Social Innovation at eBay Inc.: A Vision for Impact
By: eBay Inc. Staff
Over the past year, we’ve been engaged in a conversation with our employees and key stakeholders around the world about the positive social and environmental impact we seek to drive as a company. It’s been a natural evolution of eBay Inc.’s work – from the beginning, our founder, Pierre Omidyar, saw the immense potential in our model of technology-enabled, people-centered commerce to improve the world.
With this founding spirit in mind, we’re challenging ourselves to think about how we can use our business to capitalize on our opportunity for impact. From the outset, we’ve understood that we’re not satisfied with the traditional ‘corporate responsibility’ paradigm of doing less harm or placing philanthropic or altruistic efforts at the periphery of the company. Instead, we’re re-examining our business model to see how we can thoughtfully apply our assets and expertise toward achieving real, lasting, world-changing impact. The result is a global approach to driving Social Innovation that focuses on three key areas: creating economic opportunity, enabling greener commerce and powering giving.
The new Social Innovation section of our eBay Inc. website outlines our vision and strategy, as well as an inaugural set of goals, articulating for the first time the positive social and environmental change – and core business performance – we’ll enable over the next three years. More than just numbers, our goals reflect on the best programs and initiatives we’ve seen create real impact across eBay Inc. and put forth a bold commitment to drive clear, measurable progress to achieve more. Some examples include:
- Our partnership with Grameen Foundation through which we’re extending our mobile leadership and expertise to build solutions that support rural farmers in Indonesia
- How we’re using our presence in Utah – where we’ve constructed two LEED® Gold-certified buildings, partnered with Bloom Energy to design the next generation data center and worked with the state government to make regulatory changes that allow us to source directly from renewable energy developers – to lead in the transition from coal to a cleaner, greener energy future
- The recommerce revolution we’re shaping through our platforms such as eBay Marketplaces, the eBay Classifieds Group and Half.com, as well as through innovative partnerships with Patagonia and the PGA Trade-In Network
- The global network of good we’re building by facilitating charitable giving through our tools and technologies, like in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy when eBay Inc. enabled more than $10 million for relief and recovery efforts
We believe we can drive positive, lasting social and environmental impact, alongside core business performance – and in ways that are completely unique to eBay Inc. and our assets as a company. And with the passion and commitment of our more than 31,000 employees around the world – each endowed with the same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship as our first employee, Pierre – we know we’re only just getting started.
We hope you’ll take a look around the new site and let us know what you think. And be sure to follow the latest news and updates from our journey on the eBay Inc. blog. It’s an exciting time, and we look forward to working with our community of buyers and sellers, merchants, and commerce and nonprofit partners, as well as our investors and employees to make progress toward our vision of shared impact.