The SDG series: evaluating Sustainable Development Goals 7-12

In the second part of the series evaluating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we look at the progress so far on SDG 7 to 12: energy, work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reducing inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, and responsible consumption and production. Where are things now? And how far do we have to go to 2030?

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy

Regarding affordable and clean energy, we are progressing in the right direction. The share of population with access to electricity and clean fuels for cooking is increasing. Next to that, the share of renewable energy is growing and energy efficiency is improving. However, for reaching the targets in 2030, the progress has to speed up.

SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

In relation to SDG 8, unemployment is steadily dropping, while GDP per capita and labour productivity have globally increased. On the other hand, there are large inequalities between countries and regions, and there are still much informal employment in developing countries. Furthermore, there is an ongoing pay gap between women and men. Child labour, too, still occurs.

SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

The progress for SDG 9 shows that the share of manufacturing value added in GDP increased globally, but inequality between countries remains. The carbon intensity of manufacturing industries declined, which shows a general decoupling of CO2 emissions and GDP growth.

SDG 10: Reduced inequalities

The SDG for reduced inequalities shows mixed progress as well. On the one hand, the income of the bottom 40% of the population grew faster than average in more than half of the studied countries. On the other hand, in many countries, the top 1% get an increasing share.

SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities

The progress for SDG 11 shows that 2 billion people still lack access to waste collection services, 25% of urban residents live in slum-like conditions, and 90% of urban residents suffer from air pollution. To be able to cope with these challenges, 150 countries have developed urban plans, and almost half of those countries are already implementing them.

SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

For SDG 12, the data shows that the material footprint is growing rapidly and is very unequal between developing and developed countries. Nearly 100 countries are actively adopting policies and measures to promote sustainable consumption. Policies on the production side are needed to accelerate the progress towards this goal.

Ready to become an SDG frontrunner?

We are still looking for business partners for our SDG project. Does your company want to contribute to real progress on the SDGs? Watch the recording of our webinar to learn more about our project and how it can help you make a difference.

Daniël Kan


Daniël worked at PRé from 2018 until 2023. As a Sustainability consultant, he collaborated on many LCA projects, especially in the fields of biodiversity and ecosystem services. He also provided SimaPro, LCA trainings and biodiversity footprinting trainings.

Rosan Harmens


I’m enthusiastic about working with life cycle assessment because it provides a structured solution for analyzing the impact of products. Thereby, it is an essential starting point for making improvements, coming up with innovative solutions, and driving change. And change is needed. We cannot keep taking from the planet and future generations as we have been doing over the last few decades, without giving back.

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