british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Key activities of the CSR Committee in 2011

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Sustainability Report 2011

The CSR Committee held four scheduled meetings in 2011, including a meeting held at the beginning of March to approve the Company’s annual Sustainability Report. The other specific items considered by it included:

CSR governance

  • Feedback and update reports from the regional audit and CSR committees and consideration of CSR-related internal audit reports and recommendations, including in relation to the organisation of the Group’s approach to environmental, health and safety issues.
  • Following completion of the internal control checklist self-assessment exercise, an analysis of the results for the CSR controls and the action plans in place to achieve full compliance.
  • A review of the key reputational risks identified in the Group Risk Register, the potential impacts and consequences of such risks and the current controls in place to address them.
  • A continuing review of the potential reputational impact arising from incidents of non-compliance with the Standards of Business Conduct. 
  • A review and endorsement of the revised Standards of Business Conduct, which were updated with effect from 1 September 2011 to ensure that they remain at the forefront of best practice and to ensure alignment with the provisions of the UK Bribery Act 2010.

CSR policies and compliance

  • Potential risks, in the countries where the Group does business, that are of potential concern from a human rights perspective and the measures and controls in place to mitigate those risks.
  • Consideration of the measures in place within the Group directed towards eliminating child labour in tobacco growing, including its membership of the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Foundation and its efforts to drive high standards from suppliers through its Social Responsibility in Tobacco Production (SRTP) programme.
  • Environmental, health and safety measures, including measures to improve safety culture behaviour throughout the Group and the recommendation for adoption by the Board of a revised Corporate Health and Safety Policy.
  • Adherence to the Group’s International Marketing Standards and the recommendation for the adoption by the Board of specific Marketing Standards for Snus products.
  • The continuing work of the Biodiversity Partnership with three NGOs – Tropical Biology Association, Earthwatch and Fauna & Flora International – focusing on biodiversity in agricultural landscapes and the ecosystems on which they depend in key areas where the Group sources leaf.
  • Initiatives in the area of sustainable agriculture, with a focus on Brazil, including the development of an integrated supply chain and initiatives on reduction of agrochemical use and soil and water management.
  • Consideration of a review of the Group’s approach to youth smoking prevention.

Sustainability planning and reporting

  • Central and local stakeholder dialogue activities during 2011.
  • A review of the 2010 Sustainability Report, including a summary of external feedback and proposed enhancements for 2011, and Ernst & Young LLP’s Assurance Management report.
  • An assessment of the 2011 goals and commitments for sustainability reporting and progress made against the 2010 goals and commitments.

During 2011, the Committee considered the feedback from the external Board evaluation exercise, which took place in 2010, including a review of its standard agenda items, and reviewed and agreed its programme for 2012.

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