CO2 compensation when buying products on eBay marketplace

Case Study
„At eBay, we are committed to promoting a sustainable future for all. That’s why I’m delighted that we’re taking another step and now offering the option to trade with subsequent carbon compensation for 10 million items on our marketplace.”
Oliver Klinck, Executive Director, eBay Germany


eBay wanted to create a solution that was simple for customers, i.e. that could be used with just a few additional clicks, and that enabled investments in selected climate protection projects as a supplement to purchases, thereby offering the option of offsetting CO2 emissions.

This solution should serve multiple goals: Responding to customer demand for sustainable purchasing, freeing the selling merchants from having to develop their own solutions, and strengthening eBay’s differentiation in e-commerce.


To implement the idea of CO2 compensation when shopping online, the ideal climate protection partner was first sought and, after a lengthy evaluation, found in South Pole, a renowned project developer and provider of climate protection projects. In order to be able to determine the carbon footprint of the respective eBay products, South Pole developed its own calculation model that differentiates according to product categories. Using average products per product category, experts modelled representative weightings and emission factors, which are then used to calculate the CO2 emissions. Based on this calculation model, it was now possible to create and roll out a front-end feature that fits well into eBay’s UX and online funnel. Due to the intensive, efficient cooperation, the project was developed and launched within one year.


Immediately after its launch, the eBay CO2 compensation resulted in very extensive and positive feedback in the press. This and the good integration of the new function into the eBay website quickly led to a positive adaptation by eBay customers. And last but not least: the project was also very positively received internally, at the level of eBay employees, and strengthened eBay as an employer brand.

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