british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Other types of engagement

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Sustainability Report 2011


We have a number of long-term partnership agreements that support our sustainability programme.

Since 2008, we have had an External Scientific Panel, a multidisciplinary team of leading experts who provide important input to help inform the development of our scientific research programme. More information on this can be found in the harm reduction section.

In 2011, we also established a Supply Chain Sustainability Stakeholder Panel to provide ongoing guidance and challenge on our supply chain sustainability issues. For further detail, please see the supply chain section.

Our Biodiversity Partnership with three NGOs – Fauna & Flora International, the Tropical Biology Association and Earthwatch – entered its third, five-year term in 2011. The Partnership has helped us to develop specific biodiversity tools, such as biodiversity risk and opportunity assessments for our tobacco growing operations, and increased awareness of biodiversity within the Group and our supply chain. You can read more about this in the environment section.

In 2010, we signed a cooperation agreement with the European Commission and its member states to tackle the illegal tobacco trade. You can read about this in more detail in the marketplace section. Our companies have also signed memoranda of understanding and industry agreements addressing the illegal tobacco trade in nearly 50 countries over recent years. Additional agreements were signed in 2011 in Papua New Guinea, the Ukraine and Vietnam.

We continued to collaborate with key suppliers on life cycle analysis studies and the development of an environmental scorecard. We also maintained our Memorandum of Cooperation with DHL, under which we initiate innovations in logistics with a particular focus on sustainability.

In 2011, we also continued to address the issue of child labour through the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation, with community-based projects in six countries.

Customer research

Our largest companies commission an independent survey of our key distribution and retail partners to gain feedback on service quality and other aspects of our business relationships. The survey takes place every two years, with the most recent one being in 2010, involving 31 of our companies. The 2010 survey was enhanced to enable greater focus and global coordination.

In each market, it benchmarks British American Tobacco against our major local tobacco competitor and the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) supplier considered the best locally in serving the same retailers.

The quality of our service is assessed in key areas including:

  • Trade marketing support;
  • Product distribution;
  • Products; 
  • Overall quality; and
  • Customer engagement.

The 2010 survey rated British American Tobacco as the best company overall in 16 of 31 markets surveyed. The full results from the survey can be viewed at Opens in new window.

Employee opinion survey

Every two years, we commission an independent, international employee opinion survey called ‘Your Voice’. It shows us the level of our employees’ engagement and enables us to benchmark our organisation against other multinational businesses. Most importantly, it highlights areas of the business where we can take action to address employees’ concerns.

You can see the results of our latest survey in the people and culture section.


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