Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
Climate change is more than a political issue. It is an ever growing threat to people everywhere. Businesses across industries rely on a livable planet rich in natural resources to operate. As more companies come around to this school of thought, investments in sustainable commerce are growing more widespread. Soon, an investment in preserving the planet will be looked upon the same as any other way to secure a company’s growth.
eBay has tied their company’s fate to the success of climate initiatives in several major ways. From the beginning, the online shopping platform’s business model has relied on recommerce. When people sell used products on eBay’s website, they are sparing the product from ending up in a landfill. When a consumer buys used on eBay instead of shopping new, fewer natural resources are used to make new goods. In 2020, the sales of pre-owned electronics and apparel on eBay conserved 720,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. For a business like eBay, it’s easy to support the UN’s goal of encouraging responsible consumption and production.
Beyond what comes naturally for the business, eBay has used the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide their platform, initiatives, and operations. For example, SDG #7 relates to the spread of clean and affordable energy. eBay has set the goal of powering operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025. They partner with other businesses and organizations to enable renewable energy purchases, recently teaming up with McDonalds to buy power from Louisiana’s largest current solar project. In 2020, 5 years from their self-imposed deadline, eBay was using 74% renewable energy for all their data centers and offices. This company is well on their way to making a green transformation.
Other ways that eBay supports the Sustainable Development Goals go beyond climate initiatives. In pursuit of greater gender equality, eBay aims to increase the number of women employed at eBay while providing fair access to opportunities. They strive to create an inclusive environment that fosters a deep sense of belonging in which women are equally compensated. eBay also supports small businesses, particularly those that rely on eBay to bring their wares to customer attention. eBay’s programs like Up & Running and Seller School are designed to support decent work and economic growth.
Investing in the planet’s future is investing in the business’s future. The more companies realize this, the better off the world will be.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked