Environmental management

How we measure up

We are committed to reducing our environmental impact across our supply chain and operations.

Our approach to reducing the environmental impacts of our operations is long established. We have a comprehensive Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) management system that  is based on international standards, including ISO 14001, and we monitor our Group-wide environmental performance for all BAT sites worldwide.

We operate in diverse locations around the world, where environmental legislation, infrastructure, the availability of renewable energy technologies and levels of water scarcity can all vary significantly. Our approach is therefore to understand our impact in these environments, and then put plans in place to minimise it.

We also have an internal reporting system for monitoring Group-wide environmental performance.Each of our companies has an EHS Steering Committee, with overall environmental responsibility held by the General Manager or site manager. EHS is also a standing agenda item for management meetings and governance committees at area, regional and global levels. This has raised awareness of EHS risks across our business and our aim is to create a consistent approach for our companies in managing them.

Our Group Operations Director has overall responsibility for environmental management and our Management Board is responsible for our Environment Policy.

The Policy applies across all our activities including our supply chain and it requires our companies to:

  • understand the impacts on the environment in which they operate and proactively put in place plans to minimise these impacts;
  • manage, monitor and report on environmental performance;
  • include environmental considerations in our product design; and
  • work with suppliers and business partners to share best practice and reduce the impacts of our products and services across the total lifecycle.  

Group Environment Policy (43 kb) 

Reducing our direct impacts

In 2016, we developed a new set of targets for 2025, based on our intensity measure per million cigarettes equivalent. We also continue to work towards our long-term target to cut carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by 80% by 2050 and have so far achieved a 46% reduction from our 2000 baseline. Our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint across our operations includes investing in energy-efficient technologies, switching to low-carbon or renewable energy sources, and optimising our logistics and fleet with new standards for fuel efficiency, engine size and emissions

Our environmental targets

  • Reduce our CO2e emissions by 55% by 2025 and by 80% by 2050 (against year 2000 baseline)
  • Reduce our energy use by 25% by 2025*
  • Increase the amount of renewable energy we source to 25% by 2025*
  • Reduce the total amount of water withdrawn by 35% by 2025*
  • Increase the total amount of water we recycle to 15% by 2025*
  • Reduce our waste to landfill by 80% by 2025*
  • Reduce the total volume of waste generated by 10% by 2025*
  • Recycle at least 95% of our total waste generated each year.

We have 45 cigarette factories and a further 16 green-leaf threshing sites worldwide which, along with a large distribution fleet, account for more than 60% of our direct impacts, so this is where we focus many of our initiatives.

Examples include investing in energy-efficient technologies, switching to less carbon-intensive fuels and renewable energy sourcing. Currently, 8.5% of our Group energy use is from renewable sources. We’re also optimising our logistics and fleet with standards for fuel efficiency, engine size and emissions, as well as increasing load capacity to reduce the number of journeys.

While our manufacturing processes are less water intensive than many industries, we understand the reality of increasing water scarcity in some parts of the world and this has led us to expand  the scope of our water risk assessments. Previously only conducted at our strategic, high-risk sites, these assessments were completed by all our factories and green-leaf threshing sites in 2017.

We recycle or reuse waste within our business, wherever possible. In 2017, we were pleased to achieve an 8% reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill per million cigarettes equivalent, compared to 2016. We also recycled 93.2% of our waste in 2017..

Working with others

Environmental problems cannot be solved by one company acting alone, so we also work in collaboration with others.

In Kenya, for instance, we are members of the Nairobi Water Roundtable, working alongside local government, NGOs and other major companies, including Diageo and Coca-Cola, to find solutions to water scarcity in the area.

Environmental management in tobacco growing

Many of the environmental impacts that are associated with growing tobacco are common across agriculture and the only way to completely avoid them would be not to farm any crop, which is clearly not a viable option. So we focus on working to mitigate these inherent risks and implement best practice environmental standards with all the farmers we work with.

Environmental criteria form a central part of the industry wide Sustainable Tobacco Programme and our expert field technicians provide farmers with technical assistance on areas such as sustainable soil, water, biodiversity, and forest and pest management. The benefits of this can be seen in agrochemical usage, which is generally significantly lower in tobacco growing than other comparable crops.

Also, because wood is often used as a fuel for curing, we have programmes in place to avoid and combat deforestation. As a result, in 2017 99% of our contracted farmers’ wood fuel came from sustainable sources.

*Against a 2007 baseline.

Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer Livelihoods Report

Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer Livelihoods Focus Report 2017
Download our Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer Livelihoods Focus Report 2017