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Going Green? Here’s How eBay’s Doing It

By: Brian Wallace



E-commerce giant eBay is working to integrate environmental best practices to support a healthier planet for both their community and the generations to come.  They recognize that climate change is not a problem they can wait for other people to solve.  If businesses want to operate in the future, they need a liveable planet on which to continue their operations.  As such, sustainability initiatives are just as important as any other investment eBay can make in their company’s future.

Since inception, eBay’s business model has been conducive to supporting the environment.  Their robust platform of reselling used goods has extended the life cycle of many products.  Each product resold is a product that doesn’t end up in a landfill.  Buying second hand also reduces demand (and the resources needed) for a new good to be made.  In the areas of apparel and electronics alone, resale on eBay has conserved 720,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.

But eBay is not limiting its sustainability initiatives to what comes naturally for them.  Using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as their guide, the company has pursued a variety of ambitious goals meant to make them a greener company.  In alignment with SDG #7, which promotes affordable and clean energy, eBay has vowed to power its data centers and offices with 100% renewable energy by 2025. 

As of 2020, they were 74% of the way to their goal.  eBay has been able to achieve this transition in large part thanks to their partnerships with other companies.  Recently, eBay joined hands with fast food chain McDonalds in an agreement to buy power from Lightsource bp, the largest solar project in Louisiana.  As more major players switch to renewable power, the demand and infrastructure will rise together.  In the coming years, fossil fuels will be a product of the past.

Other ways eBay is pursuing sustainability include taking action to reduce their carbon footprint even while growing their business, in line with SDG #13.  Two weeks ago, eBay announced their goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions 90% by 2030, using 2019 as their base year.  They have also vowed to become climate neutral in 2021 and reduce Scope 3 emissions, those arising from their value chain, by 20% over the next decade. 

Taking care of the planet and growing a company are not conflicting goals.  Both are necessary for eBay to ensure prosperity. 

eBay sustainability and recommerce

Published: November 1, 2021

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Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-2018.

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