eBay has been making great progress on its sustainability journey – with a range of important initiatives, including a serious commitment to the circular economy. Through the scale of its reach, eBay’s platform can help improve the sustainability impacts for millions of customers, by encouraging responsible consumption and keeping used and refurbished products in use – helping to avoid millions of tonnes of embedded carbon emissions associated with the production and consumption of new products.
eBay’s Vehicle Parts and Accessories team had understood, intuitively, that every time a vehicle part is reused, there should be significant savings in embodied carbon emissions, resulting from the avoidance of manufacturing new automotive parts. Imagine the total impact delivered, scaling up across the entire portfolio of around one million used and refurbished parts sold each year in the UK!
The question was, what level of savings in net emissions would be experienced through this scale of activity, while fully accounting for process emissions? And, recognising that ‘carbon’ is not the only issue, what level of further environmental, social and economic benefits could be quantified?
Earthshine Group was appointed to assist eBay in meeting this crucial challenge, with a focus on four project goals:
- Assess CO2 savings associated with eBay’s reused and refurbished vehicle parts value chain.
- Capture the broader range of sustainability impacts, in addition to carbon, including resource conservation and positive social and economic outcomes associated with product circularity.
- Prove the benefit of eBay’s model, compared with a business-as-usual ‘linear-economy’ baseline.
- Develop the range of potential opportunities for driving further circularity in the automotive sector, capturing even greater sustainability, commercial and customer benefits.
The results are conclusive — driving circularity delivers a range of impressive headline impacts: