During the last couple of years global warming has slowly become a respected field of study. The web and magazines started to include carbon emission calculators which enable you to see your impact on the environment, and ecological conscience began to evolve.

While energy saving is quite straightforward at home, it is a bit more difficult to organize a climate-friendly company. In this article I will use the example of translation companies, because their work has one major advantage recommending them for my purpose: translation companies deliver words, and, as such, words are entirely non-polluting. This means I will concentrate on the environmental effects of a company’s daily activity, considering a company that produces no other pollutants than those of typical office work.

For a translation company, the biggest challenges are to reduce as much as possible its use of energy (because producing energy always means producing more or less pollution) and to recycle as many office supplies as possible. These are things any company should consider. Reducing a company’s use of energy can be done by avoiding all unnecessary business travels and choosing travel means as environment-friendly as possible. This can be done, for instance, by choosing the phone and internet for conferences and meetings with colleagues in other parts of the world and with customers. While some companies encourage car-sharing, some have chosen telecommuting, in order to avoid even more of the emissions caused by their employees cars. Furthermore, an office can become “green” if it is as energy-efficient as possible. Similar to in a home, heating and electricity costs can be cut by a good orientation of the building, by insulation, by using as much solar and eolian energy as possible and by choosing efficient heating and electrical systems.

Almost all of the office supplies can be recycled nowadays, starting with paper and printer cartridges and ending will office furniture and computers. Green translation companies try to reduce to the minimum their use of paper, for it is known that the average employee in any business uses between 45 and 70 kilos of paper each year. Reducing paper use means preferring digital copies for every internal and external document, using the printer only for contracts and other strictly necessary things, using recycled paper, save paper printed on one side for subsequent re-use. Finding a recycling company near you will further save some fuel energy, a rule that applies to all of your suppliers. Preferring a nearby supplier means your supplies will travel the least possible, and you avoid a number of ethical and environmental issues caused by the production standards used in other parts of the world.

All these measures, when used by a responsible company, will lead to a product with significantly less environmental impact. For an environment-conscious customer it means being able to choose a provider that added as little as possible to the global emission of pollutants, and for a company it means the integration in the green suppliers category, a recognition that might become extremely important in the years to come.

Adina Barvinschi is a linguist for Lingo24, a green Translation Company in London and a provider of high quality legal translation services.

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