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National Programme on Sustainable Consumption (NPNK)

  • Published on November 6, 2019

The National Programme on Sustainable Consumption is a step towards implementing Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and SDG 12 from the consumer perspective. It aims to contribute to reconciling our consumption patterns and lifestyle with ecological and economic limits. In order to achieve this, the programme is designed to expand on instruments and approaches that have been successful to date, but also to initiate new projects. The programme aims to make sustainable consumption possible and easy for everyone and to move sustainable consumption from a niche role into the mainstream. The further development of the National Programme with new measures was approved in May 2021. The Competence Centre for Sustainable Consumption will develop a technical proposal for a set of measurable indicators for reviewing the progress of the overall programme and for regular reporting. This set of indicators is intended to complement the consumption-related indicators in Germany's National Sustainable Development Strategy.

The National Programme on Sustainable Consumption is intended to help consumers to better understand the environmental and social impacts of their consumption. It aims to identify alternative consumption patterns and strengthen sustainable alternatives, without removing consumers' right to make their own decisions. Furthermore, it intends to strengthen incentives for innovative approaches that are in keeping with the market and facilitate sustainable consumption. At the same time, it seeks to stimulate a broader national discussion about lifestyles and a change in values that also takes regulatory and economic aspects into account. The programme addresses not only consumers but all relevant stakeholders such as the business community, commerce, civil society, the scientific community and academia, the media, local authorities and also the public sector in its role of demonstrating good practice. It is not possible to assign the entire responsibility for sustainable consumption to any single group. On the contrary, the starting point must be the principle of shared responsibility.

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