british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Sustainability at Imperial Tobacco Canada

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Sustainability Report 2011

Fighting the illegal tobacco trade

In 2010, approximately one fifth of cigarettes sold in Canada were illegal. Tackling this illicit trade is a priority for the company.

It has been reported that there are approximately 50 illegal cigarette factories operating in Canada on First Nations reservations of indigenous Canadians and, in 2006, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported that there were over 300 ‘smoke shacks’ selling these illegal products.

Imperial Tobacco Canada believes the illegal sale of tobacco is a critical public policy matter. Any lasting solution to the problem must involve collaboration between, and be supported by, all relevant stakeholders, including enforcement bodies, federal and provincial governments, First Nations leadership, the tobacco industry and consumers.

In 2011, the company continued its campaign calling for Government action to address the issue.

Youth smoking prevention

Imperial Tobacco Canada distributes its tobacco products to 35,000 retailers and more than half of its employees work in the field, engaging directly with these retail customers. This means that the company is able to take a partnership approach to issues such as youth smoking prevention.

For example, it supports the 'We Expect ID' national age verification programme, which is managed by the Canadian Convenience Store Association. The programme encourages retailers to prevent youth access to all adult-only products, including alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets. Information kits are distributed to retailers – to date, over 14,000 have been sent out – and web-based training and certification is delivered in French, English and Korean.

Fuel efficiency

Imperial Tobacco Canada’s main environmental and supply chain issues arise from its offices and distribution network. In 2011, the permanent car fleet used by the company’s trade account representatives was replaced with hybrid cars. This resulted in an estimated 43 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, along with considerable cost savings.

Community investment

Imperial Tobacco Canada matches donations made by its full-time employees to community organisations. It has also established a private charitable foundation to invest in the community: the Imperial Tobacco Canada Foundation.

The Foundation’s key projects include its Montreal South-West Community programme that provides six donations a year of C$20,000 (£12,610) each for projects that enhance community and public life, as well as its Arts Achievement Award, under which C$75,000 (£47,288) is donated to a Canadian arts organisation that has made an exemplary contribution to its art form, to the public and to cultural life in Canada.

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