british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - How we manage our environmental impacts

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SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2009

Our environmental issues

The creation, distribution and consumption of our products, from leaf growing to the disposal of used products and packaging, all have an impact on the natural environment.

We are committed to following high standards of environmental protection and adhering to the principles of sustainable development. We work to address the impacts of our business on the natural environment, to measure, to monitor and reduce these impacts and to report on our performance.

Changes in the environment, such as extreme weather or crop diseases, have an immediate impact on our business, as they can affect not only the tobacco for our products but also, for example, the wood used to make cigarette papers and packaging. We therefore see good environmental practices as fundamental to our business.

We recognise that we need to maintain a clear strategic approach to managing our environmental footprint. It not only makes good economic and environmental sense for us to use raw materials, energy and water in a sustainable manner, but it is also our responsibility.

Our key performance measures are energy use, CO2 equivalent, water use, waste to landfill and recycling. We also focus on minimising our impacts on biodiversity.

Environmental management

Our Group Operations Director has overall responsibility for environmental management. Responsibility for our Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Policy lies with the Management Board. The policy sets requirements for all our companies. It applies to our own activities and to our approach to managing our supply chain.

Our environment, health & safety management system is based on international standards, including ISO 14001. We also have an online reporting system that enables us to monitor and measure Group-wide performance consistently on our key environmental measures.

Within each business unit, environmental responsibility is held by the General Manager (or organisational equivalent), assisted by another member of the senior management team. All companies are required to assess their performance using the ‘EHS Road Map’. Where performance is weak, the Road Map requires action to be taken.

You can view our full reporting against the Global Reporting Initiative’s key performance indicators in the GRI section.