With 100% of our activities being in Africa, Maris operates in some of the world’s least developed markets and its more environmentally sensitive areas. Maris adheres to the IFC Performance Standards throughout its businesses. In order to maintain and improve our social licence to operate, Maris focusses on three areas of responsibility: our people, our community and our environment.
Maris employs approximately 2,000 individuals in 18 different companies operating in 8 different countries and in some high risk industries and environments. Maris focuses closely on Labour and Occupational Health and Safety procedures within the group and as part of its Environmental & Social management System. Maris upholds strict business ethics and continuously monitors its zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption.
Maris believes in creating long term value and sustainable HR by employing people from the area that we operate in and over 90% of our workforce are national employees. We offer extensive training of personnel to operate in accordance with national and international standards. After a successful start of our graduate training scheme in 2016 we are looking to continue recruiting and training local talent for future management positions.
Poor infrastructure and limited services are prevalent in the communities in which Maris operates and it is Maris’ role to see that local communities are enhanced because of Maris. Furthermore, in the challenging markets in which Maris operates, strong local relationships with deep mutual respect that a company develops within its community are vital to its success and critical to protect an investment in the long term.
We continue to invest in our local communities to create long term partnerships in the countries in which we operate. The majority of our projects focus on creating, improving and maintaining infrastructure. 99% of the community programs are undertaken by the Mining and Agriculture & Forestry divisions which is in line with our philosophy to create socio-economic development in the most rural and least developed areas.
With these factors in mind, Maris companies have developed a wide range of community programs over the past years that include the construction of primary and secondary schools, development of bore holes, building of infrastructure such as power and roads and the sponsorship of events. Maris’ mines have becomes hubs for technical training and their social funds have supported a range of local projects. In Zimbabwe, Maris has established local Community Trusts through which it can direct local funding for CSR projects.
At Karebe Gold Mine in Kenya, the company has funded over 100 local scholarships for children from the local area and is a major contributor to local schools, and has built a local clinic and other facilities to serve the local community. Through its royalties, Equatoria Teak Company is the largest private contributor to Western Equatoria State and its social fund has supported a range of local projects from the construction of two secondary schools, a local county court house and office complex and vaccine storage facilities. Tatepa is partly owned by its out-grower farmers, to whom it provides extensive technical and financial support.
Maris is committed to protect the environment in which it operates and continues to review its performance to minimise negative environmental impact and increase positive impact. For example, at ETC five trees will be planted for each tree that is cut down.
Maris companies comply with local and international environmental regulations and has included the IFC Performance Standards on measuring, mitigating and reporting in our environmental procedures.