The work has been conducted by a fundamental question:
How much material and emissions can potentially be saved annually through second-hand trade, if each second-hand product replaces the production of a new one?
The method of calculating the potential environmental benefits of second-hand trade is based on the assumption that each sold used product replaces the production of a new, equivalent product and the waste management of the product. This means that if someone is buying a used dining table on one of Schibsted’s sites, rather than buying a new one, there is no need for producing a new table, and a used table does not need to be disposed of.
The study is thus based on two fundamental assumptions:
• Whoever purchases a used item refrains from buying the corresponding new product and the material and emissions associated with new production are avoided.
• Each sold second-hand item does not have to be disposed of and the emissions associated with the waste management are avoided.
This is a simplification of reality and corresponds to a ”best case” scenario in order to demonstrate the potential environmental benefit compared to no recycling whatsoever.
The product categories included in the calculation of environmental benefits have been selected based on the following criteria:
1) They represent a large part of each site’s total volume of private ads
2) They include products that are reasonably similar, so that the material partition and its climate data are representative of the entire category.
Only private individuals’ ads have been taken into account. Moreover, the advertising of pets, services, concert tickets, collectibles, travels and accommodation and some local categories has been excluded since they do not involve the recycling of material goods.
In total, the study covers approximately 50 percent of all private ads on the ten participating Schibsted sites. The limitation is set according to available data regarding material and generated greenhouse gas emissions and the ability to estimate the materials that the average product is made of.
The calculations are based on the ads that lead to sales.