Carousell Group, the leading multi-category platform for secondhand in Greater Southeast Asia, released its inaugural Circular Economy Impact Report on 8 December 2023, showing that buying and selling second-hand items is a better choice for the planet compared to traditional retail of buying new items.
The report, a first-of-its-kind for e-commerce and recommerce marketplaces in Southeast Asia, quantifies the Avoided Carbon Emissions due to users purchasing second-hand items on three of the Groups’ marketplaces, in place of a new item.
The launch event was graced by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, president of the Republic of Singapore, at Carousell Campus, the Group’s regional headquarters. The launch event also invited various industry partners and investors where Carousell group’s chief strategy officer Gaurav Bhasin gave a keynote presentation on key report findings.
Key findings of the Circular Economy Impact include:
- Carousell Group’s user community avoided 116,577 tonnes of carbon emissions in four goods categories (Fashion & Luxury, Electronics, Furniture & Home Living and Hobbies & Toys) in 2022
- Equivalent of around 76% of total trees in Singapore absorbing CO2 per year
- Almost 56% of purchases on the Carousell marketplace displaced the purchase of a new item
- On average across Carousell marketplace’s six key markets, 55% of surveyed users reported an increase in buying and selling of secondhand items in 2022 as compared to 2021
Gaurav said: “By facilitating secondhand transactions, Carousell Group holds a central role in advancing the circular economy alongside our users in the Greater Southeast Asia region.
“As a key enabler of the circular economy in our region, we have a responsibility to lead by example and measure the potential positive impact of choosing secondhand products over new ones in a trustworthy and transparent way.
“In addition to the Avoided Emissions calculations, we have also taken the opportunity to calculate our Group’s Carbon Footprint. The robustness of our chosen methodology underscores our strong commitment to sustainability, and it forms the bedrock of our sustainability endeavours.”
To quantify its impact, Carousell partnered with Vaayu, a European climate tech company leveraging proprietary AI and machine learning technology and utilising its Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) database of over 600,000 product data points.
As the initial phase of Carousell Group’s quantification journey, the scope of the report covers only the four goods categories of Carousell, Laku6 and REFASH. The Group is committed to progressively incorporating all remaining categories and integrating other Group brands Mudah.my, Chợ Tốt and OneShift within the scope in the coming years.
Namrata Sandhu, co-founder and CEO, Vaayu said, “Retail is responsible for 25% of global carbon emissions and with research continuing to show we’re not on track to keep global warming below 1.5C, we’re at a critical inflection point. Circular business models, like recommerce, offer a clear path to reducing retail’s impact on our planet, which is why we are so proud to partner with Carousell Group to quantify its climate impact and empower communications with its users.”
Besides the quantification of Avoided Emissions, the report also underscores the significance of every individual transaction in contributing to the overall circular economy impact. For instance, buying a secondhand sofa on Carousell can, on average, save up to 131 kg of Co2e, the equivalent of almost six trees absorbing Co2 per year.
As part of Carousell Group’s goal to accelerate the future of secondhand through recommerce, the Group’s marketplaces have been rolling out a variety of recommerce programmes and features across multiple platforms and markets this year.
Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO, Carousell Group said, “Our mission is to make secondhand the first choice for everyone. We have stayed true to this mission over the past 11 years, and we remain committed to making selling and buying secondhand even simpler, more trusted and convenient.
“With the release of the report, we hope more people realise how easy it is to embrace secondhand as a lifestyle and contribute to a greener world, without compromising on the things they enjoy.”