Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Translating in the sustainability sector and how translators can make a difference

Sustainability and environmental awareness are hot topics. This event is a must for any translator who is thinking about specialising in sustainability-related texts, wants to find out what this involves and discover potential areas for finding work, or is interested in running their freelance translation business more sustainably. Our speakers are experienced translators who translate in the fields of sustainability, international development and the environmental sector, and who are committed to making a difference through their work.

There will be three presentations on the following topics:

*Sustainable Development
Presenter: Holly-Anne Whyte

Holly-Anne Whyte will talk about sustainable development and her translation work in this field, covering different aspects of this sector and where it overlaps with other areas including corporate governance, CSR, supply chain traceability and others. Her talk will cover:

  • the basic principles of sustainable development, the Sustainable Development Goals and how sustainable development differs from other conceptions of development
  • some major international initiatives to be aware of (e.g. REDD+, UNFCC/IPCC, FLEGT, B Corps)
  • the main actors: governments, international NGOs, local organizations, etc.
  • sources of translation work, client types, ways to approach them, pros and cons of different types
  • where to find CPD
  • where sustainable development is likely to overlap with other areas the ongoing shift in the international development sector and giving more power to the communities affected by big projects. This is a great space for translators to make their mark.

Holly-Anne Whyte MITI MCIL CL LLM MA is a French and Spanish into English translator, specialising at the intersection between human rights and sustainable development. She holds an LLM in International Law, Globalization and Development and an MA in Translation. Having written her LLM dissertation on the Sustainable Development Goals and translated in the field of sustainable development for over 8 years, Holly understands how sustainability can touch on a wide range of areas. Through her work with a combination of specialised agencies and small-to-medium NGOs, as well as ongoing training activities, she has gained a solid understanding of a range of sustainability initiatives in the development sector and the translation challenges involved.


*Developing a specialism in sustainable fashion
Presenter: Vanessa Cary

Vanessa Cary will speak to us about her experience developing a specialism in translating sustainable fashion and translating for ethical brands.

Key takeaways:

  • Why sustainable fashion translation, background, CPD and volunteering
  • Inbound and outbound marketing, types of client and types of project
  • Specialist language and terminology - the organisations and initiatives aimed at improving environmental and social impact of the fashion industry, trademarks and vocabulary
  • A future proof sector? Fashion’s future and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Being part of a campaign and having a positive impact as a translator
  • Ethical brands, and inspiring alternatives and technologies (case studies)
  • Difficulties encountered - diversification and budgets


Vanessa Cary MCIL is a Spanish to English translator/subtitler. She specialises in the environmental sector, with a particular interest in sustainable fashion, and has previously worked in the marketing and communications departments of two environmental NGOs.


*Running your translation business more sustainably
Presenter: Kate Stansfield

As freelancers / micro businesses, we may not feel we can make much of a difference when it comes to the climate crisis. But nearly half of the world’s workforce is self-employed, with over 1.5 billion freelancers working globally. SMEs account for 99.9% of the UK’s private sector. We are many, so what we do makes a big impact!

This session aims to give you a deeper understanding of the role small businesses and freelancers have to play in fighting climate change, as well as building a sustainable future.

Key takeaways:

  • Find out about the different aspects of your translation/interpreting business that have an impact on the environment
  • Understand how we can all play our part and reduce that impact, from reducing our digital carbon footprint to measuring our environmental impact and making positive changes.
  • Finally, we will consider the importance of sharing our actions, as well as informing and inspiring others.
  • You will be given further reading and resources and will have started an action plan to help you implement small changes that have a big impact.”


Kate Stansfield has been a freelance French/Spanish to English translator, copy-editor and proofreader for over twelve years. She has dipped her toes in the corporate world as a translation project manager and with the translation of corporate communications, in the world of international organisations as an intern at the UN in Vienna, and in the not-for-profit sector as a charity administrator and later volunteer translator.

A few years ago, she decided she wanted to combine her passion for languages with her passion for environmental and social issues, and she has since set about learning everything she can about the impact we are having on people and the planet.  She works with clients who are driven by a desire to make a positive change in the world, whether they are ethical businesses, NGOs or researchers. She is also on a mission to maximise her own positive social and environmental impact, and to make sure ethics and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does in her business.


Programme timings:

10.00am: Welcome

10.05am - 10.50am: Sustainable Development

10.50am - 11.05am: Q&A

11.05am: Break

11.10am - 11.55am: Developing a specialism in sustainable fashion

11.55am - 12.10pm: Q&A

12.10pm - 12.50pm: Lunch break

12.50pm - 1.35pm: Running your business more sustainably

1.35pm - 1.50pm: Q&A

1.50pm: Closing notes


Please book your place here
February 3rd, 2023 10:00 AM
Events +
Category Translating Division
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CIOL Translating Division