eBay Inc. Honored for Sustainability Work
By: eBay Inc. Staff
From eBay Giving Works to MicroPlace, the company’s sustainability initiatives continue to make a difference.
On June 16, Public Counsel, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to providing pro bono legal services, honored eBay Inc. with the 2010 Corporate Achievement Award. First presented in 1992, the Award recognizes outstanding corporate citizenship based on demonstrated accomplishments in the areas of human rights, environmental stewardship, employee and supplier diversity, ethical business conduct, volunteerism and philanthropy. Prior honorees include DIRECTV, Intel, Best Buy, Microsoft and Kaiser Permanente.
In accepting the award on behalf of the company, SVP and General Counsel Mike Jacobson remarked that eBay’s founding philosophy is at the core of its success. “We believe people are basically good,” he said. “Our businesses – and the millions of people who depend on them – are proof that this is true.”
Indeed, eBay Inc. was founded on the premise that individual actions, taken collectively, can have tremendous and lasting impact. After nearly 15 years of harnessing technology in the service of people, the company has helped millions to transform their lives for the better – building businesses, taking care of their families and becoming global entrepreneurs at the same time. In doing so, they’ve transformed the communities and economies around them.
Created in 2007, the company’s global citizenship efforts also build on this idea, focusing on three specific areas: Creating economic opportunity, driving sustainability and enabling philanthropy. The following is a summary of the initiatives that fuel each area.
Fueling economic development worldwide: Through launching new marketplaces like World of Good, eBay is providing new access points to global markets for entrepreneurs at the village level—and, with PayPal, is enabling secure cross-border transactions that fuel global trade. By enabling PayPal users to invest in microfinance through MicroPlace, eBay is providing a pathway to a better life for the world’s extreme poor. And eBay Foundation, by investing in microenterprises, is supporting efforts to alleviate poverty and support economic development around the globe.
Accelerating the shift toward sustainable commerce: PayPal is a global paperless payments system – the world’s largest. And eBay is the world’s largest engine for the re-use of goods: The sales of pre-owned products on eBay.com has given new life to more than $100 billion worth of goods, avoiding the drain on natural resources of producing new products, and helping to keep used items out of landfills. These ideas are at the heart of the eBay Green Team, a global movement to help consumers become smarter, greener shoppers. The Green Team recently launched green.ebay.com, a new sustainable shopping experience on eBay, providing Earth-conscious buyers with sustainable options in home, fashion and gadgets. Through the eBay Green Team, sellers are also encouraged to not only cut costs, but lower their impact on the environment through smarter energy, packaging and shipping solutions.
eBay inc. has also made a considerable investment in greening its own operations and adopting clean energy technology. For example, the company’s newest headquarters building in San Jose, California, is the state’s first LEED Gold certified building, and has the city’s largest solar installation on its roof. Together with recently installed 500 kW of Bloom Energy fuel cells, the company is taking the energy use of one in three employees at that campus off the grid. These and other similar efforts were initiated by eBay’s employee Green Team, a group of 2,400 employee volunteers focused on making eBay a greener place to work.
Scaling individual philanthropy: In response to the eBay community’s desire to contribute to the victims of 9/11, the company created eBay Giving Works, its platform for supporting online fundraising for nonprofits. When disaster strikes, eBay Giving Works is able to quickly mobilize nonprofit partners so that buyers and sellers can contribute to relief efforts. Over the years, eBay Giving Works and its U.K. counterpart, eBay for Charity, have enabled the eBay community to raise more than $190 million worldwide for charities – much of this one dollar or pound at a time, given at checkout.
PayPal for Nonprofits, PayPal’s discounted nonprofit transaction infrastructure, has enabled nonprofits of all sizes to accept donations efficiently, cost-effectively and on a global scale. In 2009, nonprofits raised over $1 billion in funds via PayPal.
Through eBay Foundation GIVE Teams, employees are directly involved in recommending grants to deserving causes in their communities around the world. Recently, eBay China’s GIVE Team helped provide computers to a local elementary school, and the San Jose GIVE Team sponsored a "Share Your Lunch" campaign to benefit the local food bank.
For more information about eBay Inc.’s sustainability initiatives, visit ebayinc.com/sustainability.