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Action for the Environment Our aim is to go greener!

Answering the call to Action for the Environment at Wessex

Global Warming becoming Global Heating, Climate Change becoming The Climate Crisis. It’s clear that we are facing the worst of the consequences that our actions against the environment have caused, and it’s something that we all need to be very mindful of. But this awareness isn’t something new to Wessex: being eco-conscious has been part of the company DNA for over 40 years, with the first documented Environment Policy being drawn up in 2002. It covered a lot, whether it’s daily actions like making sure things are recycled (and recycled correctly), or planned schemes such as the one we have to professionally and ethically recycle a wide range of IT and computer equipment. All of the measures put in place by the Policy aim to reduce Wessex’s negative impact on the environment as much as possible.

Following the difficulty of the COVID pandemic, as many of us came back to the office for the first time, the passion to preserve the environment remained quietly humming away. But the hope and eagerness to make a difference was still very clearly shared by everyone; this is what led us to have our first meeting (of many) for Action for the Environment, the aim of which is to create a plan of action with attainable milestones for the future, to make Wessex even greener than it already is. Our goal is to continue to improve, and continue to show that Wessex is a prime example of a company that takes the kinds of decisions we all need to make, as individuals and organisations, to fight the Climate Crisis together.

Planting the seeds of change

At the end of August, it became clear that many of us were trying to actively improve the world around us by switching to more sustainable products and unlearning bad habits. More passing comments and a few conversations later, we realised that there was an obvious desire to do as much as we can, one which was shared among us all. And so, the first Action for the Environment meeting was scheduled; whether it was at the meeting or in an email, the support and encouragement wasn’t lacking. The goal of this first meeting was to pool more ideas for reducing Wessex’s negative impacts on the environment, however big or small these ideas might be, so that we could take them all into consideration and come up with a plan to move forward.

Ideas starting to take root

During the meeting, after collecting over 30 different actions we could take both as a company and as individuals to make an improvement, we began to split them into short-, mid- and long-term actions. These three groups would form the basis of our plan: the short-term actions would be things we could do either immediately or in a week or less; the mid-term actions would be ones that may take some more organisation, but could be implemented within a month or two; and long-term actions are ones that required some more research or resources to implement, but that were still definitely in the bounds of possibility.

We have started small (compost caddies in more shared spaces; clearer instructions on what can and cannot be recycled, and how; committing to switching off screens and computers over lunch breaks and overnight) but this by no means lessens their importance. Small changes are the ones that are more easily spread – both at work and at home – and when all of us take part, the tangible improvements might surprise you. If you’d like to read more about the positive effects small actions can have on energy use and carbon footprints in the workplace, click here.

More is in the pipeline, too, including talks of company-wide carbon literacy training, which will help us all to be more informed on what we can do and change to make real differences in the world.

Creating a flourishing habitat

We are pleased and ready to contribute to the fight against one of the most dangerous things ever to threaten life on our planet. It’s with actions like the ones we are taking that we can turn the tides and create a better place to live for everyone. And we mean everyone.

When we think of “saving the planet”, our minds often go to animals and plants. The orangutans in Borneo, the white rhinoceroses in Africa, turtles and corals in our seas. While they do need our help, so too do the people living in areas of the world that are becoming uninhabitable due to the Climate Crisis. When discussing the Climate Crisis, it is impossible to ignore the moral and ethical responsibilities we all personally have, which come with the privilege of living in many developed countries around the world.

And making ethical decisions is not just something that we can do on an individual level: Wessex will be attending the conference held by the Association of Translation Companies, whose theme this year focuses on ethical business and sustainability in a rapidly changing industry. The Climate Crisis is a global issue, so those attending on behalf of Wessex will be sure to keep this in mind when considering diversity, equity and inclusion, and what these things mean in the language industry’s multicultural and multilingual context.

You will also find Wessex on LinkedIn, where, every week leading up to the ATC conference at the end of September, we will be posting information, news, charities and initiatives about the Climate Crisis. The basis of this information will come from my own, personal LinkedIn posts, which you can read more of here. Finding the part of the fight that interests you is your way into doing good for the planet and its inhabitants, so hopefully there will be something there for you to learn, share or donate to.

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