Climate change is a global crisis that affects us all. No one can avoid its impact, although some people are able to protect themselves better against it.

Each of us, however, has the possibility to help curb climate change, both as individuals and in business.

Kate Stansfield is an English freelance translator, copy-editor and proofreader who is passionate about fighting climate change. In a webinar organized by the ITI association, entitled ”What can translators and interpreters do about climate change?”, she lists concrete actions that translators, interpreters and companies engaged in the industry can take to fight it/the crisis.

 

Translation work and environmental impact

Translators work in a global environment, have a lot of international contacts and are able to share information across borders — naturally within the limits of professional secrecy. It provides possibilities to influence, because fighting climate change requires close international co-operation and sharing of knowledge.

Most of the emissions in translation work are caused by business travel and use of digital information technology to search for, process and store data, which consumes surprising amounts of energy. For instance, sending one email and even storing an email for one year produces 10g of CO2 — the same as powering one lightbulb for one year.

Internet searches account for 2% of greenhouse gases, which is about the same level as the emissions from global aviation. This is also expected to increase further. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the global IT sector is expected to exceed China’s levels by 2025.

 

Practical measures for translators and other knowledge professionals

There are ways, however, to reduce energy consumption, both in translation work and any other digital knowledge-based work, for instance by

  • decluttering your computer and cloud services from unnecessary data and emails
  • compressing images, videos and animations published online
  • optimising the speed of your website
  • choosing green website hosting and an ecological search engine.

Wholegrain Digital has created a toolbox for measuring and reducing the digital carbon emissions in knowledge-based work, along with a calculator that you can use to assess how your website impacts the planet.

You can naturally try to reduce travelling, opt for public transportation instead of a private car, favour walking and bicycling, and compensate for flight emissions.

You can purchase more sustainable products, such as second-hand products or those made of recycled materials, and choose banks, institutions and companies that do not finance fossil fuel companies or projects.

Naturally, you can also support environmental activities through donations or voluntary work, as your resources allow.

 

Considering the environment at Maris Multilingual

At Maris Multilingual, we strive to reduce our environmental impact by using public transportation, avoiding unnecessary travel and purchases and by using wind power where possible. Our operations are practically paperless, and some of our office furniture and devices have been bought second-hand and reconditioned as needed.

We will start using the Ecosia search engine that uses renewable energy and donates 80% of its profits to tree-planting projects and environmental protection. We actively follow developments in the field and pursue possibilities for making more ecological choices in the future, both when renewing our company website and in all of our operations.

Needless to day, we are extremely proud of our hometown, Lahti, that was chosen as the European Green Capital in 2021. Taking account of the environment in your every day life is easy here, and the city aims to be carbon neutral as soon as 2025. In addition, there is a significant cleantech cluster in the region, including many of our corporate customers.

 

Sharing knowledge is important!

Today, many consumers and businesses consider environmental friendliness a competitive asset. That is why sharing knowledge about operating ecologically is important. It is also an important way to spread awareness of climate change, and may even help to curb it.

We, for our part, are extremely happy to help our customers share knowledge with their international clients and target groups about their actions, product features and projects aiming to curb climate change and protect the environment!

 

You can read the article in Finnish here.