eBay Green Team: 2010 Year in Review
By: eBay Inc. Staff
Around the globe, new eBay Inc. sustainability achievements enabled employees and consumers to act green, in big and small ways.
Last year saw many new milestones for eBay’s Green Team, which focuses on driving sustainability among employees and consumers. Kicking the year off, eBay adopted state-of-the-art technology from Bloom Energy, reducing campus energy needs, and innovative implementation of green ideas continued throughout 2010. Check out a few of the key milestones here.
This year’s grand prize-winning idea at eBay’s employee-driven innovation expo was … a box. The eBay Box, as it was dubbed, is a branded shipping container made from environmentally friendly materials and designed to be reused. The eBay Box program is now in full swing with nearly 100,000 boxes now out in the eBay ecosystem. When used to its maximum purpose, can protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million gallons of water and conserve enough energy to power 49 homes for a year.
On Oct. 21, a group of eBay employees launched Instant Sale, another innovation expo-winning initiative in which eBay teamed up with sellers – who are already reselling refurbished and used electronics – to enable consumers to sell or recycle old electronics quickly and conveniently.
To close out the year on an extremely high note, Topaz, eBay Inc.’s new, state-of-the-art data center in Salt Lake City, received LEED® Gold certification, verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Topaz becomes one of only a handful of data centers to achieve LEED Gold certification.
Inside the company, the eBay Green Team has encouraged and enabled employees to work in greener ways around the world.
PayPal Omaha switches to cans
Green Team members at PayPal’s Omaha, Neb., facility recently led an effort to switch from plastic bottles to cans in the vending machines on site, a positive change for both employee health and the environment. Aluminum cans are BPA free and can be recycled more efficiently. A recycled aluminum can may be back on a store shelf within 60 days of initial use, and that recycled can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours – or the equivalent of half a gallon of gasoline. Earlier in the year, Green Team members also influenced the company to start phasing out all disposables in break rooms and cafes. Instead, employees are using stainless steel flatware, ceramic coffee cups and reusable tumblers.
More trees in Salt Lake City
Green Team members in Salt Lake City, Utah, have been involved with Tree Utah for several years, assisting with tree planting initiatives, restoration of wetlands, and helping with annual fundraising efforts. This year, Green Team members in Utah were recognized as being among the most dedicated corporate groups. Also, as the Utah campus continued to grow in 2010, so did its outstanding preferred parking program for environmentally friendly cars. The Salt Lake City Green Team, once again, had a huge presence at theEarth Fest in downtown Salt Lake City, as well as at the Live Green Eco Fair.
Talking Trash in San Jose
At eBay Inc.’s corporate headquarters in San Jose, Calif., eBay Green Team members launched replacing program to replace most trash cans with recycling and compost cans. This program is off to a great start and the company recently received a local building owners and managers association for single-tenant recycling. As a result of this program, with help from stellar partner, Greenwaste, and the conscientious San Jose employees who carefully sort their trash, the San Jose campuses finished 2010 with an unprecedented diversion rate. The overall goal of the program is to have zero waste created in San Jose end up in a landfill.
StubHub Goes Greener in Connecticut
The StubHub Green Team in Connecticut worked to incorporate more eco-friendly practices and products into the office environment. The Connecticut office is now entirely free of disposable cups, and has partnered with a local environmental organization to assist with the greening of local events and community outreach programs. The team has substituted all bathroom products with much more environmentally friendly ones, enacted green education initiatives, and even started a test group to reduce paper use.
eBay Canada loves preloved
This past November, eBay Canada joined forces with eco-friendly designer Preloved to create a collection of sweaters and accessories that demonstrate that going green should be a trade-up, not a trade-off. In conjuction with the program, employees in Toronto also did quite a bit to green its recently expanded office by using refurbished furniture throughout. The office also went eco-friendly with all of its marketing materials. All eBay Canada-branded goods are either made of recycled materials, can be recycled, or promote sustainability by being reusable. Even the office pens are made of 65 percent organic materials.
eBay Germany likes bikes
The German Green Team in Dreilinden, Germany, convinced local authorities to repair a critical stretch of road used by bicyclists to reach company headquarters. The team also added much-needed lighting to make it safer and easier to get to the office by bicycle. The team was also happy to announce that in 2010 its site was powered with 100 percent hydropower electricity and extended its renewable energy contract through 2012. When a new server room was constructed, the team helped make sure to use the most efficient cooling system available and even increased the temperature to require less cooling system energy.
Israel, Swiss eBay Green Teams make a difference
The newest Green Team in Israel hit the ground running this year. Members incorporated double-sided printing on all printers, created a subsidized leasing program for hybrid cars, stocked the kitchen with bio-degradable kitchenware, and installed bike racks to encourage carbon-free, healthy commutes. Recently, employees from both of eBay’s Swiss offices (Bern and Zurich) worked together with the WWF to remove invasive plants and protect endangered species native to the Valaise region of Switzerland. The team also made more bikes available for employees to use to run errands or to transport them back-and-forth to town or the train station. Finally, the team took steps to help partner vendors go green by better coordinating lunch deliveries with existing local schedules to minimize driving.
As 2011 begins, the eBay Green Team has over 2,000 employee members and more than 250,000 consumer members. We encourage you to get involved by signing up to be an eBay Green Team member here.