british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Sustainability at British American Tobacco Russia

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Sustainability Report 2011

Stakeholder engagement

British American Tobacco Russia’s long-standing stakeholder engagement programme has helped inform and develop its approach to sustainability over the last 10 years. It has helped ensure that initiatives are in line with local stakeholder expectations as well as the Group’s sustainability agenda.

In 2011, the company published its latest Stakeholder Report, detailing its recent stakeholder dialogue sessions on environment, health and safety at its factory in St Petersburg and on tobacco product regulation in Moscow.

You can read more about the St Petersburg dialogue in the employee viewpoint and can download a copy of the Stakeholder Report below.

PDF: British American Tobacco Russia Stakeholder Report 2010-2011 - British American Tobacco Russia Stakeholder Report 2010-2011 (1.9 mb) Opens in new window

Youth smoking preventionYouth smoking prevention

Despite having had a minimum age law of 18 for tobacco sales since 2001, underage smoking rates in Russia are still among the highest in the world. To help tackle this, British American Tobacco Russia is part of an industry youth smoking prevention (YSP) programme coordinated by two independent NGOs.

The programme aims to reduce access to tobacco products for under 18s by training retailers. The training is delivered by the NGOs together with State authorities. This collaborative approach has enabled a more focused and effective programme with wider reach.

Retail chains are also invited to use the programme’s training module as part of their in-house training courses. This enables more regular training for their staff than the programme would be able to deliver itself and helps increase its reach.

Representatives from the industry also discuss YSP issues with retailers as part of their day-to-day work and provide them with point-of-sale stickers and booklets stating that the retailer does not sell tobacco products to anyone under 18.

The industry programme also aims to raise public awareness of the issue of youth smoking. In 2011, events were held in over 20 Russian cities, attended by representatives from local administrations, regional oversight agencies, commercial and non-governmental organisations and the local media. A conference devoted to the issue of youth retail access prevention was also held in St Petersburg in late 2011. This was attended by around 100 representatives of State bodies, NGOs and local businesses.

The main objective of the conference was to develop a set of measures to strengthen enforcement of the minimum age law and help reduce youth smoking. Following the conference, a summary of the main conclusions and recommendations was circulated to relevant parties, including the Government and the State Duma.

Many stakeholders are still sceptical about the intentions of tobacco companies in this area. British American Tobacco Russia hopes that the work it is putting into raising awareness, strengthening enforcement and supporting retailers to comply with the minimum age law will result in lower youth smoking rates and demonstrate the company’s good intentions.

In 2012, the company plans to publish results of a study conducted by an independent research agency to measure the effectiveness of the programme.

Environmental initiatives

As part of the Group’s global plan to reduce the environmental impact of our factories, British American Tobacco Russia’s three factories are running joint and site-specific programmes to reduce energy and water use, minimise waste generation and increase recycling rates.

The three factories have environmental management systems certified to the ISO 14001 international standard and take advantage of a common documentation database, harmonised processes and shared experience.

For example, an energy saving culture project, which aimed to encourage employees to use energy at work and home in a responsible way, was successfully piloted at the factory in Saratov before being rolled out to the factories in St Petersburg and Moscow. This project was complemented by an ‘EcoFactory’ campaign which aimed to raise employees’ awareness of wider environmental issues, including the cost of natural resources.

Energy and resource use assessments were carried out at each of the three factories between 2010 and 2011. These assessments help the company to identify and prioritise measures to further reduce its energy and resource use. For example, the factory in St Petersburg replaced a range of pump and fan drives with energy-efficient alternatives and improved insulation of heating and cooling systems.

This work built on a number of environmental initiatives already underway at the factories, examples of which are detailed below.

In the Saratov factory, waste heat from the tobacco dryer is now used to heat water in summer and to melt snow in winter. A project is also underway to modernise the factory’s boiler system to a more efficient model, which is expected to result in reducing the site’s use of natural gas by 7–10 per cent, resulting in total energy savings of 2–3 per cent.

The factory in St Petersburg saved 7 per cent of its total water use by installing a rainwater collection system for cooling hot water from the site’s boiler before disposal.

Another example is the introduction of FIBEX at the St Petersburg factory to reduce and reuse waste. FIBEX is a British American Tobacco patented technology that converts previously unusable tobacco (for example, because the particle size is too small) into a useable product similar to ordinary tobacco. It involves crushing and extruding tobacco materials then reconstituting them under high pressure. The finished product can then be blended with regular tobacco.

The factory in Moscow was one of the first manufacturing sites in the city to take part in an initiative of the Government’s Department of Nature to install an online system for monitoring emissions into the air. The system measures emissions data every 20 minutes, which is then collated with other data from the area and made publicly available on its website, Opens in new window.

You can read more about environmental initiatives in the Saratov and St Petersburg factories in British American Tobacco Russia’s last two Stakeholder Reports, which can be downloaded from Opens in new window.

Workplace safety

All three of British American Tobacco Russia’s factories have health and safety management systems certified to the OHSAS 18001 international standard. These systems are based on regular identification of potential hazards, assessing associated risks and developing preventive measures.

The company also holds regular training days and events to continually remind employees of the importance of health and safety. For example, the factories hold a Health & Safety and Fire Safety week each year that includes quizzes, competitions and other activities designed to engage employees in a fun way. A number of employees also act as ambassadors to champion health and safety among their colleagues. Initiatives like these have helped to embed the Group’s position that health and safety is not only the responsibility of management, but needs everyone to look out for each other.

The factory in St Petersburg introduced a new system to monitor ‘near misses’, enabling it to respond to minor injuries and hazardous situations and help prevent potential lost workdays and serious injuries.

The factory in Saratov made a step change in emergency preparedness at the site through installing technical means of registering employees at the fire assembly points and facilitating the evacuation procedure.

The company’s factory in Moscow also took advantage of a new opportunity, in June 2010, for Moscow employers to register to the Moscow State Labour Inspection Certificate of Trust. Gaining such certification is not only recognition of the factory’s high standards of health and safety, but also helps to demonstrate its commitment to this important area, both externally and to its employees.

To help reduce vehicle-related accidents in the Trade Marketing & Distribution teams, the company has had a Traffic Accident Reduction programme in place since 2008. The programme includes setting annual targets, which are included in performance objectives for key environment, health and safety personnel and drivers; recording and analysis of ‘near misses’; defensive driver training focused on practical skills to avoid accidents and handling vehicles in emergency situations; regular testing of drivers’ knowledge of local road rules; and awards and recognition for teams with accident-free records. A continuous positive trend has been seen with around a 55 per cent reduction in the road traffic accidents rate since 2006.


The fact that you’re holding this dialogue, that you’re not afraid to present your reports, speaks to the fact that yours is a truly public, results-driven company.

State agency representative in dialogue


The company is genuinely interested in implementing useful projects, which is the essence of business responsibility to the region and its inhabitants.

State agency representative in dialogue



  • Programme run in over 40 cities
  • 744 YSP educational seminars and training events and over 90 public events held
  • Over 15,000 employees from 720 key retail accounts, covering 14,000 outlets, took part in training sessions
  • Around 40,000 copies of YSP educational materials distributed in retail outlets across Russia
  • YSP training module run in 56 colleges and training centres for retail employees
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