british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Developing our sustainability agenda


In 2009, we developed plans and activities across the five areas identified by our materiality test as the most significant for our sustainability agenda.

Harm reduction

We will strive to bring commercially viable, consumer acceptable reduced-risk products to market.

We aspire to reduce the harm caused by smoking and have made real progress in our scientific research into harm reduction. We have published more scientific papers than in any other year to date and we are starting to analyse and publish results from our clinical studies. Engagement with stakeholders on scientific issues is also improving and our External Scientific Panel continues to help to inform our scientific research programme.

Read more about this in the Harm reduction section.


We will take a lead in upholding high standards of corporate conduct within our marketplace.

We seek to uphold high standards of responsible behaviour in the sale and marketing of our products. We have established centres of expertise covering regulation and other marketplace practices to coordinate our efforts and to support a consistent approach across all markets. Our new global youth smoking prevention campaign was launched and we have implemented action plans to close any gaps in adherence to our International Marketing Standards identified in our 2008 Group-wide review. We also successfully trialled a track and trace system to support our efforts to reduce the illicit trade in our cigarettes.

Read more about this in the Marketplace section.

Supply chain

We will work for positive social, environmental and economic impacts in our supply chain.

Our sustainability agenda extends beyond our own operations; we also want to see social, environmental and economic improvements in our supply chain. Stakeholder dialogue has helped us in the development of a sustainable supply chain strategy that will build on existing good practices across the Group. We have continued to assess suppliers’ sustainability performance and support them in implementing improvements. We have also introduced a Sustainable Business Assessment Tool and continued our life cycle analysis research.

Read more about this in the Supply chain section.


We will actively address the impacts of our business on the natural environment.

We have strengthened our governance of environmental performance processes and have incorporated our key environmental measures – energy use, water use, waste to landfill and recycling – into our global Operations scorecard. We continue to work hard to reduce our energy use, including pilot energy reduction projects in Germany, South Africa and the UK. The British American Tobacco Biodiversity Partnership has enabled us to make good progress in understanding our impacts on biodiversity and we have developed measures of success to monitor our progress in this area.

Read more about this in the Environment section.

People and culture

We will work to ensure we have the right people and culture to meet our goals.

To meet our goals, we need to attract, develop and retain the right people and provide a supportive company culture. We have worked to describe British American Tobacco in a more compelling way to potential employees, and this is being implemented globally. We have taken action to address some of the shortcomings highlighted in our most recent employee survey and we have also reviewed our approach to human rights, which includes closely monitoring any of our businesses that operate in countries that are of concern to stakeholders.

Read more about this in the People and culture section.