Startup life

The Small Victories of 2020

January 2021

Making the best of a bad situation.

It’s a common expression, and given how last year went it’s all anyone could really do—us included. This was our mindset when we put together a few initiatives meant to make the world feel just a tiny bit brighter. From reducing our environmental footprint to fighting the digital divide, we wanted to share some of the good things that came out of last year and to start the year off with positive vibes.

Small victory #1: Controlling and reducing our environmental impact.

While we sell only renewed electronics and appliances, our business and those of our sellers still generate carbon emissions. We wanted to reduce our emissions, but to do so we had to figure out what they were. This is why last year we launched a carbon audit that should be complete by the end of January 2021. This assessment will provide us with the valuable data we need to take concrete action. It also provides more transparency, for you and for us.

That said, we didn’t want to wait for all the results before taking action. As always, we didn’t offer any Black Friday sales this year, since for us, the holiday represents mass consumerism and its issues at its worst. But for the first time ever, we decided to offset our carbon footprint on that day (because even without sales, traffic on the site tends to be much higher than other times).

How did we offset 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 our total emissions).
  • Offsetting projects were done via the GoodPlanet Foundation on the basis of their price per ton of CO2 t i.e. $27.

This is a great start, and we are still looking to do more to reduce the environmental footprint of our business. These first steps were made possible with the creation of a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) position within Back Market (Hi Camille 😊)!

Small victory #2: Supporting social initiatives

Beyond the health crisis, the pandemic has also cruelly resulted in making the poor and isolated among us even more vulnerable. In 2020, we gave a small boost to non=profits like Play Joué and Break Poverty in the form cash and also the best donations we’re equipped to provide—electronics. While small, our hope is that these small contributions have helped these organizations to combat the digital divide and connect people.

There are two other projects of which we are quite proud, and which were a success thanks to you!

  1. With the sale of smartphone cases on Back Market, we were able to donate $151,000 to support PUR Projet and the inhabitants of Pejarakan in Bali in implementing thair waste management project. If you want to know more about the project, please click here.
  2. We have also donated $60,689 to WWF as part of the “Panda Phone” project, which will be used to raise awareness about the environmental impact of digital technology.

Small victory #3: Our internal commitments

The things we’ve highlighted so far are global Back Market initiatives; but what about us, the Back Makers, the people behind the business? How have we committed to positive changes on an individual level in 2020?

We’ve continued our partnership with La Cloche, a humanitarian association that fights against social exclusion in France by promoting social contact and rehabilitating the image of underprivileged populations (click here if you want to know more about what they do and our collaboration). In addition, the team has also done clothing donation drives for those in need.

In the workspace, we have also started a small number of inclusion “guilds”, like the Anne Bonny’s Club, which aims to promote gender equality in the workplace.

We hope that the things we have done during this strange and intense year brings you a little hope (and maybe even ideas for your own workplace!) as we begin this New Year. We don’t want to pat ourselves on the back because we know and you know that these are truly very small victories. But they are victories nonetheless—and ones that were made possible, at least partly, thanks to you! Have a happier 2021! 


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