Our users are environmental heros

Secondhand trade is an important contribution to a sustainable world. In 2017 users at Schibsted’s marketplaces saved 21.5 million tons of greenhouse gas. With the  Second Hand Effect-project Schibsted wants to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of reusing and repairing goods and minimizing waste.

It all started in 2015,  when we first rolled out the Second Hand Effect-project in cooperation with the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL). Since then more and more marketplaces around the world has joined the calculation to show the environmental benefits form secondhand trade.  Now ten of our sites, engaging million of users, are onboard. With data from all of these sites  we are able to convert what people are buying and selling on these sites into numbers that are showing the environmental benefit.  In 2017 it added up to 21.5 million tons greenhouse gases and 1.2 million tonnes plastic!

The participating sites are based in Italy, Spain, France, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Brazil, Marocko, Mexico and Hungary:

The calculation is based on the assumption that each used product that is sold replaces the production of a new equivalent product. The method is developed in collaboration with the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, IVL. We have extracted data regarding the material composition of products sold at our marketplaces and recalculated it into the equivalent of tonnes of saved greenhouse gas emissions. Using sales numbers, customer surveys and information about energy consumption from office operations and data centers we have then reach the result.

But what does 21.5 million tons of greenhouse gas, really mean? To make this huge number a bit more understandable we have recalculated it into more comparable things. It is for instance equivalent to:

• 25,091,440 returnflights Paris–New York
• Yearly emission from 2.3 million Europeans
• 1.5 years of consumption of plastic bags in EU
• The yearly consumption of aluminum cans in Europe

This is what the Second Hand Effect means.

Environmental awareness is a growing and significant driver for buying and selling second-hand, helping reduce our negative environmental footprint. A recent user-survey on our Swedish marketplace, Blocket, indicated that greater awareness of climate change is increasing the incentive to use the site. No matter the motivation, the trade on these sites is an important contribution to responsible consumption and towards reducing our environmental footprint.

Globally, we’re consuming as if we had the resources equivalent to 1.6 planets. This means we are consuming too much, too fast, leading to a lack of natural resources for future generations. By consuming responsibly and repairing, reusing, sharing and recycling products, we can instead slow down over-consumption of resources and negative environmental impact such as pollution, land-use and the ineffective use of existing resource. Selling and buying second-hand is one of the most efficient ways of minimizing the negative environmental impact related to consumption.

Around the world, governments are now investigating how to fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals for sustainable development. By increasing the awareness of environmental benefits of second hand-trade and continuing Second Hand Effect, we show our support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals number 12 ‘Responsible consumption and production’ and its target “By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.”

The table below shows the aggregated amount of greenhouse gas emissions, steel, plastics and aluminum potentially saved from all ten marketplaces. Since ad categories vary across the different sites, we’ve selected some common categories to illustrate the total result.

Greenhouse gas is a result of combusting all kinds of material, including our own breathing. As we use, produce and dispose more and more resources, the levels of greenhouse gas is constantly growing and causing global warming. As a result, we see more environmental disasters, rising sea levels, drought, less drinkable water and smaller harvests.

 

RESULT:POTENTIALLY SAVED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSION(tons CO2 equivalents)
Sport and hobbies265,591
Home and people3,615,284
Vehicles17,222,418
Electronics1,285,749
Business travel-1,303
Power usage-838
Transport connected to sales-808,341
Total savings21,578,561