eBay recognizes the positive indirect environmental impacts of its core business strategy, which is focused on “secondary market” goods: “We believe that this presents a significant business opportunity that carries positive environmental implications—an ability to extend the useful life of products, keeping unwanted items out of landfills and reducing the need for the raw materials necessary to manufacture new items.” eBay’s e-commerce platform facilitates the re-use of products; in 2008 the company reported that more than $100 billion worth of used goods were bought and sold. The company’s business model also eliminates the need for retail space, which greatly reduces its direct environmental impact. eBay’s largest direct impact is the energy the company uses to power its data centers. In response, eBay has implemented a data management strategy. Under this plan, all of eBay’s data center operations will be transferred to company-owned facilities, thereby allowing the company to have additional control over the power usage effectiveness and environmental.
eBay recently finalized the construction of a new data center certified Gold by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. Identifying holdings within the retail sector is difficult as the sector is based on the consumption of goods. However, Portfolio 21 recognizes the ecological benefits of eBay’s business model. We encourage the company to promote the local commerce capability of its Marketplace sites so that transactions may be made with less shipping impact.
To the best of our knowledge the above information is accurate and was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Neither the information presented above nor any opinion expressed shall be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy the security. The views expressed are those of portfolio management as of 1/31/13 and may not reflect current opinions or subsequent events.