Introducing the eBay Green Team

Richard Brewer-Hay

As first reported by the New York Times, we’ve launched a new eBay Green Team website this week and are also raising awareness for sustainable shopping through a number of magazines over the next few weeks. homepage

There are a lot of pretty cool features to the new website including tips and suggestions for “greener” ways to approach buying and selling, but what I find the most compelling is the open invitation for people to participate in an interactive discussion right there on the site, called Green Team Talks, about sustainable shopping and sharing ideas with each other. Team members also are invited to take “eBay Green Team Challenges” to learn how small, everyday changes can have a large, positive impact on the environment.

I’ve been following this one internally for a little while now and was looking forward to being able to announce it here on Ink. What began as a proactive effort by 40 eBay employees in 2007, has grown into a full-blown company-wide initiative. The eBay Green Team (of which I became a member only recently) now boasts over 1000 employees worldwide and, when the company needed more office space, they were the driving force behind the construction of “Mint”, the first building built to LEED Gold Standards in San Jose, CA, including the city’s largest solar panel installation.

To help kick off the campaign both offline and into a broader community, eBay is working with Hearst Magazines to launch “30 Days of Green,” a month-long initiative to raise visibility among Hearst readers around the issue of sustainable consumption.

I’ve talked in the past about how I felt that eBay and its community of buyers and sellers essentially represents the biggest recycler on the planet with people buying and selling used goods on a previously unprecedented scale. eBay CEO, John Donahoe agrees:

“eBay’s global community of more than 86 million active buyers and sellers support more sustainable commerce every day,” said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe. “The greenest products are often ones that already exist, and eBay creates a global market for used, refurbished, vintage and even new products from excess retail inventory. eBay buyers and sellers trade $2,000 worth of goods every second, a majority of which are used, refurbished or vintage. The eBay Green Team effort, which was inspired by our own community and employees’ accomplishments, will continue to encourage these behaviors and promote new ways of thinking about shopping green.”

I’ll keep an eye on the discussion board over on the new website. It will be interesting to see a public conversation that is driven primarily by content from the Green Team members both inside and outside the company. I will also be intrigued to see if a dominant voice evolves there over time into a kind of moderator role for the group… right now it looks very unregulated and unstructured – most likely designed that way to promote a discussion actually worth having.

Kudos to the folks involved in making this happen. I know this labor of love was a big project to bring to life. Congratulations!