Today, eBay released its 2018 Impact Progress Update, an annual report on the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, policies and programs. The Progress Update shows not only how eBay manages its own impacts, but also the positive impact that emerges when people use eBay’s technology and resources.
Anchoring the Progress Update are details on eBay’s environmental footprint and progress against each of eBay’s five existing impact goals. This year, we also announced a sixth goal within our Progress Update, aimed at reducing the company’s carbon emissions.
Our purpose to empower people and create economic opportunity continues to infuse our business and culture. Key highlights from the 2018 Progress Update are included below—you can find the full report here.
Establishing New Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target
Working to continuously support efforts that mitigate climate change, this year eBay added a sixth goal to our Progress Update framework in establishing our first greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target. We aim to achieve 50% absolute reduction in Scope 1 (carbon emitted directly by eBay) and Scope 2 (emissions resulting from the grid electricity eBay consumes) GHG emissions by 2025, and 75% by 2030, from our 2016 baseline.
Achieving this ambitious target goes hand-in-hand with eBay’s commitment to transition to renewables. As eBay’s electricity increasingly comes from renewable sources, the volume of greenhouse gases emitted from traditional electricity generation—e.g., fossil fuels—decreases. By implementing an effective Energy Management Plan at our data centers, as well as smart metering at offices in Europe and the Middle East, we are able to boost the efficiency of our energy use, and subsequently decrease GHG emissions, even as our business grows.
Sourcing 50% Renewable Electricity
In 2018, eBay sourced 50% renewable electricity—a 5% gain over 2017. This positive progress came through a combination of efforts, including eBay’s participation in local utility-driven green power programs, such as Solar Choice in San Jose, Calif., which serves eBay’s headquarters.
This milestone was also supported by pursuing power purchase agreements and assessing the feasibility of other on-site renewable energy options to complement our solar array in Salt Lake City.
Enabling Growth in Less Advantaged Communities
eBay reported an 18% growth in the number of commercial sellers from at-risk or distressed communities, compared to a 0.4% decrease in business enterprises in these communities overall. This positive growth represents a strong upward trajectory toward a goal to achieve a higher percentage of growth in the number of sellers from less-advantaged communities as compared to economic growth nationwide. The 2018 launch and expansion of the Retail Revival program in cities and regions around the world, paired with eBay’s ability to enable all sellers to access a global marketplace, supported this growth.
Targeting New Fundraising Record
After raising a record-setting $102 million in 2018, eBay remains on track to reach its goal of $1 billion raised for charity by 2020. eBay has one of the world’s largest and most active fundraising platforms offering buyers, sellers and organizations several ways to support causes they care about. More than 66,000 nonprofit organizations are registered on the platform, giving buyers and sellers the opportunity to contribute with every transaction.
eBay continues to partner with organizations to host cause campaigns, like the 12-month partnership with The Prince’s Trust in the U.K., which raised £105,000 in its first 24 hours, and a Veterans Day campaign supported by CNN’s Jake Tapper and several Hollywood celebrities and entertainment icons, which raised $160,000 for Homes for Our Troops.