eBay Inc. Commits to 15% Corporate Emissions Reduction Target by 2012

eBay Solar Panel Installation, San Jose, CA. Photo credit: SolarCity.

eBay Solar Panel Installation, San Jose, CA. Photo credit: SolarCity.

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–eBay Inc., the world’s leading online marketplace,  announced its first greenhouse gas emissions reduction target through the Carbon Disclosure Project, an independent not-for-profit organization holding the largest database of corporate climate change information in the world. By 2012, eBay has committed to reduce its corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 15% over a 2008 baseline.

The target will be achieved through an ongoing commitment to energy efficiency and conservation, continuing investments in renewable energy and by promoting more sustainable behavior - such as travel habits and personal energy use - among its global workforce of 15,000 employees.

“eBay continues to demonstrate our long-term commitment to responsible energy use and environmental leadership with our first greenhouse gas emissions reduction target,” said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe. “As a company whose business continues to grow year over year, we recognize that the goal is ambitious, but we’re confident that it is achievable.”

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, eBay Inc. worked with leading environmental consultant ICF International to prepare a GHG emissions inventory. While eBay reported on these efforts qualitatively in 2007 and 2008, the company elected to disclose GHG figures quantitatively in 2009 to the Carbon Disclosure Project, becoming one of the first Internet companies to do so.

Energy Efficient Operations and Data Management

As an ecommerce company, eBay has a relatively small carbon footprint with a majority of the company’s environmental impact coming from the energy consumed by its data centers. The company’s approach to data management and infrastructure will be a key efficiency driver. In 2010, eBay will unveil a new state-of-the-art green data center that will house more than a third of its global data infrastructure. The site, which is being built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards in South Jordan, Utah, will deliver state-of-the-art efficiencies in cooling and power management, as well as in IT infrastructure and software.

eBay also operates on a two-year tech refresh system that allows the company to process more transactions per watt. While this system drives energy efficiency in its operations, it comes with environmental collateral damage in the form of e-waste. To address this, eBay has undertaken new initiatives in the past year to actively repurpose and extend the useful life of hardware.

An example of the company’s commitment to reuse can be found in its recent donation of old servers to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. The server donation initiative not only puts old eBay servers to work in Notre Dame’s research labs to power AIDS and cancer research, but leverages the heat generated from those servers to warm a greenhouse that sits adjacent to the laboratory.

Investments in Renewable Energy

eBay continues to support the use of renewable energy to green its operations. The company opened a 197,000 square foot office building in San Jose last year, which features a 650 kW solar installation and has also been LEED Gold certified - with dimming systems and the use of recycled materials throughout. Following that, eBay is installing a new 100kW solar installation at the company’s offices in Denver, Colorado. A fuel cell strategy is also under way - to be announced in early 2010.

eBay Green Team - Driving Greener Behavior

A final key component of eBay’s carbon reduction strategy comes from encouraging more sustainable behavior among its global workforce of more than 15,000 employees. These actions are largely driven by the company’s Green Team - a group of more than 2,000 employees in 23 countries who are committed to making eBay a greener company. The Green Team, incubated in a company with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and an ethos of individual empowerment, has taken on projects of all sizes, all over the world. Some of these projects include:

  • Under the leadership of employee Kasey Hesse, PayPal’s Omaha Green Team started a community garden project in the Spring of 2009 - one of the first community gardens of its kind. PayPal’s La Vista campus offers 20 10′ x 10′ garden plots for PayPal employees to grow fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers.
  • Led by CS Product Manager June Rouine, the Dublin Green Team is eBay’s largest in Europe, with nearly 100 members. In 2009, the team engaged in a variety of initiatives to inspire employees and green the office environment, like participating in local organic markets and National Cycle to Work week.
  • At eBay headquarters this summer, the San Jose Green Team co-hosted an electronics recycling drive to benefit the Blind Center of Nevada, a nonprofit and eBay PowerSeller that refurbishes and resells donated items on eBay to provide meaningful employment to blind and visually impaired individuals. Hundreds of employees participated, donating more than 8,200 pounds of personal electronic equipment-keeping nearly four tons of dangerous materials out of landfills.

232 Responses to “eBay Inc. Commits to 15% Corporate Emissions Reduction Target by 2012”

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