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Zurich International becomes Biosphere Partner

Zurich International has signed up to the UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man pledge.

Hon Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, officially presented the pledge certificate to Zurich International’s Head of International Markets, Nigel Simpson, at the company’s offices at Isle of Man Business Park.

It means that the company supports UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man’s six principles: to protect the Island’s natural resources; help to develop the economy in a sustainable way; support and promote cultural heritage; make environmental impact positive wherever possible; engage with the local community through environmental, social or community groups; and act as an ambassador to promote the Island’s outstanding living landscapes through active involvement with Biosphere Isle of Man.

Minister Boot commented: 'Zurich International is one of the Island’s largest employers and has the power to make a difference through sustainable business practices and by empowering its committed workforce to support initiatives that benefit our Biosphere at work and beyond. Zurich International already has many impressive environmental, social and cultural initiatives and we warmly welcome it as a Business Partner of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man and look forward to working together to make the difference in the future.'

Peter Huber, CEO, Zurich International, commented: 'We’re proud to support the principles and aims of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man. Zurich International, and our employees, recognise the need to respect the Island’s environment and we have an extensive programme of initiatives to minimize our environmental footprint, so we are already taking many practical steps to make sure we do everything we can to respect and protect this beautiful Island.'

The biggest of those initiatives was the design and planning of Zurich International’s purpose-built Isle of Man offices which opened in 2018. The company’s HQ is BREEAM accredited, which means that it meets high standards set by the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for buildings. Among many eco-friendly features the offices have electric car charging points and a bike shelter. Employees are also being offered incentives to commute by e-bike. Another example is drinks vending machines which only use compostable cups, thus reducing plastic waste. There are four brand new vending machines at Zurich International’s HQ, all supplied by Isle of Man refreshment specialists MannVend.

Cover photo:

DEFA Minister Geoffrey Boot MHK (centre) presents the UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man certificate to Zurich International representatives. Left to right are Martin Greenwood, Business Analyst; Graihagh Kennaugh, HelpPoint Consultant; Minister Boot; Nigel Simpson, Head of International Markets; and Lauren Simpson, IT Service Manager.

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