Message from John Williams

When I acquired Maritime in 2001, we were a company of less than 200 employees running 136 trucks dedicated to container haulage, principally servicing Southampton, Felixstowe and Thamesport.

Today, the Company employs 3,000 dedicated people in 41 depots including rail freight terminals, running a network of 1,600 trucks and 36 rail services daily. We provide both container and distribution logistics for the major shipping lines and retailers from/to ports and distribution centres.

For over two decades of growth, we have always followed the principal of investing in the latest technology to ensure our trucks are as efficient and clean as possible to minimise their impact on the environment – today, 100% of our truck fleet is Euro-6 compliant. We have also strived to provide our employees with the best equipment and facilities to carry out their tasks.

Continuing this journey, our future strategy includes two key pillars:

  • Modal shift moving more cargo by rail to remove road congestion and reduce emissions – products moved by rail reduce emissions by 49%. We have increased our container movements carried by rail from 6% in 2019 to over 24% in 2023. Our strategy is to also accelerate the movement of domestic product across the country through the rail network in addition to traditional container cargo. To achieve this goal, we are working with the government and rail operators on additional rail paths and equipment to significantly increase rail freight movements. 

  • Alternative Fuels to remove the use of fossil fuels removing CO2 emissions – in this area, we are working with vehicle and equipment manufacturers on their plans for battery and hydrogen-powered solutions. In the short term, we are utilising Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) on both road and rail which is reported to save up to 90% of CO2 in its manufacturing process. 

At Maritime, we are committed to playing our part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will continue to work on current projects and new initiatives to support the UK government plans to achieve net zero by 2050. We have been making good progress, but climate change is now a critical issue and we must all do more and play our part.

As such, in 2022 we set up an Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) program to ensure we have an integrated plan to protect the environment, look after our people and the communities where we work. We will ensure Maritime continues to be run with strong governance as we grow our business in the future.

The ESG Steering Committee is chaired by our Deputy Chairman, Chris Lewis, and made up of senior leadership across the Company covering the Intermodal, Distribution, Fleet, Property, Human Resources, IT & Marketing, Finance, and Risk & Compliance functions.

The Terms of Reference for the ESG Steering Committee and an update on progress is summarised below.

Maritime will continue to work closely with you, our customers, our suppliers, our people, and stakeholders to ensure we meet our ESG goals.

John Williams
Owner and Group Executive Chairman

Key Environmental Facts - 2022

We currently only include Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in our carbon footprint calculations. The different scopes are shown below: 

In 2023, we are now recording all Scope 3 emissions and backdating to 2019. This is in accordance with our commitment to setting reduction targets as per our commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). 

Carbon Footprint - Scope 1 and 2 (tonnes CO2eq)

2020 - 135,633 CO2eq
2021 - 147,093 CO2eq
2022 - 143,350 CO2eq

Intensity Ratios

These are used to enable comparison between years where a business changes each year with more/less revenue and work.

Maritime uses two metrics:

  • Tonnes of CO2eq per £1million turnover
  • Tonnes of CO2eq per 100,000 miles

Turnover Metric                                  Per 100,000 Miles Metric

2020 - 376 tonnes CO2eq                                        121.93 tonnes CO2eq
2021 - 353 tonnes CO2eq                                        122.24 tonnes CO2eq
2022 - 303 tonnes CO2eq                                        121.66 tonnes CO2eq

Rail Journeys 

It is currently very difficult to provide accurate data for rail journeys, and calculations are based on averages of a number of factors, including mpg of the trains/weight of TEU/utilisation of train etc. It is hoped to become more scientific as we go forward on our carbon journey.

2020 rail journeys (1,520) produced 12,594t CO2eq. If these containers had been moved by road = 24,585t CO2eq (saving 49%).

2021 rail journeys (2,246) produced 18,031t CO2eq. If these containers had been moved by road = 35,274t CO2eq (saving 49%). 

2022 rail journeys (2,725) produced 21,906t CO2eq. If these containers had been moved by road = 43,215t CO2eq (saving 49%). 

Environmental, Social, Governance Steering Committee (ESG-SC) 

Terms of Reference

The main purpose of the Steering Committee is to:

  • define, on behalf of the Executive Board, the Company’s ESG strategy and monitor progress against defined goals, making changes as required to ensure the goals remain effective and up to date
  • review the Company’s ESG policies to ensure they are current and support the ESG strategy and goals
  • ensure the ESG strategy, goals, and the Company’s policies are compliant with legal and regulatory requirements


The Company's ESG strategy and policies cover three areas:

  • Environmental: The Company’s impact on the environment and the actions it is taking on climate change including greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, alternative fuels, waste management, and emergency preparedness
  • Social: The Company’s interaction with employees, local communities, and stakeholders, including employee policies covering health, safety and well-being, human rights, equal opportunities, diversity, and inclusion. Engagement with local communities on social projects and charitable donations
  • Governance: The Company’s ethical standards including employee policies and training covering public interest disclosure, bribery and corruption, security, and GDPR


The Steering Committee comprises the following permanent membership:

  • Deputy Chairman (Chair)
  • Deputy CEO
  • Deputy CEO
  • Managing Director - Intermodal
  • Fleet Director
  • Human Resources Director
  • Property Director
  • Finance Director
  • IT and Marketing Director
  • Risk and Compliance Manager (Secretariat)

The Group CEO and Group CFO will be invited to join the Steering Group meetings when appropriate to topics being discussed. The Steering Committee will, where required, set up ESG Working Groups to progress specific ESG initiatives.


The ESG-SC Chair will report progress on ESG matters to the Executive Board on a regular basis. 

Environmental, Social, Governance Steering Committee (ESG) 

Progress Update

Organisational Structure

Three committees (ESG working groups) created reporting to the Steering Committee: 

Environmental Progress 

  • Environmental Committee well-established with good input from staff representatives
  • Signed up for Science Based Targets in August 2022 
  • Appointed external consultants to assist with SBTi implementation over the next two years and our longer term net-zero goals
  • Running HVO with selected customers on road miles and trialling HVO on trains
  • Installation of HVO tanks at two transport depots
  • Implemented domestic train for CCEP 6 days per week, saving 15,000 truck journeys and almost 4 million road miles per annum. 
  • Working with HGV OEMs (Volvo, Scania, and others) on battery electric vehicles (BEV)
  • BEV and hybrid cars added to Company car fleet
  • Electric vehicle charging facilities installed at all new sites – existing sites being upgraded
  • Continued rollout of LED lighting upgrades on existing sites – planning solar PV at future new sites
  • Reviewing power infrastructure across depot and rail terminal network for BEV transition plans

Social Progress 

  • Social Committee being established and will include staff representation
  • Changes made to resource allocation/shifts in operational offices to reduce staff callouts
  • Changes made to Head Office function hours to improve flexibility for staff
  • Improved Death in Service cover
  • Pay award brought forward in 2022 to help with cost of living pressures
  • Weekly staff lottery introduced (no cost to employees)
  • Good employee engagement – regular meetings held between management and employees to allow free flow of information and ideas
  • Engagement with stakeholders – regular dialogue is held with customers, suppliers, and local communities in addition to employees to promote high standards of business conduct
  • Charitable donations including support for the British Red Cross Ukraine Appeal, Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, Ukrainian Aid partnership and the Suffolk Community Foundation Port Community Fund

Governance Progress 

The Governance Committee is made up of the Executive Board. The Board has given due consideration to the six principles of the Wates Corporate Governance Principles in ensuring high standards in business conduct:

1. Purpose and Leadership

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated our key role as a business of strategic importance to the supply chain in respect of essential goods including food and medical supplies. The responsibility of the Boards is to ensure the success of the Company whilst implementing a long-term strategy to reduce CO2 and congestion is demonstrated by the investment in intermodal operations and the rail network.

2. Board Composition

The reporting structure of the Company ensures feedback from line management through depot managers and the Management Board to the Executive Board.

3. Director Responsibilities

Each Director on each Board has a clear line of responsibility and a specific area within the business that they are accountable for and these are reviewed as a group once a month. Policies and procedures are reviewed on a regular basis and changes discussed and agreed at Board level.

4. Opportunity and Risk

Each member of the Boards contributes towards the ongoing development of the business to protect value and identify future opportunities. Risk and compliance is an important focus of the Board and is discussed at every Board meeting. Risk assessments and safe systems of work are regularly reviewed and updated where further improvements can be made. Segregation of duty policies ensure that risk is also minimised.

5. Remuneration

Appropriate remuneration levels are under constant review at all levels within the Company to ensure that employees are incentivised to protect and develop further shareholder value. Packages are designed to reward based on levels of responsibility, accountability, and control of procedures in place.  

6. Stakeholder Relationships and Engagement

The Board is well placed to ensure that there is full engagement with all stakeholders within the business. Regular discussions with staff, customers, suppliers, regulators, community groups, and all other stakeholders is key to predicting any future improvements that can be made.

During 2022 the Company: 

  • Appointed new company auditors (segregation between auditors and accountants)
  • Reviewed and refreshed all Company policies
  • Carried out training in key policy areas including Anti-bribery, Equality & Diversity, Cross Cultural Awareness, Sexual Harassment, Disability Awareness, and Stress Awareness

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