Steam Packet Company partners with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man


The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is the latest Island organisation to take the Biosphere Pledge. 

By signing up to the Pledge, the Company is making a commitment to protect natural resources, develop the economy sustainably, support and promote the Island’s cultural heritage, make an environmental impact positive wherever possible, engage with the local community and promote the living landscape and seascape through active involvement with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man. 

Minister Geoffrey Boot MHK welcomed the Steam Packet Company as a Biosphere Partner in a presentation at the Sea Terminal in Douglas, where Fleet Operations Manager Jim Royston and Marketing Manager Renee Caley accepted the official Pledge certificate.

The Steam Packet Company is committed to leading the way in the shipping industry and minimising the impact of its activities on the environment. As part of this undertaking, it has identified 10 principals to demonstrate how it identifies and manages its environmental impact. It promises to: 

  • Meet or exceed all environmental legislation that relates to its operations 
  • Set goals for environmental protection 
  • Monitor, measure and work to continuously improve environmental performance  
  • Prevent water pollution 
  • Manage environmental risks from accidents, incidents and emergencies 
  • Minimise the use of non-renewable and environmentally sensitive resources, where practical 
  • Minimise fuel consumption by optimising speed and fuel efficiency by taking advantage of tidal and wind conditions, where possible 
  • Actively encourage recycling both internally and among customers, also working with recycling service providers to manage on-board waste 
  • Ensure that all relevant staff are kept up-to-date on environmental issues through appropriate training
  • Integrate environmental management into day-to-day operations by establishing an Environmental Management System (EMS) certified to ISO 14001 (the international standard that specifies criteria for an effective EMS, providing a best-practice framework)

Jim Royston explained: ‘As a company we’re always looking at ways to be more environmentally minded where we can and offset any operational impacts. An important aspect of my role is to manage this and we’re continuing to make great headway in this area.

‘We are working in close partnership with Douglas Borough Council to encourage recycling on board, with receptacles for aluminium cans, plastic bottles and paper having been introduced. We’ve also introduced a wide range of recyclable and reusable items which have significantly reduced waste and the use of single use plastics on both of our vessels. In the longer term, we will be looking at more efficient engines and generators and are considering the use of zero carbon alternative fuels.’

Mark Woodward said: ‘We’re proud to partner with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man and make this important pledge to a more sustainable future for our Island. As part of our ongoing commitment to promote the Isle of Man as a great visitor destination, we will continue to spread the message far and wide about the Isle of Man’s unique UNESCO Biosphere status, which is one of the many stand-out reasons to visit and something we’re proud to shout about.’

Hon Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, added: ‘The Steam Packet Company welcomes hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors onto its vessels each year and has an important role to play in demonstrating that the Isle of Man is committed to tackling the issues of climate change and sustainability. It is embedding the principles of the Biosphere Pledge across its operation and I wish it well on its green journey.’