Smooth deliveries increase second-hand trade

Trade of second-hand goods has increased due to smooth delivery services. This is what statistics and surveys from Helthjem show. The study, from the distribution company partly owned by Schibstedy, says that it is mainly transactions of goods such as clothing and consumer electronics that have increased, but also that the geographical market for other goods has expanded.

The findings also show that different areas of Norway use the services in different ways. In most cases, delivery services are used for long distance deliveries between regions, but in the city of Oslo, Helthjem’s services are to a higher extent used for distribution locally.

Helthjem offers several distribution services, including a peer-to-peer service where goods are delivered door-to-door all over Norway. Today, over 80 percent of these peer-to-peer deliveries are related to transportation of circular goods, like second-hand goods sold through marketplaces such as Finn, Tise, Facebook and Bookis.

A transition to a circular consumption pattern is key to decrease the negative environmental impact generated by our current lifestyle. Prolonging the life length and increasing the usage of existing goods is key in the transition. For consumers this means awareness of how we take care of, and use goods by choosing to repair, reuse, share and recycle instead of throwing things away or leaving them on the shelf unused. Suitable logistic solutions for peer-to-peer trade is a crucial factor to be able to make circular consumption more convenient and trustworthy.

Distribution is not by default an environmental friendly activity, in Norway road traffic stands for 18 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Efficiency in logistics is a key to lower the climate impact, every meter driven counts. Using a distribution service that caters to many is in general better for the environment compared to if all consumers drives by themselves to pick-up goods.

“At Helthjem we are working constantly to reduce the negative impact, the target is to lower Helthjem’s CO2-emissions by 50 percent by 2025. Our focus is to increase the efficiency of our existing routes, evaluate the environmental benefits of various means of transportation and update the vehicle fleet”, says Cathrine Laksfoss, CEO Schibsted Distribution.

During the past year Helthjem have several test cases ongoing with new electric vehicles, and have changed to electrical vehicles for several routes. In Oslo the transformation is fast and today over 80 percent of Helthjem’s deliveries are delivered by foot, without any carbon footprint.

 

 

How to make a change

There are more ways to reduce carbon emissions than being a part of secondhand trade. Conscious decisions and choices on how we live our everyday life can make an impact. Here are some actions to lower your impact on planet earth.

Traincation

Since the 1960’s, air travel has been our number one choice when traveling, whether on business or for pleasure. It is by far the most time efficient way of traveling long distances, but is it really that true when it comes to short distances? Air travel is one of the worst sources of pollutants. Traveling by train, on the other hand, requires far less toxic fuels than airplanes and it gets you by faster than you think. Try a traincation for your next holiday.

Quality over price

Garment production requires huge amounts of water, energy, raw material and chemicals which all have a negative impact on the environment. When buying garments of poor quality based on the low price, take the price of destroying the environment into account. When buying clothes, consider the quality and durability of the garment. Quality products will save you money since they last longer.

Sell, swap and buy smart

If you’ve bought a product of good quality, it is likely that the product will outlive your interest. Over time your interest, style or need for certain things might change. Instead of keeping clothes, tools, sports equipment and other goods in storage, the products can be sold to another user on the secondhand market. Buying and selling secondhand will not only save emissions; it will also save you time and money.

Skip traffic by going public

In modern day society, cars are no longer a luxury. If you are in a big city, on a highway or stuck in traffic and look at cars passing by, you will be surprised of how many vehicles that only carry one passenger. No wonder we experience traffic jams. Additionally, cars are one of the biggest causes of pollutants in cities. Instead of getting stuck in traffic, choose public transport, it is a more environmentally friendly alternative and gets you by quicker and cheaper than by car.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle

Every time we buy something new, raw material needs to be extracted and processed, goods need to be manufactured and the ready-made product needs to be packaged and shipped to a store where it’s available for purchase. Emissions and pollutants are generated during all stages of creating a new product. Goods that are no longer functional, in use or wanted should be recycled and not discarded. This will save raw material from being extracted and energy from goods not needing to be manufactured. By purchasing recycled goods, fewer emissions and toxins are produced and you contribute to saving our planet at the same time.

Go green!

Traditional sources of energy are huge contributors to climate change. We rely on electricity in our everyday life but we hardly think about the way it is produced or the emissions it creates. Renewable sources of energy produce electricity with far less environmental impact and without producing CO2. By switching to green energy, you will be supporting the use of our planet’s powers to create energy instead of draining its resources.

Earth-friendly products

Chemicals and substances in cleaning and hygiene products are effective for killing germs and bacteria. They are also harmful to the environment and difficult for water treatment plants to purify. If let out into nature or unable to purify, hazardous substances can pollute people and our surroundings. By choosing environmentally friendly alternatives, ecosystems, biodiversity, and acidification will be kept intact and you will reduce the negative effect cleaning products has on the environment.

Our users are environmental heros

Secondhand trade is an important contribution to a sustainable world. In 2018 users at Schibsted’s marketplaces saved 20.5 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, based in Italy, Spain, France, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Brazil, Morocco, Mexico and Hungary, are onboard. With data from all of these sites, we are able to convert what people are buying and selling into numbers that are showing the environmental benefit.  In 2018 it added up to 20.5 million tons greenhouse gases and 1.1 million tonnes plastic!

The calculation is based on the assumption that each used product 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 20.5 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:

• 24 million return flights Paris–New York
• The production of 162 billion plastic bags
• No traffic in Oslo for 41 years

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 hobbies257,753
Home and people3,463,373
Vehicles16,156,621
Electronics1,244,022
Business travel-1,182
Power usage-265
Transport connected to sales-665,682
Total savings20,454,640

 

Reduce, reuse, rethink

Secondhand trade is part of the concept  Circular Economy. The concept, which is built on reduce, reuse, repair and recycle, has no founder or date of origin. But it has gained momentum since the late 1970s, led by academics, thought-leaders, NGOs and businesses. The biggest driving force, however, is Mother Nature and how she reacts to the fact that an increasing population is draining her.

And in this Schibsted plays a role. With 22 marketplaces for secondhand trade all around the world and approximately 200 million users globally, we empower consumers in their daily lives to act more environmentally friendly. Secondhand trade is an important contribution to sustainability as it avoids exploitation of natural resources, reduces waste and emissions.

The global population will reach close to nine billion by 2030 and is expected to reach eleven billion by 2100. We all consume natural resources as if we had 1.7 planets. As we’re running out of resources the logic of circular economy is indisputable. It aims to keep products, ­components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times so that waste is minimized and natural resources will be used more efficiently.

“The circular economy can support businesses”

Translating the rate in which we consume the world into a personal level means basically that you and I need to halve our consumption or start to consume with twice the intelligence… It’s either that or facing the consequences that already are upon us such as water scarcity, air pollution and natural disasters where nine out of ten are climate-related.

This is nothing new. We’ve been warned for decades about the effects of our unsustainable lifestyles. But it is not until now that new intelligent ways of consuming are emerging at high speed, primarily thanks to technical and digital innovations. 3D printing revolutionizes manufacturing by reducing waste and emissions. Blockchains enable more efficient ways of pricing and selling, clean power and machine­2machine systems can monitor, control and optimize lights, heating and cooling of buildings – just to name a few.

A new business model

Some people urge business to support a circular economy, but when you think about it – it’s really the other way around. The circular economy can support businesses as we’re moving towards what many predict as an unstable global market with limited access to water and energy, scarce agricultural and mineral inputs resulting in increased prices, surcharges and taxes on emissions and waste.

Since the circular economy not only aims to ensure the survival of the planet but also the survival of businesses there are innumerous cases of companies who explore and innovate within this field. Thanks to the circular concept sustainability has become a potential for reducing costs, strong competitiveness and making money. The circular economy is a USD 4.5 trillion opportunity according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in their CEO Guide to the circular economy.

Going from a linear economy to a circular one is of high interest, not only among companies, but also among nations such as Finland, Scotland and Japan which are in the forefront of the sustainable road­map. Sweden is another country which is early and active. The government has recently set up an inquiry to analyze and propose policy instruments to promote increased utilization and re-use of products in order to prevent waste and to overcome barriers in the transition to a circular economy. Some of the suggestions ahead are increased access to car pools, tax deductions for rental goods, secondhand goods and repairs and increased legal rights within secondhand trade and sharing.

And the timing is right. More and more customers are becoming environmentally aware. Reports from different countries indicate that consumers prefer sustainable brands. For instance, a survey from Blocket in Sweden shows that four out of ten Swedes choose brands that actively contribute to a sustainable society. Many actors see business opportunities in the fact that the customers are waiting for corporations to enable circular consumption. According to Sustainable Brand Insight 33 percent of the Swedish population expect companies to make it easier for consumers to buy secondhand, rent and borrow things from each other.