How eBay Engages Employees in Innovative Social Responsibility Projects

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eBay, case study at Communitelligence Communicating Sustainability conference 2010 Ebay: Engaging Employees in Innovative Social Responsibility Projects

Amy Skoczlas Cole, Director, eBay Green Team

Amy Skoczlas Cole has worked at the nexus of business and sustainability for 15 years. As a thought leader in embedding authentic and strategic corporate responsibility programs into business operations, Amy has advised dozens of Fortune 500 companies. Her expertise covers a myriad of CSR issues, including greening operations and supply chains, creatively engaging customers and employees in environmental efforts, and partnering effectively with stakeholder communities.

Today, as the Director of the eBay Green Team at eBay Inc., Amy leads eBay’s efforts to engage their 88 million active users in making more sustainable buying choices that both can save consumers money as well as help protect the planet.  Building off a grassroots efforts started by eBay’s own employees, the eBay Green Team is a community of over 100,000 people who have pledged to be smarter, greener buyers and sellers.  Launched in March of 2008, the eBay Green Team has focused on raising awareness of the environmental benefits of using products that already exist today, and demonstrated how small actions can collectively add up to a big difference.  Within eBay, the employee Green Team, which numbers over 2,000 employees in 23 countries, has spearheaded a number of projects to make eBay a greener company, from developing alternative commute programs to planting the first ever Fortune 500 company sponsored community garden.   In her role, Amy also serves as on the company’s Sustainability Steering Committee, the executive body empowered by eBay CEO John Donahoe to set and implement eBay’s own operational commitments, including installing the city of San Jose, Calif.’s largest solar installation, building eBay’s newest building to LEED Gold standards, and most recently, announcing a commitment to reducing eBay’s greenhouse gas emissions by an ambitious 15% by 2012 over 2008.

Prior to joining eBay in early 2008, Amy was a co-founder and Vice President of Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business.  For well over a decade, she engaged business leaders across a wide range of industries in creating strategic sustainability programs that benefited the global environment and the bottom line.  In that role, she led multinational companies through the process of understanding, measuring, mitigating, and offsetting their environmental footprint and that of their supply chain – and in doing so, creating leadership brand enhancement and marketing opportunities.  Amy applied this expertise during three years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she helped to found a Brazilian sustainability organization focused on engaging Brazilian companies in environmental efforts. A seasoned expert in crafting partnerships between the business and non-profit communities, Amy launched relationships with companies as diverse as Starbucks, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Vale do Rio Doce, Intel, Petrobras, Office Depot, Aracruz Celulose, Fiji Water and Bank of America.

Amy holds an MBA in marketing and finance from George Washington University, and a BA in Environmental Policy from Vanderbilt University.  She is the author of various articles on business and sustainability issues, and a frequent speaker at national and international events, conferences and business schools.  She is the associate editor of Footprints in the Jungle, a book about natural resource companies and the environment.  Amy serves on the advisory boards of the Brazilian sustainability organization Instituto BioAtlantica, and Climate Earth, an enterprise carbon accounting start up.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and son.

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