british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2010 - Responding to stakeholders on environmental management in Russia

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Sustainability Report 2010

One of British American Tobacco Russia’s three factories is located in Saratov in Southern Russia. As with all Group operations, it complies with all applicable laws and regulations as well as our Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Policy.

Saratov was one of the first factories in the region, and the first of British American Tobacco’s tobacco factories in Russia, to gain certification to the international standards, ISO 9001 (quality management system), ISO 14001 (environmental management system), and OH SAS 18001 (health and safety management system).

The factory’s technological processes are regularly monitored and enhanced, using the latest technology to not only improve production and efficiency but also reduce environmental impacts. The company’s investment in its production processes has been significant: in the three years from 2007 to 2010 they totalled RUB 2,900 million (£61.8 million).

British American Tobacco Russia’s approach to environmental management at its Saratov factory includes:

  • Introducing systems to reduce and monitor emissions to air, which by the end of 2009 had fallen by 36.6 per cent;
  • Investing in technology to monitor and reduce tobacco dust emissions, resulting in a 63 per cent reduction over four years;
  • Energy efficiency initiatives, which have led to production at the Saratov factory being twice as efficient as the European average for tobacco factories;
  • Working with the local government and community to clean up and preserve nature areas; and
  • The OASIS programme – a collaboration between the factory, the district government and the local residents association on projects to improve the local area.

With the factory situated in the heart of a residential community, with some homes just metres from the site, ongoing engagement with local residents is crucial. In late 2009, a formal stakeholder dialogue session was held with 26 local stakeholders including local officials of federal agencies, municipal and civic organisations and local residents. The dialogue was facilitated by an independent NGO, the Agency of Social Information.

The stakeholders gave mostly positive feedback on the company’s efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. They also suggested how this work could be developed by further strengthening relationships with local residents. It was suggested that this could be achieved by continuing community projects and providing more detailed information on potential health effects of living near the factory.

As a result of the dialogue, British American Tobacco Russia committed to the following for its Saratov factory:

  • Continue to reduce and monitor emissions to air and evaluate the effects of these emissions.
  • Conduct an assessment of any potential risks to the local population’s health from the factory’s impacts.
  • Continue community projects such as the OASIS programme.
  • Meet the following 2010 environmental targets:
    • Water use: 1.6 cubic metres per million cigarettes equivalent produced.
    • ­Energy use: 5.2 gigajoules per million cigarettes equivalent produced.­ 
    • Recycling: 68.99 per cent of all waste produced.
    • Atmospheric pollutants: 23,233 tonnes per year.

In 2010, the company published a report on this dialogue event and its response which can be downloaded from Opens in new window. It has made good progress against its commitments, including completing two assessments: one on the effects of emissions in the air and the other on potential risks to the local population’s health from the factory’s impacts.

Community projects continued in 2010 and included employees and business partners planting 50 trees in the area and cleaning up a local park.

Various initiatives to improve energy efficiency have also been completed, including the installation of new, energy-efficient equipment. All the 2010 environmental targets have also been met, apart from energy use which was 5.58 gigajoules per million cigarettes equivalent produced.

British American Tobacco Russia intends to continue to engage with stakeholders on environmental issues, and this topic remains key for its three factories.


Stakeholder comment

The factory’s manufacturing process is quite environmentally friendly... Russian legislation on environmental protection is fully complied with, which is not at all the case for quite a few factories.
Stakeholder at the dialogue session

Stakeholder comment

Today’s meeting illustrates the openness and transparency of British American Tobacco’s activities in working with the local community on environmental protection issues.
Stakeholder at the dialogue session