Wood fuel sources

Wood fuel sources

Goal: to eliminate the use of unsustainable wood sources by our contracted farmers

Percentage sources of wood used by our contracted farmers for curing fuels

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sustainable wood sources 98.7% 98.6% 98.8% 99.0% 99.0%
Unsustainable wood sources 1.3% 1.4% 1.2% 1.0% 1.0%

Deforestation, caused by farmers using virgin forest as a source of wood fuel for tobacco curing, is an issue we have been addressing for many years with great success. We are pleased to report that, in 2017, 99% of farmers’ wood fuel came from sustainable sources.

We encourage farmers to source wood from woodlands grown for fuel supply purposes and to plant trees to supply their own needs. The trees are usually grown alongside tobacco farms as an environmentally sustainable crop.

Our afforestation programmes encourage tree planting to provide a sustainable source of wood for farmers who require it for tobacco curing. For example, in Pakistan, we have a long-running afforestation programme, which has seen over 75 million trees planted and is considered to be the largest private afforestation scheme in the country. And in Bangladesh, our Bonayan afforestation programme, which was launched in the 1980s, has distributed more than 95 million free saplings to rural communities.

We also work to find locally available alternative fuels, such as candlenut shells, coffee or rice paddy husks. For example, since 1997 100% of our farmers in Sri Lanka have used rice paddy husks as a fuel to cure tobacco, instead of wood. All fuels have environmental impacts, so we are also evaluating ways to minimise fuel consumption, for example by using innovative designs for curing barns.

Sustainable wood sources are defined as: wood resources harvested legally from planted sources in such a way that does not cause any detrimental social, environmental or economic impact. This may include:

  • Wood sourced from identified invasive exotic species which have not been planted; and
  • Wood sourced from existing legal plantations.

This definition does not include conversion of natural forests to plantations in order to produce wood for tobacco curing.

EY LogoThe wood fuel data on this page has been independently assured by Ernst & Young LLP. Please see the full assurance statement for details of the scope of work and conclusions.