Our approach to sustainability is evolving. We established our vision for business sustainability in 2007, then in 2008 addressed some of the challenges it raised. In 2009, our focus was on embedding sustainability in our business and driving progress.
In 2007 we set out our vision for sustainability and identified five goals as key to the long term sustainability of British American Tobacco. In 2008, through dialogue and our Sustainability Report 2008 , we addressed two key challenges that had been raised concerning our vision:
- Given the nature of our products, should we even attempt to build a sustainable business?
- The difficulties of stakeholder engagement when those most critical of the tobacco industry will not engage with us.
Although stakeholder dialogue with some of our critics remains an unresolved challenge, we continue to be committed to constructive engagement with any and all stakeholders. Those who did meet with us raised some challenges but supported our overall approach and reaffirmed our belief that it is appropriate for a tobacco business to pursue sustainability.
During 2009, our focus shifted to addressing how we can best embed the concept of sustainability and sustainable value creation in the business and to driving progress. This includes advancing our plans in the five areas of our sustainability agenda and further developing our approach to stakeholder dialogue.