Localization companies nix carbon in wake of climate crisis

Of all the problems facing the world, there are few more pressing than climate change. Fortunately, language-industry companies are stepping up to make a difference. The latest to join that peer group is Lokalise, which announced in February that it was shifting its business operations to achieve carbon neutrality. 

For Lokalise, the decision showcases a commitment to responsible business operations and a broader perspective on wellbeing. And what could be more central to overall wellbeing than the health of the environment? 

“As a localization company, we believe that our growth potential is linked to sustainable global prosperity,” said Petr Antropov, Co-Founder and CRO of Lokalise. “Our current path of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere presents a challenge to a prosperous world. At the same time, we are also starting to see customers and prospects take into account the carbon position of their vendors. Going carbon neutral wasn’t just important to our employees, it’s also becoming a business mission.”

It’s a business philosophy that couldn’t be more suited to the times. The Associated Press reports that today, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that if the world doesn’t address climate change soon, the consequences will be catastrophic and irreversible.

For Lokalise, the rapid adoption of carbon-neutral policies demonstrates that the transition can be done relatively quickly, as opposed to the staggered, multi-year plan many companies favor. Their approach includes a fully remote company structure that nixes commutes or central office space and participation in the Stripe Climate Initiative, which uses a percentage of revenue for carbon removal. 

As Lokalise moves forward, business officials intend to review its environmental standing and look for ways to improve further. They’re also encouraging employees to get in on the effort by utilizing train or bus travel whenever possible. 

“We are improving one of our long-standing policies,” Antropov said. “We’re a fully remote company and provide a set budget to help set up a home office. Starting soon employees will have the option to donate a percentage of that budget towards a fund for planting trees.”

It’s a step-by-step process, but by learning and adapting, the Lokalise team says it’s committed to business practices that put environmental impact first. 

“The initiative was created by a group of employees in the second half of 2021,” said Antropov. “They used their spare time to research the topic, talked with several sustainability professionals, examined different options for reducing and offsetting our carbon footprint, and calculated what it would cost to do so.”

Lokalise isn’t the only language-industry company to embrace environmentally friendly policies. According to Isabelle Andrieu of Translated, the company she co-founded two decades ago is now carbon-free. That’s thanks to a hydropower plant designed by Albert Einstein’s father, no less the company acquired and restored. 

“We have a responsibility for what we consume and what we produce,” Andrieu told MultiLingual.  “AI is a game-changer, but it implies a huge energy consumption, and so we looked for a clean source of energy for our company. It’s a small thing, but we hope to inspire others.”

Inspiration is the key for Lokalise, too. If their actions can motivate others to act similarly, than real progress is within the world’s grasp. 

“There is lots of inspiring work being done by some of the big companies like Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, or Stripe,” said Antropov. “We also examined companies at our earlier stage and found a few that are doing great work. We’re happy to join them.”  

Cameron Rasmusson
Cameron Rasmusson is a writer and journalist. His first job out of the University of Montana School of Journalism took him to Sandpoint, Idaho as a staff writer for the Bonner County Daily Bee. Since 2010, he's honed his skills as a writer and reporter, joining the MultiLingual staff in 2021.


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