eBay reveals methodology for calculating benefits of a circular economy

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eBay have released its methodology for calculating the environmental and financial benefits of a circular economy, preventing used goods from immediate disposal to landfill or incineration.

Living in a circular economy and buying or selling used items is one positive way consumers can do good by the environment and younger generations are currently leading the way.

eBay has been at been at the forefront of circular commerce for 25 years, starting with that first sale of a used laser pointer, and we are proud of the environmental impact our buyers and sellers have generated through the use of our platform. Our focus is to simplify selling and buying to make sustainability equitable and attainable for all – while empowering people to make meaningful choices for their purchases, businesses and the planet.

– Jamie Iannone, president and CEO of eBay

The Methodology

eBay has been calculating the estimated environmental impact of the platform’s consumer-to-consumer sales of used and refurbished goods for many years and is now open sourcing its methodology for how avoided carbon emissions and avoided waste impacts are calculated, in partnership with third-party expert Anthesis.

The brand has identified a list of five categories representing the wide range of used or refurbished goods sold on its platform – Electronics, Fashion, Lifestyle, Media, Parts and Accessories, for which standardized outputs are calculated:

  • Avoided GHG emissions (kg CO2e per item)
  • Avoided landfill (kg for category and country)
  • Avoided incineration (kg for category and country)
  • Positive financial impact ($) 

According to this methodology, of the five categories listed, purchasing a used or refurbished product from the Electronics, Fashion and Parts & Accessories categories will have the most environmental benefit. 

The information allows consumers to make meaningful decisions about what used or refurbished products they decide to purchase, while understanding how the positive impact from this purchase on the environment is calculated. It also serves as a model for other companies to leverage as they consider tracking their own impact, and we’re proud to offer this level of transparency. If we can standardize on the categories of avoided GHG, avoided landfill or incineration and positive financial impact, people can make informed choices when they have a chance to buy pre-owned items. It becomes a purchasing tool much like the nutrition label is for food.  And, with recommerce growing faster than selling and buying new products on eBay’s marketplace, finding a way to quantify positive impacts is good for everyone.

– Renee Morin, CSO at eBay

One Response

  1. They don’t even know how to correctly calculate delivery dates, all stats are crooked – how they can calculate this?!?!


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