Case study Etsy

Etsy sets ambitious science-based near and long-term net-zero targets

We were proud to take Etsy on as our first North American client in 2017 to help advise on its carbon offsetting strategy.  Since then, EcoAct has worked closely with Etsy and continues to support the company as it continues to take climate action to the next level.

The Challenge

Etsy has a history of strong sustainability practices including committing to 100% renewable electricity in 2016, running ‘Zero Waste’ operations in 2017, and becoming the first ecommerce company to offset 100% of its shipping emissions in 2019. To drive ESG accountability, Etsy began reporting impact metrics alongside financial results in its 10-K in 2018.

In late 2020, Etsy gained approval for its 2030 emissions reduction targets by the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi). At the time these targets met the highest level of ambition. However, by late 2021 scientific consensus and the standards for target setting had evolved. Most notably, by November 2021, the SBTi had released the first globally recognized Net-Zero Standard. In addition to this, Etsy had acquired two new companies.

Recognizing these important changes, Etsy decided to establish an updated baseline and align its efforts with the new SBTi Net-Zero Standard.  This would ensure its emissions reduction targets were in-line with what the latest science deemed necessary to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and reflect its expanded business. Etsy hired EcoAct to increase its ambition and align with the new Net-Zero Standard.

Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. It’s home to a universe of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures. Etsy’s mission is to keep commerce human and they aspire to help make creative entrepreneurship a path to economic security and personal empowerment.

Circle sky;

EcoAct has been a valuable partner to Etsy over the past few years. We’ve really appreciated their attention to detail, professionalism and technical expertise. Most recently, EcoAct’s support during the development of our net-zero target - marrying an in-depth understanding of the SBTi Net Zero Standard with Etsy’s business activities - streamlined the application process and, ultimately, ensured our target would be validated.

Sam Brundrett, Etsy Sustainability Manager

The Solution

EcoAct worked with Etsy to review the SBTi Net-Zero Standard, incorporate its newly acquired subsidiaries’ footprints into its carbon inventory, and, ultimately, develop a robust net-zero model that formed the foundation for its SBTi application. This work helped Etsy understand:
  1. What key levers the company has to drive net-zero aligned decarbonization and the potential of these levers;
  2. What projected absolute emissions would look like under different business growth scenarios aligned with a net-zero pathway.
  Taking into consideration both the SBTi’s new Net-Zero Standard and a detailed understanding of Etsy’s emissions reduction levers, EcoAct helped Etsy develop an updated set of near- and long-term net-zero targets. Overarching Net-Zero Target: Etsy, Inc. commits to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the value chain by 2040 from a 2020 base year. Near-Term Targets:
  • Etsy, Inc. commits to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2020 base year.
  • Etsy, Inc. also commits to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions 52% per million dollars of gross profit by 2030.
Long-Term Targets:
  • Etsy, Inc. commits to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 90% by 2040 from a 2020 base year.
  • Etsy, Inc. also commits to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions 97% per million dollars of gross profit by 2030.
Guided by its SBTi-approved net-zero target, Etsy has implemented a number of initiatives including procuring 100% renewable energy for its offices and remote worker energy usage, developing an open-source methodology to measure energy usage from cloud computing, spearheading advocacy campaigns to push for electrification of USPS vehicles, and partnering with a third-party vendor to offer US sellers more sustainable packaging options.

The result

  • With EcoAct's support Etsy became one of the first companies with an SBTi-approved net-zero target
  • Etsy now has a robust net-zero model from which to guide its future decarbonization decision-making
  • The company continues its strong performance on the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire (A-), which EcoAct has provided reporting guidance on since 2019