“Making the best of a bad situation.”
It’s a pretty common expression, but given how the last year has been it’s probably more common than it’s ever been. So we took it to heart last year and used it to drive a few pretty neat little initiatives that we feel helped make the world a little brighter.
Between reducing our ecological impact and fighting the digital divide, we just wanted to share our little victories with you. We don’t want to sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back – we really just want to give ourselves a little encouragement by sharing the positives.
So come along and find out what we’ve been up to.
Little victory #1: Controlling and reducing our ecological impact
Even though we sell only refurbished electronic devices, our business and that of our sellers still generate carbon emissions. If we want to reduce these emissions, the first step is to understand where they come from and calculate them. That’s why we have launched our own carbon audit that should be completed by the end of January 2021. This assessment will provide us with valuable information so that we can take really effective actions as quickly as possible. Plus, it offers a bit of transparency, for you as well as for us.
Of course, we don’t need to wait for these results to start acting on our impact. Like every year, we decided not to make any discounts for Black Friday, an event that we consider to be a symbol of a rampant consumerism where people often lose a bit of perspective. Plus, for the first time, we even decided to offset our carbon footprint on that day (because even without reductions, traffic on the site is much higher than usual).
So how did we go about offsetting our emissions for Black Friday?
- We took into account the site’s activity (traffic, time spent, emails sent), advertising during this period, and the impact had by deliveries (which represent 60% of the total emissions).
- Offsetting projects were calculated via the GoodPlanet Foundation on the basis of the price per tonne of CO2 they set, i.e. £20.
It’s a great start, but we can always do more to reduce the footprint of our business.
This kind of action was made possible by the creation of a CSR (Corporate social responsibility) position within Back Market (Hi Camille 😊)!
Little victory #2: Supporting social initiatives
Beyond the health crisis, the pandemic has had the cruel additional impact of making the poor and isolated among us even more vulnerable. In 2020, we therefore wanted to give a small boost to associations such as Play Joué or Break Poverty in the form of the best donations we’re equipped to provide (smartphones, tablets, computers, etc.) or via giving direct financial support. We hope that these few actions will help to fight the digital divide and connect people in difficult situations as much as possible.
And then there were two other projects of which we are quite proud, which were a success thanks to you!
- With the sale of smartphone cases on Back Market, we were able to donate £112,000 to support PUR Projet and the inhabitants of Pejarakan in Bali in the implementation of their waste management project. If you want to know more about the project, please click here.
- We have also donated £45,000 to WWF as part of the “Panda Phone” project, which will be used, for example, to raise awareness among consumers about the environmental impact of digital technology.
Little victory #3: Our internal commitments
The actions we have talked about so far are global Back Market initiatives; but what about us, the Back Makers, the folk behind the project? How are we committed at an individual level in 2020?
We have of course continued our partnership with La Cloche, a humanitarian association which fights against social exclusion in France by promoting social links and rehabilitating the image of the underprivileged populations (click here if you want to know more about what they do and our collaboration). We continued this further with our clothing donation drives. In the workspace, we’ve opened a small number of inclusion “Guilds”, including Anne Bonny’s Club, which aims to promote gender equality in the workplace.
The actions we have talked about so far are initiatives we believe in and are proud to be a part of. So yes, 2020 was a complicated year overall, but that doesn’t stop us from rejoicing in those few actions that have taken a little of the bitterness out of it. And it’s partly thanks to you too, so thank you and have a happier 2021!