Translation Company Brings Wind Power to Ottawa

Translation Company Brings Wind Power to Ottawa

Postby Oscar » Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:24 pm

Translation Company Brings Wind Power to Ottawa

Pembina E-news - Fall 2006

When Masha Krupp heard about a program that promotes the production of wind-powered electricity, she spotted a unique opportunity to reposition her company’s policy of supporting worthy causes.

“We will continue to donate to several local, national and international charities,” says Ms. Krupp, President of The Masha Krupp Translation Group (MKTG). “Now we’re putting money behind environmental causes as well. It’s a relatively small gesture at this point, but we like how it feels to contribute.”

MKTG—the largest translation company in Ottawa—has become the first firm in the city to take part in the Wind Power Program, a national initiative to replace conventional coal- and gas-generated electricity with clean, renewable wind-powered electricity.

Since she founded the company in 1992, Ms. Krupp has donated 10 to 15 per cent of MKTG’s annual operating profits to charity, believing the practice of giving back to the community is an important part of building a successful business. MKTG has supported such charities as Ottawa women’s shelters, the Ottawa Food Bank and international relief efforts for disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami of 2004.

The Wind Power Program, administered by the Pembina Institute, a not-for-profit environmental policy and education organization, finds investors to help finance the relatively higher cost of producing wind-powered electricity. “It’s a simple program to take part in,” says Alex Day, development officer for the Wind Power Program. “We’re doing our best to make it easy for businesses and individuals to get involved.”
The program works like this: Pembina has calculated the electricity requirements for a variety of business and domestic activities, ranging from computer use to hosting special events. Participants select activities for which they’d like to purchase wind-powered electricity. They then buy sufficient renewable energy certificates to cover the cost of equivalent wind-electricity production. For each $27 certificate purchased, Vision Quest, Pembina’s partner and Canada’s largest producer of wind-powered electricity, adds one megawatt hour of clean, renewable power to the electricity grid.

“By selling renewable energy certificates, Vision Quest is selling us an assurance that greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced and wind-power producers will flourish,” says Ms. Krupp. “Personally, I feel great about that. It’s another small way in which our company can give back to a community that has been so generous to us.”

MKTG, which has more than 100 full-time and 50 part-time employees, is participating in Pembina’s Wind Power PC Program, which sells renewable energy certificates to cover the electricity requirements of desktop and laptop computers over a three year period. Pembina staffers have calculated that a desktop computer uses roughly 0.47 MWh of electricity a year. Therefore, a three-year certificate costs $39. Three-year laptop certificates cost $16.
At a total cost of $3,510, MKTG has purchased enough power to run its 90 desktop computers. Half of the certificates will be purchased September 5 and the remainder in fall 2007. MKTG’s purchase of wind-generated electricity means a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

To generate an equivalent amount of energy by conventional means would require, for example, 47 tonnes of coal. What’s more, wind power creates more jobs than conventionally generated power and creates fewer health-related costs.

“The program is sure to be popular with our employees,” says Shulamit Day, a senior translator at MKTG who came forward with the Wind Power Program idea in early 2006 after helping her daughter with an environmental project. “It’s not always easy to get involved in environmental issues, but the Pembina Institute makes it simple by doing most of the work.”

Pembina’s Wind Power PC Program aims to sell sufficient renewable energy certificates during 2006 to power 20,000 desktop and laptop computers. The money raised through renewable energy certificates helps offset the relatively higher up-front cost of producing wind power.

Buying a certificate does not mean a business owner’s electricity bill will look any different. It pays to put more wind-powered energy on the grid, lowering the downstream cost of a business’s energy use. Vision Quest has issued certificate to more than 30 companies, including Alcan, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and Suncor Energy.

“We hope this initiative will challenge other companies in Ottawa and across the country to do the same,” says Ms. Krupp. “If everyone participates, it can make a huge difference."
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