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Customer Success

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF):

Creating a dynamic Earth Hour website for global viewers


The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has been working in the field of conservation since 1960 to protect endangered species and habitats. As wildlife populations have decreased amid rising temperatures and oceans, WWF launched Earth Hour to raise awareness around climate change and build momentum around climate action. For one hour a year, individuals and famous attractions around the world turn off their lights in solidarity for the planet.

As a grassroots movement powered by volunteers, WWF needed a way to translate their message and stories from the movement to reach global constituents year-round. Niharika Iyengar, Assistant of Digital Engagement, was tasked with finding a translation technology solution to help translate their content into five languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, and English.

The Challenge: Creating a dynamic website for global viewers

  • Outdated static content on website: While WWF maintained a blog and updated event resources on their English Earth Hour website, content remained static on their non-English websites. Global viewers could see only a couple images and a video trailer that quickly became outdated.
  • Highly manual translation via Excel spreadsheets: This tedious, time-consuming process created room for error in passing content and translations between stakeholders. It also took up time that could be spent focusing on creating new original content.
  • Broaden reach of messaging with limited resources: Previously, WWF had no dedicated translators and instead relied on an internal team member to translate their Earth Hour content into Spanish. With a tight budget as a non-profit organization, WWF needed to carefully consider alternatives for adding translation resources without burning up budget.

The Solution: Smartling

Using the Smartling Translation Cloud, WWF realized the following benefits for their 2019 Earth Hour:

  • 188 countries and territories participating in Earth Hour: After their first year of using Smartling, Earth Hour 2019 achieved a massive turnout for their big day, creating a truly global awareness campaign. In fact, their hashtags for the event, #EarthHour and #Connect2Earth, saw over 2 billion impressions on social media.
  • Ease and automation of translation launches: Smartling’s web proxy automated the exchange of content between content sources and translators, replacing the original system of emailed Excel spreadsheets. WWF was able to continually update dynamic content on their non-English Earth Hour sites with minimal effort.
  • Dedicated human translators: In collaboration with Smartling Language Services, WWF could rely on Smartling’s translators to deliver new, high-quality translations on time for their annual initiative.

WWF looks forward to keeping the Earth Hour movement alive year round with the help of Smartling to continue spreading the message around the world.