One of the leading online auction sites may be one of the first online green businesses and it continues its eco friendly quest by implementing a green team.

Technically, eBay could classify as one of the first online green businesses. The online auction site’s mission has long been to build a community where registered members sell used items, or in other words, promote the reuse merchandise.

The company has taken green one step higher by implementing an employee green team who helps find ways to make the company greener and then find the means to implement the eco-friendly suggestions.

All of which will in the long run help drive more sales, build a stronger brand for eBay, and build a good usable green business model that other companies can follow.

eBay Goes More Green: The Green Team Manages Eco Issues
eBay Goes More Green: The Green Team Manages Eco Issues

eBay’s Green Team

The Green Business Network held its annual Green Business Conference in San Francisco, California in early November. Libby Reder, Head of Environmental Initiatives and founder of eBay’s Green Team told the packed room how eBay is once again creating a business model that works. This time it is a green business model.

“Seventy percent of the items listed on eBay have been previously owned. Sellers don’t require warehouses for product storage. Delivery of items doesn’t require fleets of trucks for delivery. And, by selling on eBay, the used items are kept out of landfills,” said Reder.

She also reiterated that the greenest product is often the one that already exists and gets reused versus getting dumped.

The Green Team Makes a Difference

Employees of eBay created The Green Team to help the company find ways to be greener.

A few of the ideas presented by employees that have already been implemented include the installation of solar panels on one of their new office buildings in San Jose, California. The group is also finding ways to reduce greenhouse gases 15% by next year.

And, they have opened a new site for the Green Team so that they can have a two-way communications channel with sellers and buyers.

Small Green Actions

The team’s tag line is “Small actions create big changes.” The new site has over 100,000 people signed up to provide information on how to sell green, suggest ways to reuse items, or when necessary, share tips on greening the end of life disposal of products.

The site also is highlighting sellers that are making a green difference and detailing how they are doing it.

Reder told the group that there are 2.6 billion golf balls lost per year by golfers on the hundreds of golf courses across the U.S. One of the eBay green resellers has created a $22 million business reselling golf balls he has reclaimed from golf courses.

The seller is providing a green business because he is cleaning up the balls and then reselling them versus letting the golf courses collect the golf balls and then send them to a landfill.

eBay’s Cause Marketing

Sustainability is the key word in green today. eBay contributes to sustainability through its promotion of cause marketing. Sellers or buyers can donate as little as a few dollars or hundreds of dollars to a charity of their choice through the eBay site.

eBay Strengthens its Brand

With over $60 billion worth of goods exchanged on eBay, all of their efforts to green up will create big changes. Going greener will certainly help build a stronger brand image for eBay while leading others by example to a workable green strategy for other online auction sites, sellers, buyers, and really for any small business.