eBay top Cross-Border Sustainable Marketplaces in Europe

By Chris Dawson February 1, 2021 - 10:11 am

The first Top 100 Cross-Border Sustainable Marketplaces operating in Europe report has been published by Cross-Border Commerce Europe and eBay is leading the pack.

Top 10 Global Cross-Border Sustainable Marketplaces operating in Europe

  • eBay (US)
  • Redbubble (Australia)
  • Etsy (US)
  • Rakuten (Japan)
  • Amazon (US)
  • Amazon Handmade (US)
  • Threadless (US)
  • (The Netherlands)
  • StockX (US)
  • Leboncoin (FR)

The rankings are a compilation of cross-border sustainability data of the best performing marketplaces websites, based on a score of 100 across 10 weighted KPIs:

  • Cross-border sustainability objectives (20 points)
  • 40% of top 100 marketplaces have clear and ambitious sustainability targets, in lines with the EU Green Deal 2030-2050

  • Cross-border sustainable business model (15 points)
  • C2C platforms and resale social commerce APPs are the most adequate marketplace business model to enhance sustainability.

  • Cross-border sustainable shopping experience (15 points)
  • The research team purchased different products on the marketplaces, conducting an in-depth analysis of the design and sizing (fashion), delivery time slots, payments and transactions, green logistics, packaging, 9R services, return logistics and transparency. 27% of purchased products from the top 100 marketplaces are considered sustainable.

  • Sustainability certification & labels (10 points)
  • 70% of the top 100 marketplaces adhere to non-profit organizations (.org) supporting, rating and certifying sustainability and circularity.

  • Sustainable product assortment (10 points)
  • 40% of the top 100 marketplaces aim to sell at least 20% durable products and services by 2025. Marketplaces have seen a 60% increase in searches for eco-friendly and eco-responsible items in the last year, with buyers increasingly searching for biodegradable, re-usable and vintage items.

  • Sustainable last mile delivery & transport carriers (10 points)
  • All logistics carriers have transport carbon footprint C02 emission reduction targets but FedEx, DPDgroup and DHL are the best scoring cross-border carriers.

  • Brand partners (7.5 points)
  • Marketplaces are prioritizing the sale of sustainable brands on their websites. 50% of the top 20 EU consumer brands have precise and ambitious sustainability targets.

  • Far East manufacturing & transport (5 points)
  • Marketplaces’ logistics routes direct to consumer – by air – have the highest carbon footprint. Only 10% from the marketplaces penalize air transport.

  • CO2 carbon footprint measurement (5 points)
  • The marketplace with the most sustainable cross-border logistics carbon footprint is Facebook, followed by C2C marketplaces eBay and Vinted. The average cross-border transport carbon footprint for an item sold on, delivered in Western Europe is 4.53kg C02/product, compared with 1.5kg CO2/product for eBay.

  • Sustainability executives (CSR) (2.5 points)
  • Nearly half of the top 100 global marketplaces have dedicated sustainable executives and a dedicated team to stimulate sustainable and environmental impact.

Pre-owned and second-hand business models

It is not surprising that eBay is the winner in the Cross-Border Sustainable Marketplaces as since its launch in 1995, sustainability has been a key factor for this global marketplace. Although much of what’s sold on eBay today is brand new, with focus on selling pre-owned and second-hand products, about 16% of eBay’s revenues are estimated to be green and clean.

This authentic, sustainable C2C business model receives a maximum score of 15 on the cross-border sustainable business model KPI, elevating it to first position with a total eRank score of 68.9 out of 100.

Amazon, as a B2C cross-border marketplace with 53% third party B2B sellers, focuses on selling new goods, which makes its business model score less than average. Nevertheless, a Cross-Border Sustainable Marketplaces rank of 5 could be achieved due to its clear goals on environmentally-friendly warehouses and electrical delivery vehicle fleets as well as sustainable materials, products and packaging offerings.

Top EU sustainable marketplaces – including the UK

Top scoring European sustainable marketplaces (including those in the UK) are: (the Netherlands) with #8, Leboncoin (France) #10, Spreadshirt (Germany) #11, ASOS (UK) #14, FNAC (France) #15, Zalando (Germany) #17, Farfetch and Lyst (UK) #19 and #20, La Redoute (France) #21, Vinted (Lithuania) with #22 and United Wardrobe (The Netherlands) #24.

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