Our 2013 Social Innovation Annual Update

Alan Marks


From the first line of code for ebay.com, we’ve believed in our capacity to deliver both strong business performance and positive social and environmental change. This belief in the power of our business for shareholders and society is hard-wired into the DNA of eBay Inc. and it’s what attracted me – and many others among our more than 33,000 employees around the world – to join the company.

Last June, with the launch of our Social Innovation strategy and three-year goals, we formalized this sense of shared purpose that’s been here from the start. And in the year that’s followed, we’ve continued to build upon it. Our first Social Innovation Annual Update, released today, provides an overview of our efforts and stories of impact from 2013, and an update on the three-year goals we had set out. You can find the full update here – some highlights include:


Meaningful progress on our goals
We’re well on our way to achieving the goals we laid out last year, and have already met two of our Greener Commerce goals:

  • In just one year, we exceeded our goal to increase the number of users that engage in programs with clear upfront environmental messaging by 10%. With the continued success of programs such as our partnership with Patagonia (which expanded to the U.K. last May) and our German Instant Sale electronics trade-in platform, we grew from 315,206 people in 2012 to 367,114 in 2013, a year-over-year increase of 16%.
  • We also incorporated environmental criteria into global shipping vendor contracts, creating our first company-wide Supplier Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.


Updated Creating Economic Opportunity strategy and goals
This year, we embarked on a year-long effort to better understand the ways in which our core business generates economic opportunity and how we can measure that impact. As a result, we’ve refined our strategy to focus on four key areas and set forth a new goal, aligned with how eBay Inc. measures its performance – to enable $300 billion of global commerce by 2015. While the enabled commerce volume (ECV) metric was created to track the health and growth of the eBay Inc. business, we also see it as a critical measure of the opportunity we’re creating for entrepreneurs and businesses around the world. In the years ahead, we’ll begin to use this as our topline metric, and continue to extract and share other indicators of our progress from within the larger overall ECV figure.


Evolved storytelling
Last November, eBay Inc. enabled individual donations from all across the world in support of the post-Typhoon Haiyan relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines, generating more than $23 million in aid. It’s just one of the ways PayPal and our other commerce platforms powered charitable giving and our community of good rallied in support of an important cause. We’re working on an interactive graphic that visualizes our community’s response to the crisis in the Philippines, and I invite you to check back in the coming weeks to engage with it yourself. And be on the lookout for more of this kind of visual storytelling to come in the months ahead as we continue to experiment with new and different ways to share our impact.

While we’ve accomplished a lot, there’s still a lot more to come. Together, with our employees, key stakeholders and nonprofit partners, we’re continuing to accelerate, and we look forward to capitalizing on the opportunities for impact in front of us. Follow our progress on the eBay Inc. blog and our Social Innovation site, and let us know what you think.