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

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Sustainability Report 2011

Youth smoking prevention

Youth smoking is a growing concern in South Korea. In 2011, a survey of 76,000 students under 19 (the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products), conducted by the Korea Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, showed that around 80 per cent of respondents could easily buy cigarettes in retailer shops without being asked to show ID.

Retailers’ licences for selling tobacco can be suspended for violating the law when they are found to have sold cigarettes to under 19s. Despite this, some of the main issues for youth smoking are lack of enforcement and retailers’ commitment to help prevent youth access.

For several years, British American Tobacco Korea has supported a youth smoking prevention campaign focusing on age verification, together with three other tobacco companies and the industry association. Joining forces with other tobacco companies helps to avoid confusing retailers with inconsistent messages and duplication of effort.

The campaign includes engagement with retailers to raise awareness of the issue; providing point-of-sale materials and face-to-face training; and retailers being asked to sign a pledge that they will not sell to the underage. In addition, a celebrity acts as an ambassador and endorses the campaign in order to help raise awareness among youth.

In 2011, the campaign targeted 70,000 retailers, with some 9,000 signing a pledge to not sell tobacco products to the underage.

Sustainability at British American Tobacco KoreaEnvironmental initiatives

The company’s focus in 2011 was on reducing the environmental footprint of its manufacturing site in Sacheon. Although Sacheon is one of the more energy-efficient factories in the Group, there is always room for improvement. Therefore, in 2011 the company assessed its energy use and CO2 emissions and identified and prioritised improvement initiatives.

Since the assessment, a number of ‘quick win’ changes have been made, including insulating valves in the boiler house; reducing the temperature of intake air used in the production process; modernising the site’s air conditioning unit; replacing fluorescent lighting with more energy-efficient LED lights; and installing daylight and motion sensors.

An action plan has also been drawn up for investigating and implementing medium- and long-term investments, such as replacing manufacturing equipment with more energy-efficient models and exploring renewable energy options.

The company also recognises that employee behaviour is a key factor in reducing environmental impacts. Therefore, in 2011 it ran a programme to raise employee awareness of environmental issues and advise them on how they can save energy in their day-to-day work. The campaign included posters and leaflets and various employees acted as ambassadors to champion environmental awareness.


I've noticed that British American Tobacco Korea is strongly committed to retailer engagement for youth smoking prevention. The campaign adopted a long-term and holistic approach to raise awareness among retailers and I can say it works!

Dong-Gye Park, a retailer who participated in the YSP campaign

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