National Programme for Sustainable Consumption – societal change through a sustainable lifestyle

The Federal Government is committed to ensuring that consumers have a greater choice of environmentally friendly and socially viable products and services. To this end, it adopted the “National Programme for Sustainable Consumption” (NPNK) in 2016.

Utilising services and using and disposing of products is increasingly having an impact on the state of the environment as well as on humankind's economic and social situation. But how can sustainable consumption be promoted systematically? The programme presents political concepts and specific actions, which take account of a great number of consumer sectors such as mobility, home, work or leisure time. Another priority area is the subject of nutrition. Consumers can use their decisions, particularly in the area of nutrition, to have a direct influence on the overriding objective of sustainable development and can shape not only local but also global politics.

The NPNK is an important step toward achieving the UN Sustainability Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 12 – sustainable consumption and production patterns). The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the Federal Ministry for Environment (BMU) and the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection (BMJV) jointly coordinate the programme and its implementation.

Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Consumption

In March 2017, the Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Consumption (KNK) was founded at the Federal Environmental Agency to support the NPNK. The Centre of Excellence’s task is to strengthen social commitment to sustainable consumption and to promote technical discussions between all stakeholders. The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) is the lead organisation for the subject area of food and agriculture. The KNK offers information and networking opportunities on the topic of sustainable consumption and promotes synergies in the implementation of the NPNK.

National Network on Sustainable Consumption

Societal change toward more sustainable consumption can only be achieved if all take joint responsibility. This is why at the beginning of 2017 the National Network on Sustainable Consumption (NNNK) was founded. The NNNK as a multistakeholder platform is a central component of the implementation of the NPNK. At present, about 200 stakeholders from industry, politics, science, associations and civil society go to make up the NNNK. A wide array of events, targeted particularly at the network stakeholders, take place on a regular basis to support the implementation of the NPNK.

Dr. Eva Ursula Müller spricht bei der Auftaktveranstaltung der Leuchtturm-Initiative
Dr. Eva Ursula Müller, Leiterin der Abteilung "Wald, Nachhaltigkeit, nachwachsende Rohstoffe" im BMEL spricht zum Auftakt der Leuchtturm-Initiative © BMEL

Beacons for sustainable consumption

To strengthen cooperation between stakeholders from politics, industry, science and civil society, the Federal Ministries, together with the KNK and actors of the NNNK, carry out beacon initiatives for the implementation of the NPNK. With its beacon initiative on “Sustainable consumption for biological diversity in agriculture and food”, the BMEL wants to contribute to the conservation of biological diversity. The kick-off event of the beacon initiative took place at the BMEL in May 2019. The focus is on the conservation of old, regional fruit and vegetable varieties and rare livestock breeds.

For more information on the National Programme for Sustainable Consumption, the Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Consumption and the opportunity to register as a network stakeholder, please visit www.k-n-k.de.

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