The European Commission has just adopted a new European Consumer Agenda for 2014 - 2020, recognising the power of consumers to drive the European economy by making informed choices that reward competition and support the goal of sustainable and resource-efficient growth.
We are contributing towards that goal everyday by ensuring that new, technology-driven commerce enables positive change. In everything we do, we take an integrated view on the future of commerce and its capacity to address the key challenges mentioned by the Consumer Agenda: the digitalisation of daily life, the desire to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption, and the specific needs of vulnerable individuals.
Digitalisation - On 21 June, we announced our plans to run the eBay data centers primarily on renewable energy. We are revolutionising how commerce is powered by using the electric utility grid only as a backup and instead relying on alternative energy fuel cells. As commerce is increasingly supported by technology solutions – at the stages of searching, connecting, establishing trust, transacting, paying, etc. – the importance of making the very "backbone" greener is a necessary step in shaping a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core.
Specific needs - June also saw eBay’s UN Global Compact Report – describing our progress and activities on the four key areas of the Global Compact: human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption. This is a testament to the positive social impact that we can drive through eBay Inc.'s core business, including our efforts to deliver an accessible eBay platform that creates opportunities for all people of all abilities.
Our pioneering energy project and our achievements to date in the area of the UN Global Compact are only two examples of our contributions to making commerce more environmentally and socially sustainable. As the European Consumer Agenda now progresses through the European Parliament, we will put in a European context our other efforts to enable greener and more sustainable consumer choices and business opportunities. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Technology for Sustainable Commerce!