british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Our approach to reporting


A key element in our approach to sustainability over the past 10 years has been the production of Social Reports by many of our local companies. To date, our businesses in more than 40 markets have produced Social Reports and stakeholder dialogue is a key business practice for our companies around the world. However, as British American Tobacco’s reporting has evolved and we are seeing greater alignment throughout the Group, this approach is no longer the most appropriate. We have therefore decided to produce one Sustainability Report for the Group.

Our approach to reportingThis Sustainability Report, together with our communications on Opens in new window, aims to provide comprehensive coverage of the Group’s sustainability effort globally. This is why, for the first time, our online Report includes balanced scorecards and examples of sustainability activities for our businesses in nine of our largest markets. The nine countries included are:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Malaysia
  • Nigeria
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea

You can view this information in the Sustainability in our companies section.

This decision has also caused us to review our materiality test, first carried out in 2007, to make sure we are covering those local issues that are of wider interest, such as HIV/AIDS and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.

We believe that this Report, together with the online Report, creates a more wide-reaching and detailed account of our global activities for our stakeholders. We are keen to hear if you agree or how we could improve on our reporting. You can email your comments to

Not producing local reports will free up time and resources to concentrate on the implementation of sustainability initiatives. Performance will continue to be monitored and reported through our audit and CSR committees. Similarly, dialogue, transparency and accountability remain central to our approach. Our local companies will continue to engage with their stakeholders to help shape their local sustainability plans and initiatives.

Comment from
Ernst & Young LLP

British American Tobacco further refined its approach to Sustainability Reporting in 2009 to include in this Report increased coverage of activities by local companies within the Group. Examples of local sustainability activities and balanced scorecards for companies in nine large markets are now included. In future Reports, it will be important that these examples show a balanced picture of successes, as well as challenges faced with regard to sustainability in these companies.