british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Reporting methodology

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Sustainability Report 2011

For British American Tobacco, sustainability reporting is more than a communications exercise. Our rigorous reporting processes drive change within the business. They also help ensure that the content of this Report is credible, helping to demonstrate openness and build trust.

Reporting governance

Our Sustainability Report undergoes a formal review and approval process prior to publication. It is reviewed in detail by a sustainability report drafting committee chaired by Michael Prideaux, Group Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Director. The final draft of the Report is then approved by the Board CSR Committee, which is a committee of the Company’s Board with delegated responsibility.

Throughout the year, the Board CSR Committee reviews progress against goals and commitments published in the Report.

Independent assurance and standards

Our Sustainability Reports are independently assured by Ernst & Young LLP in accordance with ISAE 30001 and evaluated against the AA1000AS (2008)2 assurance principles of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness.

Ernst & Young LLP provides ‘limited’ assurance of our Report content and the completeness and accuracy of its claims and performance data. In addition, they provide a ‘reasonable’ level of assurance on all stakeholder dialogue sessions held at Group level.

In addition, our reporting includes a selection of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) performance indicators that are material to our business.

Stakeholder dialogue

We use the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard (AA1000SES) for all our dialogue sessions. This is widely recognised as the international benchmark for stakeholder engagement.

Our dialogue sessions are independently facilitated and assured. This applies equally to our Group dialogues and those carried out by our local companies.

The independent facilitator not only moderates the session itself, but also helps us design the format of the day and identify participants. After the dialogue, the facilitator produces a summary report, which is distributed to the participants, and a more detailed report for internal use. This detailed report helps us determine what actions we need to take.

To provide a ‘reasonable level’ of assurance of the Group stakeholder dialogues, Ernst & Young LLP attends each session, reviews the independent facilitator’s report and reviews any references to the dialogue in our Sustainability Report for accuracy and balance.


1 ISAE 3000 - International Federation of the Accountants’ International Standard for Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information.

2 AA1000AS (2008) - The second edition of the AA1000 assurance standard from the Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability.


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