sustainability report 2008 - About the issue

Sustainability Report 2008

Factory in AfricaWhat is the issue and why is it important?

It is imperative to business sustainability that we are able to attract, develop and retain the best people. There is an obvious competitive advantage in having great quality, highly motivated people. In our 2007 Sustainability Report, we set out our people and culture agenda. This is focused on three key themes, which remain our priorities:

  • Ensuring that we have a sustainable talent pipeline – ‘the right people’;
  • Creating a workplace culture that allows people to thrive – ‘the right environment’; and
  • Working to protect the human rights of our employees and those within our sphere of influence.

We recognise that sometimes we have to overcome negative perceptions of our industry and one way we can do that is by providing people with a rewarding place to build a career and the opportunity to make a valued personal contribution.

What are we doing about it?

Attracting, developing and retaining the right people
  • We completed a global project to research and identify the features that differentiate British American Tobacco as an employer and will attract people to join our organisation, enabling us to develop an improved recruitment programme; and
  • We significantly changed the organisation of our management in the regions, creating larger regional and area teams and reducing duplicated resources at the country level. However, we believe this may have a short-term negative impact on our succession planning goals.
Creating the right environment
  • In October 2008, we conducted our biennial global employee opinion survey, ‘Your Voice’, through Towers Perrin-ISR, an independent research company. The results of this survey and the actions we are taking are outlined later in this section.
Managing human rights
  • We undertook dialogue with our key stakeholders on our approach to managing human rights within our sphere of influence; and
  • We carried out a review of how we manage human rights issues within our sphere of influence and have developed our approach based on our own analysis and stakeholder feedback.
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