british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2010 - Manufacturing

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Sustainability Report 2010

With around 70 per cent of the Group’s resource and energy use occurring at our factories, we have the opportunity to make significant improvements by focusing on our manufacturing operations. The challenge is to reduce our impacts across all our manufacturing sites, some of which have older, less energy-efficient equipment. As factories get older, we have to weigh up environmental benefits against the costs of replacing old equipment.

The main environmental impacts at our manufacturing sites are CO2e emissions, energy consumption, water use and waste. We have developed a global reduction plan for reducing the use of natural resources at our factories, which focuses on:

  • Assessment: to understand where and why resources are needed and how we dispose of waste;
  • Reduction: to reduce resource use and emissions in the medium and long term; and
  • Replacement: to investigate, develop and adopt alternative methods and technologies.

manufacturingThe first assessment stage has been rolled out to our largest sites, with our next tier of sites being covered in 2011. This will then represent around 80 per cent of manufacturing resource use.

These assessments have increased our understanding of resource use, enabling us to prioritise improvements and identify specific solutions. For example, tobacco processing, which typically accounts for 40 per cent of a site's total energy consumption, can be reduced by 5 per cent by simply adjusting gas burner temperatures. A number of improvement efforts are already underway, for example our site in Bayreuth, Germany, is exploring options to upgrade its boiler house, which represents up to 50 per cent of its total energy use, and our sites in Poland and Turkey are investigating the use of sustainable ground water wells for cooling.

The assessments are complemented by third party energy and CO2e assessments, at our most resource intensive sites, including those in Brazil, Germany, Poland, South Africa and Turkey.

We are making good progress against recycling and landfill reduction targets and a number of our manufacturing sites recycle 100 per cent of their waste. But we have not been sufficiently focused on the absolute amount of waste we produce and still need to reduce absolute volumes.

Manufacturing: what's next?

Our focus for manufacturing in 2011 will be to extend our third party energy and CO2e assessments to include water and to undertake a feasibility study of renewable energy options. We will also begin implementing waste reduction initiatives.