british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Environmental performance

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SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2009

We have a comprehensive environment, health & safety (EHS) management system. However, we recognise that to address increasing global challenges, our EHS strategy must evolve and drive greater global consistency. During 2009, we strengthened our environmental governance with formal senior review bodies at all levels, incorporating EHS as a standing agenda item. This has raised understanding of the EHS risks associated with our business.

Environmental performance

Managing performance

In 2009, we conducted a review of our performance indicators. As part of the review, we incorporated our key environmental measures – energy use, water use, waste to landfill and recycling – into our global Operations scorecard. This provided greater visibility of performance, which in turn allows us to take corrective actions more rapidly and better manage our impacts.

Online learning

Knowledgeable employees are key to realising our environmental objectives. In 2009, we developed online training, providing employees with more consistent information about our EHS management systems, strategy and tools around the world.

EHS Excellence Awards

Our EHS Excellence Awards bring recognition to employees for good EHS performance. In 2009, we introduced an award for excellence in carbon reduction to emphasise our focus in this area. The good practice highlighted by the awards is shared across the Group.

Environmental performance

The key environmental measures for our operations are energy use, carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, waste and water use.

In 2009, we saw an improvement in our environmental measures (see charts). This is largely due to more detailed measurement of both consumption and output at unit level, which also allowed for more targeted efficiency improvements. We are continually improving the scope and accuracy of our measurements and therefore our influence on environmental performance. For example, there is currently no internationally definitive process for calculating a company’s water footprint. To better understand our water use, we have introduced it as one of the impact criteria in our life cycle analysis studies. The understanding gained from this work, along with related studies on the use of water in primary processing and comparison of water use in leaf growing in Brazil and Indonesia, has enabled us to identify water-saving opportunities and better prepare ourselves for potential water shortages in the future. We have discussed with our suppliers the need for them to take as much care with water as they already do with energy use and CO2 equivalent.

 

Environmental performance: what’s next?

We will continue to drive improvement in our EHS strategy and its implementation, including specific focus on sharing best practices and drawing on performance data to inform our management processes. We will also continue the development of online learning and our life cycle analysis work.

Comment from
Ernst & Young LLP

Through our environmental data review we have observed British American Tobacco’s efforts to build a more detailed understanding of environmental performance at a unit level. This, along with the more focused supply chain strategy, should assist British American Tobacco in identifying and monitoring environmental performance improvements in the future. There continue to be areas for improvement in relation to the completeness of documentation to support unit level reporting and the review of environmental data at headquarters level.