbon footprint of the music industry.

Utilising data from the Massive Attack touring schedule will provide information and guidance to the wider music industry to reduce negative environmental impacts.

Change Points

We worked with colleagues at The University of Sheffield on Change Points to develop new ways of understanding how householders’ routine activities end up demanding resources, including energy, food and water.

A key output was the co-design of a toolkit to support policy makers and other non-academic stakeholders interested in developing nuanced policy processes and business practices around household sustainability.



Making labs greener

Leading the way in achieving the University’s pledge to eliminate avoidable single-use plastic usage, staff in our School of Biological Sciences are reducing single-use plastics in the lab through adoption of a 6R approach.

This has included:

  • refining protocol and optimising waste management;
  • reducing single-use items;
  • re-using materials, plastic containers and gloves;
  • using recycled material;
  • replacing plastics where possible with glass, paper or wood.
Social Value Portal

We’ve become the first higher education institution in the UK to adopt the Social Value Portal, the leading online tool that helps organisations prioritise and measure their social value when they procure, or pay for, major services.