british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Materiality

In 2007, we decided to focus our sustainability reporting on those issues that are most material to our business and our stakeholders. To identify potential issues, we reviewed the topics that had been raised in dialogue with our companies internationally since 2001. A total of 76 issues were identified, which we grouped into 14 categories. In order to establish the most significant, we carried out a three-stage process. 

Materiality matrix

In stage one, the issues were mapped onto a matrix, with each one positioned according to its level of concern to stakeholders and its current or potential impact on the Group.

Stage two involved refining this mapping process through internal consultation with regional teams and senior functional managers in relevant areas, such as our Head of Environment, Health & Safety, as well as the Management Board and the Board CSR Committee. From this, we generated a reduced list of issues.

In the third stage of the process, this reduced list was presented for comment at a dialogue session with sustainability opinion leaders, NGOs and our senior management. The result was the identification of our five most material areas of impact: harm reduction, marketplace, supply chain, environment, and people and culture. The goals in these five areas comprise our sustainability agenda.

Within each area of our sustainability agenda, we report on topics of high interest to stakeholders and high current or potential impact on the business. On the first page of each section in this Report, we list what is covered in the section and what related information can be found online.

The information on Opens in new window covers topics of high interest to some stakeholder groups but partial impact on the business, or vice versa. Examples include:

  • Reporting on the Global Reporting Initiative’s G3 indicators;
  • Corporate social investment;
  • Litigation;
  • Public place smoking; and
  • Cigarette butt litter.

We do not cover topics that:

  • Have already been addressed and are no longer raised by stakeholders;
  • We cannot influence; and
  • Do not significantly impact the business.
Covered on
Not reported