Maris has a strong focus on social responsibility in each of the areas in which it operates. Maris believes that one of the most critical ways of protecting an investment for the long term is through building a very close association with the local community, particularly in very remote areas. Maris adheres to the IFC performance standards throughout its businesses and through its people, community and environmental programmes it works to maximise the environmental and social benefit of its investments, alongside returns to shareholders.
Maris companies employ approximately 2,000 individuals and operate in some high risk industries and environments. Maris focuses closely on health and safety procedures within the group, with a particular focus in four key areas; rigorous policies, strong governance, extensive training of personnel, and robust reporting. Beyond this, Maris aims to attract and retain excellent people and has established a Graduate and General Manager training scheme. Maris is looking to develop its own management talent from local talent through recruiting graduates whom it can train over a 3 year programme and shape into the future management of the group. Maris upholds strict business ethics and continuously monitors its zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption.
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. With these factors in mind, Maris companies have developed a wide range of community programs over the past five 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 outgrowers, to whom it provides extensive technical and financial support. Over time Maris would like to develop a group wide community programme that meets clear need in the markets in which Maris operates and builds on Maris’ unique strengths and expertise.
Maris companies comply with local and international regulations, including the IFC Performance Standards on measuring, mitigating and reporting our environmental and social impact.