CSR is hugely important to us, and we invest significantly to ensure we play our part. This involves our team taking part in a number of rewarding initiatives to give back to our community and environment.
Our approach to CSR involves partnering with various charities, whilst taking part in smaller initiatives in the local community throughout the year.
Our CSR strategy is across the Group, which includes the Isle of Man, Malta and the Cayman Islands. We have partnered with at least one charity in each jurisdiction.
We operate in the maritime sector and hold a passion for the ocean. Our three jurisdictions are Islands which strengthens our connection to the ocean.
In each of our jurisdictions, our teams have partnered with an environmental charity that protects the ocean, the wildlife and natural environment.
Our focus is to protect the beautiful place we call home, increase the awareness of plastic pollution, preserve our oceans and save our wildlife that needs our help.
Take a look at our recent CSR initiatives below.
Conservation Signs with Mariner Surf Co.
We are proud to have partnered with Mariner Surf Co, a company focused on conserving and preserving the natural environment of the Cayman Islands.
The company produce a range of ocean themed apparel, which a percentage of sales go towards environmental projects created to help preserve the coral reefs, wildlife and environment of the Cayman Islands.
They also undertake their own environmental projects including wildlife conservation signage, beach clean ups, kids surf competitions and fundraisers.
Affinity have sponsored the conservation signs at Spotts beach, which bring awareness to the marine life and educate tourists and locals on how to interact with endangered turtles. It also emphasises the importance of keeping the beach clean and picking up litter.
We look forward to working with the company in the future on more sustainable iniatives to protect the beautiful nature and wildlife in Cayman.
Beach Clean in Malta with Green Hats
In September, our team in Malta had their first beach clean with Charity, Green Hats. Green Hats are an environmental non profit organisation in Malta, who are cleaning beaches with the aim to tackle plastic pollution.
Malta is situated in the Mediterranean sea, and is home to many beautiful beaches. Unfortunately the beaches and natural wildlife have been affected by plastic pollutants washing ashore from the ocean and plastic litter from inland.
Plastic pollution has become detrimental to wildlife, with many species deceasing due to plastic and many at the risk of becoming extinct. Plastic pollution currently takes up 40% of the oceans surface, which only accounts for 1% of the plastic pollution in the ocean.
It is alarming to read that a trucks worth of plastic enters the ocean every minute, which equates to 8 million pieces of plastic every day.
A Group CSR initiative we have rolled out is supporting environmental charities in each of our jurisdictions. Our aim is to preserve the ocean, protect the wildlife and our natural environment.
The Malta team spent had their first beach clean with Green Hats at Armier Bay. The team headed to the beach after work, with gloves, litter pickers and bags, ready to pick up plastic pollutants and give back to the environment.
In over an hour, the team managed to fill 4 large bags of rubbish from the beautiful beach at Armier Bay. The team really enjoyed spending time at the beach and taking part in such a rewarding activity. The team were however, surprised at the amount of plastic they found on the beach.
It was a beautiful, calm evening and as the sun was setting, the team walked up to the White Tower, which is a historic tower originally built by the Knights of St John and extended by the British during WWII. From the top of the White Tower on a clear day you can see Sicily.
They received an interesting talk about the history of the Tower from its custodian Albert Attard. The tower had been left abandoned for years and parts of it were collapsing rendering the place very dangerous. The tower underwent a restoration project which took 3 years to complete. It was finished in June 2021, and since then the tower is used as a place for educational and academic initiatives, school or youth training facilities, exhibitions, a diving and marine-study centre, artistic performances and animation, guided tours and lectures, corporate and philanthropic functions and heritage accommodation.
We have donated to both Green Hats and Heritage Malta to support the fantastic work they are doing to give back to the local community and environment.
Curraghs Wildlife Park, Isle of Man.
In September 2022, our Wellness Committee organised a day for the team to volunteer at the wildlife park.
The Wildlife Park is owned by the Isle of Man Government, and aims to connect the community to conservation actions by educating, inspiring and giving opportunities to get involved in conservation. It provides the opportunity to enjoy recreation time that promotes health and well-being, both physical and mental.
As a member of the British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquaria (BIAZA) and accredited members of The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) the Curragh Wildlife Park’s mission is inspire people to help conserve the natural world; to participate in effective cooperative conservation programmes; to deliver the highest quality environmental education, training and research; to achieve the highest standards of animal care and welfare in zoos, aquariums and in the wild.
A team building exercise, which allowed the team to spend time outside in nature and enjoy the array of animals they look after, the team were provided the task to build new pathways throughout the centre.
The team worked together to build new pathways by doing activities such as shoveling gravel into wheelbarrows, laying the gravel to form a path and transporting and laying logs to create a path border.
Beach Clean at Gansey Beach to Port Erin.
In August, we had our annual summer beach party on the Isle of Man, however this year, our afternoon started with a purpose, a beach clean with Beach Buddies. As proud ambassadors for the local charity, Beach Buddies, we have committed to cleaning our coast of plastic pollutants to protect our natural environment and wildlife.
In collaboration with Hill Robinson and their ‘Love the Sea’ initiative, our shared connection to the yachting sector sparked our partnership with environmental charity, Beach Buddies. As a practice of social responsibility and reflection of our joint passion for the ocean, we complete a beach clean on the Isle of Man every quarter, with the aim to expand this initiative across jurisdictions.
A world-renowned charity that has achieved recognition for setting global standards in beach cleaning, it was founded in 2004 by Bill Dale who began picking up plastic whilst walking his dogs. He quickly discovered the shocking problem that had washed up on the Manx shores, and imminently began cleaning up the beaches on the Isle of Man, which housed thousands of plastic pollutants.
It didn’t take long for others to become aware and offer their help, which took his simple act of a good deed to a movement involving thousands of people of all ages across the Isle of Man. Bills dedication to tackling plastic pollution over the years and growing following of people committed to his cause is how the charity Beach Buddies formed. As a protected unesco biosphere, the charity has made a monumental positive impact to the Islands beaches, which have become recognised as some of the cleanest in the world.
Joined by Beach Buddies founder, Bill Dale, our second beach clean took place around the Islands south coast. Having previously cleaned Castletown beach, this time we took a route around the coast, and covered beaches, harbours, glens and coastal footpaths. In doing this, we not only cleaned the pollutants washing up on the shore, but the plastic that has spread around the coast.
After 2 hours, our bags were full of all sorts of plastic, from tiny micro-plastics that are harming our birds, cigarette butts, food and cosmetic plastic packaging and lots more. It didn’t take long to notice, within a short amount of time, the environmental issues that need our attention.
A positive is our team spends the afternoon together in the outdoors, appreciating the beautiful natural environment on our doorstep and making a significant difference to protect it by not only working together and taking action, but shining a light on the problem to inspire others to do the same.
After our beach clean, we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying ourselves at our summer beach party, with thanks to Foraging Vintners, who hosted the event at their local bar and distillery which is located in most stunning setting, Port Erin beach. A way to support our hospitality business on the Isle of Man, we enjoyed locally made drinks and food, and a fantastic graze board from Food for your Mood. Our teams had such a fun and rewarding afternoon in the sunshine.
We want to express our gratitude to Bill for the incredible efforts he has made in tackling plastic pollution on the Isle of Man, and we are exciting journey we have embarked on with him in taking this movement across the world.</p>
Beach Clean at Derbyhaven, Castletown, Isle of Man.
Last Friday, we had our first team beach clean with local charity, Beach Buddies.
In the afternoon we headed to Derbyhaven, which is a long stretch of beach located on the south coast of the Island near the airport. The weather was beautiful, which really added to the positive afternoon we had planned to give back to the place we call home.
Prior to this, we received a talk from Bill Dale, Beach Buddies founder, who gave an introduction to the charity, and how it all began back in 2004 with just himself picking up plastic whilst walking his dogs. He quickly discovered the shocking problem that had washed up on the Manx shores, and imminently began cleaning up the beaches on the Isle of Man, which housed thousands of plastic pollutants.
It didn’t take long for others to become aware and offer their help, which took his simple act of a good deed to a new sustainable movement involving thousands of people of all ages across the Isle of Man. Bills dedication to tackling plastic pollution over the years, and growing following of people committed to his cause is how Beach Buddies formed. The charity has made a monumental impact on the Islands shores, which have become recognised as some of the cleanest in the world.
We could not help but be inspired by the work that Beach Buddies had done, and with our strong connection that we already held with ocean, where we provide services in the maritime sector, we already knew that we had to become apart of this sustainable initiative.
Once Bill had shared the inspiring Beach Buddies story with the team, we eagerly headed to the beach to kick start our new team initiative that encompasses our love for the ocean and how we can do our part to protect it. A pair of gloves on, with a litter picker and bag in hand, we took to the beach and studied the shores searching between the stones and seaweed to rid the beach of harmful plastic pollutants that is toxifying our natural environment and harming the wildlife that lives in it.
A hour or so later, we had bags full of all sorts of plastic from tiny micro-plastics, to straws, cans and bottles. An activity such as this is so rewarding in such a short amount of time, but it also sadly highlights that we are facing environmental issues that need our attention.
Overall, the team had a fantastic afternoon, our first beach clean was a success and we finished it with huge smiles on our faces. Its only our first one, but it was our first and we can’t wait to begin this journey with Beach Buddies to keeping our beaches beautiful locally and all around the world.
Affinity Group and Hill Robinson become Brand Ambassadors for Beach Buddies.
Affinity Group and Hill Robinson Yacht Management are collaborating with an award-winning local charity on the Isle of Man, Beach Buddies.
A pledge to take action against plastic pollution and protect the place we call home, our new sustainable initiative involves our teams taking part in beach cleans every quarter. Our aim, protect and preserve our Islands beautiful environment, habitats and wildlife. As an outdoors group activity, we love how this brings our teams together in such a positive and rewarding way. A way to spend time in nature and appreciate our surroundings, we will work together towards common objectives to create a positive difference in our local environment.
Since 2004, Beach Buddies have been clearing plastic off the beaches along the entire Isle of Man coastline. The charity has gone on to become internationally renowned for setting global standards, with the Isle of Man being recognised as having some of the cleanest beaches in the world.
We hear from Buddies Buddies founder, Bill Dale, who shares with us the Beach Buddies story and it’s ambitious, global vision for the future,
“The initial aim of Beach Buddies when it was created in 2006 was to clean up the beaches of the Isle of Man, which we achieved within four years with a very small number of volunteers. Volunteer numbers rose dramatically in 2010 and we then realised that what we had achieved in the Isle of Man was unique and that we had found a solution to the world’s problem in dealing with trash on beaches.
We then started an education programme in schools, to show how to prevent trash getting into the sea and onto beaches and a generation of children in the Isle of Man is now fully engaged with our objectives to maintain our island as having the cleanest beaches in the world, and we have cleaned beaches (and other areas such as parks, playgrounds, hiking trails, streets) with more than 17,000 different volunteers in 16 years – from a population of only 85,000.
The accolade of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status for the Isle of Man saw the chief executive of UNESCO specifically mention the achievements of Beach Buddies as a key factor when the award was officially presented in 2017.
Our methodology is prioritised around raising awareness, education, media liaison, engagement with politicians and governments, corporate support and sponsorship and – most important of all – inspiring other individuals, families, companies, sponsors and governments to follow what we have done.
We are currently engaging with countries around the world and expanding quickly with the sole aim of encouraging everyone to get involved and to follow the example of the Isle of Man. Our story has been covered around the world and Beach Buddies has been featured in prestigious media such as National Geographic magazine, BBC World News, British regional television, most British newspapers and in several universities across the USA. We know that we have found the solution to this problem and it’s very simple. The aim is to share this with the rest of the world.”
We are thrilled and humbled to have partnered with such an influential charity that has positively impacted our local environment for so many years. We are so excited to be apart of this initiative which we believe truly reflects both Affinity’s and Hill Robinsons relationship to the ocean and passion for the maritime sector.
Hospice Isle of Man Tour
In October, our two team members that ran the London Marathon, Eliza and Mark, were invited for a tour of Hospice Our COO, Alex Gardner, also joined to learn more about the charity.
The tour provided our team members with the opportunity to see what amazing work they do at the charity every day and the environment they have created.
From walking around the gardens, in which they have bedded an abundance of flora and created a diverse landscape in windy pathways, high mounds creating hidden seating areas and a beautiful terrace, named Tom’s Terrace. The terrace provides the patients with the access to lay in their beds underneath the stars.
Our team members were blown away by the amount of care and attention to detail they placed within every room. From soft furnishings and art work, the environment they had created was truly remarkable and the friendly staff emitted a positive, warm energy.
The team found the experience immensely rewarding and inspirational to see what they have created and what they do on a daily basis.
Our team were inspired and eager to plan more initiatives to support the charity in the future.
The London Marathon
In October 2021, two of our team members ran the London Marathon in aid of Hospice Isle of Man. Hospice provided us with two corporate places which granted our team members with the opportunity to run in the race and raise money for the charity.
Mark and Eliza, both had an interest in running and were absolutely thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to run for the charity. Mark had completed many local races on the Isle of Man, including a half marathon, and Eliza enjoyed running in her spare time as a way to keep active.
We loved being a part of their training journey and seeing them progress in every session and reach new goals to prepare for the total 42km race on the day.
In addition to training, they each had a fundraising target of £1,500 which they both achieved and more. Together they raised over £5,000 in donations for the charity from family, friends and the local community.
We also helped them to reach their target by running many fundraising initiatives at work in our ‘Marathon Month’. We had various competitions a such as the Great Affinity Bake off and the prizes in our Affinity Auction evening.
On the day, the team tracked each of them in the race on the app which we loved and allowed us to be a part of their journey. They both completed the race and did a fantastic job. Mark completed the race in 3 hours and Eliza finished the race at 4:18 hours.
We love to support our team members in reaching personal goals and help them in their efforts to make a difference and give back to the local community.
Hospice Isle of Man play a vital role in many people’s lives, by providing care to people who need it most. Hospice not only provide support in end of life care, but every step of the way before and thereafter. They provide a community of people for others to lean on. The staff who work there are an inspiration and the support they provide the families is unparalleled.
Hospice Colour Blast
In June 2021, we sponsored the Hospice Colour Blast. A chance for us to give back to our local community and get the team together for some team bonding, we had our own colour station down at Peel beach on the Isle of Man.
The Colour Blast, in aid of Hospice Children’s Charity, Rebecca House, involved an assault course on the beach with numerous colour stations that had colourful powder to throw in the air over the people who ran through.
We ended up having one of the biggest stations, with around 15 team members eager to have fun some and take part in the event.
The team had the best day, and loved getting involved by throwing the colourful powder. They also took the opportunity to get some over each other at the same time.
The event was packed with families and children, who loved the event with some completing many laps of the assault course. The team also took turns helping the children run through the assault course.
It was a perfect summers day, with beautiful blue sky and sunshine which really reflected the positivity in the air.
We would like thank Hospice Isle of Man for hosting such a fantastic event, and giving us the chance to take part in such a rewarding initiative in giving back to such a worthwhile cause.