british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Future environmental risks, opportunities and planning

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Sustainability Report 2011

We are focused on increasing our understanding of future risks and opportunities by mapping our risks from climate change, assessing our water footprint and engaging with stakeholders.

Climate change risk mapping

In 2011, we mapped the risks posed by climate change to our main operational sites and tobacco growing locations, along with a small number of strategic material suppliers’ sites. This involved looking at national risks, like energy security and the vulnerability of transport and infrastructure, as well as more local risks like water scarcity and flooding. In the tobacco growing areas, we also looked at risks to do with urbanisation rates, child labour and food security.

This research has raised awareness of climate change risks in the business and is helping us prioritise our efforts to protect the Group against these risks. We have also used the results to pilot a climate change risk index, which we now plan to develop for each of our strategic leaf growing locations. Based on this, short- and long-term action plans will be put in place.

For example, the pilot showed that Pakistan has a number of risks around water security. They are not affecting tobacco growing areas yet, but may well in the future. So our local company in Pakistan will now carry out a more detailed assessment of water management in these areas, then follow it up with an action plan and seek partnerships with local stakeholders.

We plan to review our climate change risk index each year, to track existing and developing risks, and will monitor progress against our action plans. We also intend to use this information to identify future opportunities in this area.


In 2011, we started to assess the water footprint of tobacco growing locations. We are using the results to further develop our water strategy, so that we have a clear picture of how much is used in our supply chain and where we might have problems getting enough water in the future. The outputs from our 2010 stakeholder dialogue on water availability and management are also being fed into the improvement of our water strategy. The aim of the strategy is to make sure that our business has the secure water resources we need in the future, while also minimising our water use as well as being better prepared to deal with extreme weather events such as flooding.

Stakeholder engagement

In 2010 and 2011, we held a series of three stakeholder dialogue sessions looking at different aspects of climate change. The first, on water availability and management, was discussed in last year’s Report. The second session looked at current and future carbon pricing mechanisms and carbon regulation. A major theme that came out of the day was that business needs to be a prime driver of innovation in carbon reduction.

The third session focused on renewable and low-carbon energy. The participants highlighted that these areas will make an important contribution to meeting future energy needs. We are looking at renewable and low-carbon initiatives in more detail, for example, we have initiatives in place, such as sites in Pakistan and Turkey generating energy with installations of solar and photovoltaic equipment. We now intend to incorporate such initiatives further into our plans to help us meet our long-term CO2e targets.

You can download the reports from all three dialogue sessions. Please also see the viewpoint from the independent dialogue facilitator on the main insights from the series.


I applaud British American Tobacco for its decision to use this series of dialogues to really examine how climate change will impact on its business.

Paul Burke, Independent dialogue facilitator, Senior Partner, Acona Partners LLP


There is no magic bullet – it’s about understanding what works best in a particular location.

Participant in dialogue on renewable energy and low-carbon options

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