Our unique Green Translations project changes course, but in spite of Covid-19 offers us carbon neutrality
“With the Green Translations project we want to provide the world’s first 100% eco-friendly translations by integrating our environmental values into our language services and to involve the entire supply chain in this virtuous circle.
We share our good circular economy practices with suppliers, while customers are asked to accept a slight mark-up on each order in exchange for a 100% carbon-free service.
Way2Global gathers many small contributions and doubles them with its own resources, while investing in reforestation of the planet through the Treedom platform, which also has a positive social impact by entrusting trees to local farmers in Africa and South America, which then become a source of income.”
Laura Gori, Founder & CEO of Way2Global
This was our plan for 2020: to implement a project that defines our identity, in which we have invested over a year of work, enabling our “translations that care” not only to unite the world, but also to reforest it.
The goal is to clean up harmful emissions on the planet by leveraging our own involvement and commitment and that of the entire supply chain, from suppliers to customers.
The key is a new conception of translation, which, through tree planting all over the world, aims to offset the CO2 emitted to provide language services.
However, the advent of the pandemic, with the global health and economic crisis, has forced us to rapidly change course. We have reacted flexibly, promptly and inventively by introducing a variation that shifts the focus of the project from “repairing” at the end of the process (planting to compensate for CO2 production) to upstream prevention. This consolidates the good Green Economy and circular economy practices that reduce the amount of harmful emissions produced at the source.
Without changing the goal and nature of the project, we have therefore managed to develop it in an even worthier direction.
We decided to postpone the implementation of the last step of customer involvement to a more opportune time, since during this period of global crisis it did not seem appropriate to burden customers with a price mark-up, even though it is intended for the noble purpose of crowdfunding reforestation of the planet.
Instead, we have focused on more rigorous and formal integration of Green Economy, circular economy and sustainability best practices into our business plan at a corporate level.
But what does “integrating sustainability into the business plan” mean in practice for a small business like Way2Global?
In a nutshell, here are the new measures that underpin our project’s current change of direction:
- We have requested external advice on company law to help us integrate ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria into our business plan indicators;
- We have commissioned re-engineering of our management software to integrate the KPIs and metrics of circular economics and environmental sustainability into our IT system;
- We have participated as an ambassador in ENEA’s “Donne di Classe A” (Class A Women) campaign as part of the “Italia in Classe A” (Italy in Class A) initiative to promote Italy’s energy transition, and signed a contract with a new 100% renewable energy supplier;
- We have introduced new reward criteria specifically based on sustainability into our employee incentive schemes;
- We have adopted new performance metrics and promoted measures to support environmental sustainability, such as the #TiVoglioBenefit campaigns for expansion of the green supplier portfolio, the Race4Change initiative for collection of plastic on board sustainable mobility vehicles, participation as a representative in the Fridays For Future organization and in the Global Climate Strikes, the involvement of the building where our offices are located in the project by the City of Milan and the EU’s CLEVER Cities initiative to create eco-friendly green roofs, participation in the impactful project by Italian B Corps to combat plastic in the Mediterranean Sea, and more.
- We have calculated and certified the CO2 reduction connected to conversion of 100% of our operations into smart work during the lockdown period that has just passed and is currently extended on a voluntary basis;
- We have continued and accelerated our digital transformation process by migrating almost every department’s operations online, as well as continuing training activities with investment in software and platforms for e-learning, video conferencing and webinars.
- We have reduced air travel to zero and upgraded the company’s fleet by purchasing cars with a lower environmental impact.
We intend to demonstrate that any company, including small companies like Way2Global, can still think big and outside the box, taking a creative, inventive approach to making a vital contribution to healthy innovation by designing new solutions to the major challenges facing humanity.
As a Benefit Corporation that champions sustainable innovation, we are proud of our “Green Translations – One Word, One Leaf” project, which drew on the collective intelligence of our workforce to develop a new sustainable, virtuous business model.
We wanted to voluntarily go beyond legal requirements to raise awareness of environmental issues in the language industry, which is not subject to strict, binding regulatory requirements in this respect. The intent is to influence and involve all stakeholders in systemic change.
And we consider it significant that today, on World Environment Day, this process of revival in pursuit of sustainability is achieving its first major goal: planting the new plot of trees in our company forest, which contributes to zeroing our carbon footprint 30 years ahead of the targets set by the Paris Agreement.