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eBay UK launches climate training scheme for SMEs

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eBay UK is launching a climate training programme for the 200,000+ small businesses that sell goods on its platform.

Called the ‘carbon academy’, the programme is open to all eBay UK sellers and is being hosted as part of a partnership between eBay and Climate Partner. The aim is to equip SME decision-makers with the knowledge and skills they need to measure and reduce their emissions footprint.

The vast majority of businesses in the UK are SMEs – at least 90%. In climate terms, SMEs account for around half of the nation’s business-related emissions, with estimates varying from 45% to 53%.

Yet much research has been conducted recently concluding that SMEs are struggling to develop and deliver plans to cut emissions. Common barriers include a lack of budget or in-house expertise, plus the fact that some of the world’s most prominent schemes and resources for decarbonisation are aimed at corporations.

Through the carbon academy, SMEs will be able to have a baseline of their emissions footprint calculated by ClimatePartner at a discount. They will also have access to an online module on emissions accounting.

Six other online modules are also part of the programme. They will cover topics including carbon reduction, adopting circular economy principles and communicating climate action and sustainability. SMEs will additionally receive guidance on the role that carbon offsetting could play in their climate strategies.

Each module comes with its own checklist, with eBay placing emphasis on “bite-sized” resources and “practical” information.

“We all know that driving the change we need to see in our economy is going to take all of us and with over 200,000  small businesses using eBay in the UK alone, we can drive significant impact,” said eBay UK’s general manager Eve Williams.

Globally, eBay is notably working towards a verified 1.5C-aligned climate target. It has committed to reducing Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions by 90% by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. Within the same timeframe, it is aiming to reduce Scope 3 (indirect) emissions from downstream transportation and distribution by 20%.

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