UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man

Who is involved?

Our list of project partners is growing rapidly and encompasses businesses, schools, charities and community groups across the Island.


Swagelok Limited
Swagelok Limited

Swagelok Limited is one of the Isle of Man’s largest employers and exporters and has invested millions of pounds into an advanced manufacturing base that makes a major contribution to the Island’s economy and showcases its skilled workforce.

Swagelok designs and makes fluid system products that we depend on to support our everyday lives. These products are used by market leading companies producing commodities such as fuel (for transportation and heating), food and drink and many others.

Companies that process hazardous fluids such as oils, gases and chemicals buy Swagelok products because they are specifically designed to prevent any kind of leak or fluid escaping into the environment.
Swagelok products are designed and used to support this wide range of needs in the safest and most environmentally friendly ways possible, using the most advanced technology available.

In the manufacturing process, potentially harmful wastes (e.g. oils, solvents and particulates) are segregated and disposed of via the energy from waste plant. Swagelok takes great care to ensure that there is no environmental contamination resulting from its manufacturing operations.

Waste metals are also segregated. High value metals (exotic alloys and solids) are recycled. Low value metals (steel and swarf) are skipped and collected by responsible scrap metal specialists. Carbide (cutting tools) are recycled.

Electricity usage is constantly monitored using Manx Utilities’ Energy Eye software. Swagelok employs local energy consultants to identify ways to reduce consumption. Several projects are complete and others underway and planned. Energy wastage has been reduced by 60% in a year (to September 2018).
Oil mists are filtered from all CNC machines to prevent contamination of the air. A sophisticated HVAC system constantly filters and cycles the air in the factory. Oil usage is minimised by continual oil and coolant concentration analysis.

At Swagelok’s Tromode premises, plastic cups have been replaced with paper and vending machines have been reset to allow use of normal mugs.

Swagelok has invested in a waste compactor and the compressed general waste is sent to the energy from waste plant and not to land fill.

Swagelok regularly surveys its employees to seek feedback on how they feel about working for the company. This drives improvements in facilities, values and behaviours. Swagelok runs a wellbeing initiative that focuses on improving its employees’ physical and mental health.

The company supports employees to undertake further and higher education and partners with University College Isle of Man for the manufacturing apprenticeship, employing several apprentices each year.
Swagelok employees play leading roles in such organisations and initiatives as the Chamber of Commerce Council, the Chamber’s Engineering and Manufacturing Committee, the Engineering Sector Skills Group, the Awareness of Careers in Engineering initiative, the IoM Aerospace Cluster, the Business Isle of Man Agency and Junior Achievement. They also play lead roles with local charities and engage in fund-raising activities.

Swagelok’s own social club organises many activities within the community.

The company also sponsors different community projects every year, voted for by employees, providing both funding and volunteer time.

Engineering is a strong part of the Island’s cultural heritage and Swagelok employees have strong connections with motorsport and engagement with motorcycle clubs, the cycling fraternity and the steam and model railway communities.


Fedelta is a financial services provider based in Douglas, Isle of Man.

A member of the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce, the company supports the Island’s economy by using local suppliers, where possible.

It adopts a positive and friendly approach to business, supporting new start-ups and ventures.

It works with young, independent artists and designers, helping them to establish their businesses.

Fedelta champions reuse within its business to protect the environment.

The company is committing time and skills to the current A Life Less Plastic campaign to encourage reduction in the use of single-use plastics. Its marketing manager is also investigating the launch of a reusable coffee cup scheme for the Island.

Fedelta endeavours to avoid printing but shreds any paper it does print and donates it to animal shelters for bedding.

It is proud to sponsor the ACE scheme – offering schoolchildren access to Manx National Heritage attractions – in 2018 and, as a result, promotes Manx heritage and culture.

Fedelta’s community engagement includes assisting with events that encourage entrepreneurial skills among the young, visiting schools and allowing staff time to commit to good causes.

Chris Littler Webdesign
Chris Littler Webdesign

Chris Littler Webdesign is an Isle of Man website, social media and photography business.

Chris developed and has maintained the website for the Peel Heritage Trust since 2002.

He carries out photography projects in Manx towns and villages aimed at recording social history and working life for future generations.

Chris produces websites for a number of businesses who are partners of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.

His business operates entirely paper-free, both in administration and products, encouraging clients to also shift to paper-free methods of communication.

AFD Group
AFD Group

AFD Software Ltd specialises in helping businesses with address management software.

AFD provides employment with minimal commute-to-work distances, making it realistic for staff to walk and cycle.

AFD Group purchased the near-derelict Island Film Studios site in 2014 and developed it as the Mountain View Innovation Centre – its headquarters and a thriving community hub.

It has planted 4,000 trees, installed an environmentally friendly sewage and hot water systems, is upgrading insulation and has installed LED lighting controlled by motion sensors.

Staff and other site users are provided with reusable drinking bottles that can be filled from water points installed throughout the site in a bid to reduce single use plastic bottles.

Recycling units make it easy for employees and community members to sort their waste, which is then recycled.

As employee numbers grow and there is more footfall to site with the introduction of a membership initiative, AFD has increased shower facilities to support those who prefer to commute on foot or by bicycle. Bicycle storage is available.

A solar PV array on the roof means Mountain View is the largest solar electricity generator on the Isle of Man.

The company is launching a staff electric vehicle scheme whereby staff can make journeys using some of the surplus electricity generated on-site.

The AFD Group endeavours to ‘buy local’ even if this means paying a bit extra.
Staff and other users of the Centre have free use of allotment beds to grow fruit and vegetables.

AFD also recognised that its landscaped gardens, with an abundance of flowering trees, plants and meadow, offered an ideal habitat and home for honey bees and two colonies have been established. Local beekeeping experts have delivered educational sessions at the Centre, in recognition of bees' importance to a healthy environment and economy.

The AFD Group is founded on objectives which recognise its role in society.

The company embraces all aspects of what makes the Isle of Man a special place to live and extends this beyond the site walls.

The group’s annual charity event sees it generously support a wide range of charities nominated by directors and staff. In 2017, more than 60 charities received more than £1,250,000.

AFD sponsors and hosts the One World Centre’s Charity Challenge, which encourages local young people to be global citizens. Its staff donate their time and expertise to help run the event.

The company provides its facilities free of charge or at a subsidised rate for community groups and charities.

AFD is a proud supporter of the revived Ramsey Carnival, pledging sponsorship until 2020.

It has purchased a 4x4 vehicle for Beach Buddies and taken part in the charity’s events.

AFD Group’s businesses include the children’s TV Series Friends and Heroes, which was the first ever to be dubbed in Manx. As well as making this available internationally, AFD donated copies to Bunscoill Ghaelgagh.

Further promoting Manx culture, staff are encouraged to answer the phone in Manx and site signage is bi-lingual where practical.

A sculpture garden is being developed around the Mountain View estate.

Glen Wyllin Trout Farm Ltd

Glen Wyllin Trout Farm Ltd is one of the Island’s leading exporters, shipping rainbow trout eggs to 50 countries.

In trading globally, it promotes the Isle of Man’s clean, naturally-fed water, its high animal health regulations and its status as free of key fish diseases.

Through use of the UNESCO Biosphere logo on its products, it will, similarly, tell customers throughout the world about the Island’s unique ‘whole nation’ Biosphere status.

The company also supplies rainbow trout to six local reservoirs, ensuring the Island offers plentiful opportunities to visiting and local anglers.

Glen Wyllin Trout Farm Ltd respects its location on the coast at Kirk Michael and has biodiversity, waste and environmental policies that ensure its surroundings, wildlife and nature are unaffected by its operations.

It recirculates water to minimise use. It is investing in rebuilding a fallen weir that, once back in place, will give it greater control over supplying both the farm and the adjacent river, ensuring that waterways and surrounding aquaculture remain healthy.

It is endeavouring to use more efficient low energy technology to reduce its energy consumption.

It leases a third of its land to local commissioners as a goodwill gesture and this is used by local and visiting BMX enthusiasts, promoting enjoyment of the Island’s countryside.

Paragon Recruitment Ltd
Paragon Recruitment Ltd

Paragon Recruitment Ltd specialises in the resourcing of permanent, temporary and contract workers for the Isle of Man.

It promotes to off-Island candidates the benefits of living and working in the Isle of Man, including the Island’s unique Biosphere status.

Paragon manages the Isle of Man Jobs social media initiative that is a platform for recruiting and supporting volunteers for community and social initiatives and has 12,000 members.

It has an eco-policy covering waste minimisation and removal of single-use plastics and it promotes this to business partners and suppliers.

It has replaced employees’ parking spaces with a monetary incentive to cover more environmentally friendly ways of getting to work.

Paragon also runs an ideas and initiatives scheme so its employees can suggest changes that have a positive effect on the environment. It facilitates its team’s involvement in community activities and support.

Castletown Golf Links
Castletown Golf Links

Castletown Golf Links is situated on the Langness Peninsula at the South-Eastern tip of the Isle of Man.

The Golf Links were created in 1892 by Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews, Scotland, widely known as the founding father of the way golf is played today. The layout of holes encompasses the narrow sand spur linking the main island to Langness Peninsula and the rugged clifftop coastline creating a great variety of holes and challenges for the golfer.

Advancement in technology allows us to spray low impact wetting agents onto the maintained parts of the course permitting more effective uptake of moisture into the managed root zone and therefore less requirement on other chemical inputs and irrigation systems. Working around natural rainfall plus careful selection (and nurturing) of grasses to work with our natural ecosystem form the foundation of our greenkeeping maintenance processes.

Furthermore, the team focus on achieving a balance between regularly maintained areas, using low impact treatments, and rugged surrounding areas where nature is allowed to take its course with minimal disturbance. This environment mix, with the ever-present sea and views as far as the eye can see as a back drop, form a spectacular environment in which to enjoy golf. Castletown Golf Links recently being recognised as the 8th most spectacular golf course in the British Isles by National Club Golfer magazine.

We regularly interact with the Department of Environment, Forestry & Agriculture (DEFA) to discuss activity on the golf course and how best we can promote a productive environment for local bird, animal, and plant life. In 2015 we embarked on a project to re-route our classic 18th hole to better take advantage of the surrounding topography plus views of the ancient ruins on St. Michael’s Isle. The work, carried out in consultation with DEFA and Manx National Heritage was completed by creating a newly protected offset site further along the coastline. The vegetation on this site was determined as having an excellent basis to help promote an increased population of the Lesser Mottled Grasshopper, Langness being the only site in the British Isles where this species remains in situ. A local rare-breed sheep farmer has become part of the project with a dual benefit of providing a great landscape for his sheep to graze in the winter months whilst keeping the vegetation lower for the grasshoppers.

In 2018 we have initiated a new project to help engage both our local community and visitors to Langness in better understanding the great history and vast array of wildlife present with the goal of encouraging more people to enjoy and respect the area. As part of this we are working with Manx Bird Life to establish a bird hide that can be used for educational and tourism activities whilst removing incentive for avid watchers and dog walkers to get too close to nesting birds. Additionally plans are being put in place to clean the historic “Smelt” building close to the Derbyhaven Bay and 6th hole of the golf course to allow a picnic site for families and space to inform visitors about the many historic activities understood to have taken place around this area.

Through our marketing activities, we greatly look forward to promoting our UNESCO Biosphere status and Langness Peninsula.

Knockaloe Beg Farm
Knockaloe Beg Farm

Knockaloe Beg Farm offers bed and breakfast, self-catering, hostel/bunk accommodation and glamping in the west of the Island to visitors and local people enjoying staycations.

Fiona and John Anderson run the business with great concern for the environment.

Over the past decade, they have rebuilt the farm using old materials where possible, breathing life back into their area of the Island.

The Andersons promote local produce and provenance to visitors, through the food served to bed and breakfasts guests and through education.

They reduce waste as far as possible and have large bins for recycling waste that is produced.

The business achieved a Gold Green Tourism Award for five years and won an Isle of Man Energy Award in 2015.

Knockaloe Beg Farm is heavily involved in community life, including the development of the old Patrick Schoolrooms, which is bringing to life the history of the Knockaloe internment camp.

It offers ‘open farm’, birthday and school visits, teaches children about how they can positively influence the environment and offers work placements to local students, too.

Globally, it sponsors children in developing countries and has twinned its 20+ toilets in a scheme to promote water sustainability.

Manx Gas
Manx Gas Limited

Manx Gas serves gas, the cleanest of fossil fuels, to the Isle of Man.

The company supplies customers with energy efficient appliances and supplies combined heat and power units.

It is reducing the need to dig on most mains replacement jobs, lessening their environmental impact.

It reduces employees’ travel through use of video conferencing, replaces company vehicles with more efficient models and recycles waste metals and batteries.

Confidential waste is recycled but Manx Gas has also now introduced recycling bins and boxes into its offices for ordinary waste.

Manx Gas displays the Biosphere Pledge on its staff noticeboard and showcases the Island’s beauty through displays of photos, taken by local photographers, in its reception.

The company is a firm part of the Island’s community. It donates a working day a year for staff to carry out community projects and supports staff taking part in charitable events out of work, through donations.

Staff recently took part in the Year of Our Island/Beach Buddies all-Island beach clean and has since provided Beach Buddies with a large bin for use by the charity at a beach or glen.

The company also holds dress-down days to benefit local charities and supports volunteers from the TT and MGP Marshals’ Association by providing portable stoves and canisters for them to use when on duty.

Staff have recently taken part in the Viking Longboat Races and will this year also compete in the Cancer Research Relay for Life at the NSC.

Wild Mann Tours
Wild Mann Tours

Wild Mann Tours is a Blue Badge tour guide showing off the Isle of Man’s natural beauty and cultural heritage to visitors – and promoting the Island as a special place to live, work and visit.

It assists large and small groups, including cruise ship passengers, to see the best of the Isle of Man.

It encourages visitors to explore the Island by foot, bicycle and public transport, to respect the environment and, on walks, to collect any litter they find and dispose of it responsibly.

In addition to catering for visitors, it offers guided walks to local groups and participates in Manx National Heritage open days.

The Island’s Biosphere status is a real selling point in attracting visitors and a key talking point with them when they arrive, the organisation says.

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Sign up to the UNESCO Biosphere ISLE OF MAN pledge

UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man is open to everyone. You are welcome to be involved, providing you support the principles outlined in The Biosphere Isle of Man Pledge. This is the pledge that our partners have signed up to. Encapsulating the aims of the project, this is the Pledge that all our partners sign up to.

If you are interested in being involved as a business, you’ll find more information about the benefits of being a partner and how it all works in the Project Partners Guidelines for Businesses and also for Schools, Community Groups and Charities.

To apply to become a Partner and Supporter of UBIOM, please fill in this application form, and help us to tell others what you are so proud of, and keep us updated about how you will get even better.

Download the UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man Pledge