Now eBay Bragging About Being Green

Lookie who’s going green: eBay. Well, according to their SVP of global communications, Alan Marks, they’ve always been a green business. It’s “intrinsic” as they sell people’s discarded goods. Which is–you guessed it–a form of recycling.

In a story in the New York Times today, we learn that eBay is touting its green-ness through a new website,, and in that most naturally green way: Five page inserts in all April 14 (Earth Day time) editions of Hearst magazines. The same Hearst magazines that don’t use recycled paper. But they do share eBay’s ambition of “promoting sustainable consumption conversations,” says Marks. A win for Hearst who needs any ads it can get.

eBay sells old trinkets, which means fewer new trinkets need to be manufactured, thus reducing carbon emissions. While that’s not exactly setting the world on fire with green ambition, eBay appears to be more seriously dedicated to alternative energy.

The company has 3,248 solar panels on its roof, which which accounts for 18% of their corporate campus’ energy. It’s purchasing carbon offsets to try to be closer to carbon neutral. It also says it’s “undergoing a rigorous process to examine every aspect of our energy use as a company to identify opportunities to be an even better steward of the planet.” A much better idea cutting back climate change than running ads in magazines.

While this is probably a trifling matter for eBay that’s not exactly a drain on their resources, we’d prefer to see them put their energy towards turning the company around. That way we don’t have to get excited when an analyst upgrades them from sell to hold.

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