Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.
TriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.
Lauren Moore: I am the Head of Global Social Innovation at eBay Inc. I head up the eBay Inc. Social Innovation corporate team, and have been with the company for a little more than four years.
As eBay Inc. helps drive the next generation of commerce, the company also believes it has a powerful opportunity to leverage its unique business assets to enable positive social and environmental change in the world. Over the past year, we’ve created a Social Innovation strategy that focuses on three core areas of impact: creating economic opportunity, enabling greener commerce and powering charitable giving. I lead the team’s efforts to bring this vision to life around the world, partnering with employees, customers, retail partners and other stakeholders to help eBay Inc. achieve both positive business performance and lasting social impact.
Prior to joining eBay Inc., I served for eight years as Director of Giving for Starbucks Coffee Company, and was the Executive Director of the Starbucks Foundation.
3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?
LM: eBay Inc. was built on the conviction that we’re more than just a company. Nearly two decades ago, our founder, Pierre Omidyar, envisioned that technology-enabled and people-centered commerce could not only be a good business concept, but also a positive force for social and environmental good. Since then, countless employees have worked passionately to drive eBay Inc.’s positive impact around the world. In fact, we don’t refer to it as corporate social responsibility, because this is something we’ve valued and understood since the beginning.
What started out as fairly grassroots has slowly become more strategic, and as we’ve matured as a company, we’ve started thinking more intentionally about the impact we want to drive together. Today, our goal is to use social innovation to drive results for our shareholders, support the people our platforms serve, and create positive impact in the communities where we do business and for the planet where we live. Last month, we announced our Social Innovation strategy and three-year goals, which together outline our three key areas of focus and the tangible ways in which we’ll be looking to improve the world through our business.
3p: Tell us about someone (mentor, sponsor, friend, hero) who affected your sustainability journey, and how?
LM: I’m fortunate to have had roles with two companies – eBay and Starbucks – that are values-based, and have amazing founders and strong commitments to their people and communities. But even with the support of a great company, creating the kind of impact we’re pursuing is hard work, and a long-term proposition.
In my career, I’ve had two different mentors who understood the long-term nature of corporate social innovation work, and helped me focus on how to think about three, five or 10 years out, and what that means for my goals today. These two mentors managed to make real change in their environments – but you might not see it happen every day. Keeping their example in mind has helped me focus on what’s important over the long-term.
3p: What is the best advice you have ever received?
LM: Real impact takes time, and it’s a step-by-step process. And, you’ll fail in some efforts along the way. Keep the long-term vision for where you’re headed in mind, and then figure out what that means for you today.
3p: Can you share a recent accomplishment you are especially proud of?
LM: I’m extremely proud of the recent launch of eBay Inc.’s Social Innovation website, which outlines our strategy and goals, and shares stories, videos and other content about our three core areas of impact: creating economic opportunity, enabling greener commerce and powering charitable giving. The website showcases some of our best-in-class efforts to drive social and environmental change from around our global network. It took a lot of work on the part of many people across the company to move from a grassroots effort to a more strategic and targeted social innovation strategy. As the website shows, we’ve come a long way in our vision of embedding purpose into our core business. And as thrilled as I am with where we are today, I’m even more excited about all the exciting things to come. We’re only just getting started.
3p: If you had the power to make one major change at your company or in your industry, what would it be?
LM: The industry has evolved a lot over the past few years — we’ve moved from targeted corporate philanthropy, to strategic efforts that use corporate social responsibility initiatives to bolster corporate reputation, to now the era of companies realizing that they have a responsibility (and opportunity) to ensure their operations are taking a holistic, triple bottom line approach. The one shift I’d like to see our industry take is for more companies to recognize and leverage their unique business models to create positive social and business impacts in the world around them, while also contributing to the bottom line business performance of their company. We do this every day through our eBay platforms — such as our eBay.com marketplace which extends the useful lifecycle of products and encourages redistribution — and I look forward to other companies shifting in this direction as well.
3p: Describe your perfect day.
LM: I’m fortunate to have the role I do at eBay. I enjoy working with our team, doing the work we do each day. I know we have a real opportunity to support and influence the vision our senior leaders have for creating a great and enduring company.
I have two teenage daughters, and they know I love my job. Recently, I read a college essay that my oldest daughter wrote, explaining that I was her role model for the work we’re doing at eBay Inc. to create opportunity for people around the world. That was a perfect day – doing the work that I love with a remarkable team of people and going home to find that my daughters understand and appreciate the work I do.