british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Sustainable decision making


To make balanced decisions about our products and our supply chain, we need to better understand the full sustainability impacts of product design, manufacturing and supply. We are developing a range of tools to support this work.

Life cycle analysis

We are using life cycle analysis to support our sustainable decision making and continue to work with suppliers to carry out joint studies. Our knowledge and expertise around life cycle analysis is still expanding and we are making good progress in integrating it into our tools and approaches.

Sustainable decision making

Sustainable Business Assessment Tool

In 2009, we launched our Sustainable Business Assessment Tool. It is a checklist that encourages the consideration of environmental and economic implications at every stage of product design.

Sustainable sourcing impact studies

In 2009, we continued to conduct sustainability impact studies to assist our decision making in major sourcing changes. This included taking environmental data into consideration when determining alternative sources of supply to two factories that were closed in Western Europe.

We have also been using life cycle analysis and the Sustainable Business Assessment Tool to assist decision making in our sourcing plans. For example, in a pilot project, a range of sourcing scenarios has been developed, including comparison of the CO2 emissions relating to each. We intend to build on this pilot, integrating life cycle analysis into our strategic sourcing guidelines by the end of 2010.

Cigarette formats

We are working on developing our product portfolio to introduce new cigarette formats which have consumer appeal and improve our overall environmental footprint. An example of this is Kent Nanotek, a superslim cigarette which uses up to 50 per cent less tobacco and over 40 per cent less non-tobacco cigarette materials than a regular cigarette. Packaging materials are reduced by approximately 25 per cent.


Sustainable decision making: what’s next?

In 2010, we will continue working with our suppliers on our life cycle analysis studies, while also developing the tools needed for us to use life cycle analysis to guide product specification and any major sourcing changes.

Comment from
Ernst & Young LLP

We have reviewed documentation and interviewed managers responsible for initiatives such as life cycle analysis and the Sustainable Business Assessment Tool that can help drive sustainable improvements through British American Tobacco’s supply chain. The challenge will be in moving these beyond ‘initiatives’ to ‘business as usual’ decision making interventions embedded within the business.