eBay is going public about going green (surprise), announcing a Green Team “committed to doing even more to help the world buy, sell and think green every day.” But will the green tint stick?
Well, they’ve got a huge solar power installation. Their business happens to promote reuse, which is better than recycling. They pay for cradle-to-cradle packaging and carbon credits. And who’s to say their heart isn’t in the right place? But beyond that…?
Well, there are plenty of newly manufactured consumer items for sale on their site. A lot of small parcels zooming all around the world 24 x 7 (some $2,000 in goods per second, in fact) doesn’t do much in the way of reducing fossil fuel consumption. And, as the New York Times points out, the ad campaign will be on virgin paper. Ouch! The article proves yet again that even modest pretensions to green goodness are subject to scrutiny.
Credit eBay for doing some good work. But from a marketing perspective, it’s hard to own the green leadership mantle when, by all appearances, your carbon footprint is about the same as everyone else’s.