We recognise that we can further integrate social and environmental criteria into our decision making.
We have examples of excellence in this around the Group, demonstrated by our supplier standards, our extensive agronomy and environmental support to leaf growers, our afforestation programmes over several decades and our work to eliminate exploitative child labour in our agricultural supply chain.
However, we recognise that, on the basis of continuous improvement, we could do more. We aim to gather more information on potential social and environmental impacts so we can integrate these into our decision making.
Life Cycle Analysis
An example is our use of Life Cycle Analysis to help us understand and manage the environmental impacts of our products. An initial analysis has been performed on two brands produced in our German manufacturing plant for the French market. It enabled a direct comparison of the brands against environmental criteria that included:
- Primary energy demand;
- Global warming potential;
- Acidification potential;
- Eutrophication potential.
The study confirmed a number of areas of impact which we will use to prioritise our efforts. The most significant impacts are found in the tobacco curing and manufacturing stages of the supply chain due to high-energy requirements. These will be further analysed with our supply chain partners to agree joint plans and targets for improvement.
During 2008, we will be piloting and evaluating appropriate tools, analysing the resulting data and engaging with internal and external stakeholders to embed Life Cycle Analysis into our activities.
- We will use Life Cycle Analysis to identify environmental improvements and reduce product design impacts;
- We will include sustainability criteria in our product standards and best practice and in our global product sourcing process by end 2009;
- We will continue to investigate how we can reduce energy use in our operations, including research into supply of energy from renewable sources;
- We will implement sustainability impact studies to assist our decision making for any major changes to sourcing.