British American Tobacco - Manufacturing

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Manufacturing

High quality products manufactured around the world.

We have a global manufacturing footprint designed to ensure an efficient supply chain and which is now evolving to support the roll-out of reduced-risk*† products.

We make high-quality products in manufacturing facilities all over the world. We continue to optimise our manufacturing footprint and at the end of 2021, BAT owned 75 manufacturing facilities globally. We have facilities that are making our new categories of reduced-risk*† products and are co-located with cigarette factories, as well as two factories producing modern oral products and one making vapour liquids.

These strategically placed factories enable us to maximise efficiency and ensure products are where they need to be at the right time.

Our production facilities producing cigarettes and the sticks for our tobacco heating products are designed to meet the needs of an agile and flexible supply chain, providing a world-class operational base that is fit for the future.

Our new categories of reduced-risk*† products are manufactured in a mix of our own and third-party factories. We expect our contract manufacturers to comply with the same high standards that exist on our own sites.

Recent factory expansions in Romania and South Korea to accommodate new opportunities in new categories, specifically the production of sticks for our glo tobacco heating product, show how our sourcing is responsive to help us deliver our commitment to offer adult consumers reduced-risk*† products. This complements substantial investment in device capacity, which is also taking place in response to increased consumer demand for glo.

We are continually looking to improve the efficiency of our entire supply chain. Our Integrated Work Systems programme is designed to maximise equipment efficiency while ensuring we maintain high standards of product quality. The improved equipment efficiency is delivering real benefits through improved productivity and lower maintenance costs, together with reduced waste.

Carbon neutral journey

We’re immensely proud of expanding the number of carbon neutral sites to 16 in 2021. The journey includes green leaf threshing and manufacturing sites in the U.S. (2), Brazil (2), Argentina, Chile, Switzerland, Jordan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka (2), Hungary, Sweden, and commercial sites in Australia, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland (boundaries: Scopes 1 and 2 for all, except Australia, which followed specific National Climate Active requirements).

Factories in Brazil and Chile, and Switzerland’s manufacturing and commercial sites were first awarded PAS2060 certification in 2021, based on their 2020 CO2e emissions and the remainder of sites, in 2022. The certification process sets out detailed requirements on CO2e emissions quantification, reduction, and off-setting. Achieving it requires robust decarbonisation plans and a commitment to continue improving. In Brazil, our Uberlandia factory has seen an impressive 84% reduction in CO2e emissions since 2017.

This was achieved through interventions such as enhancing the energy-efficiency of its biomass boiler; installing ‘smart’ utilities management systems; and purchasing renewable electricity. In Sri Lanka, our Colombo factory expanded on-site solar generation, deployed a robust energy efficiency programme, and purchased green electricity. Overall, an 86% reduction in CO2e was achieved since 2017. For both, the residual emissions were offset with high quality removal carbon off-set credits

Read more in Climate change.

Inside a cigarette factory

When processed tobacco leaf arrives at the factory, it is checked for quality and carefully blended with other tobacco and any ingredients that the brand recipe may call for, such as flavourings that balance the taste.

Keeping track of the various types of tobacco and blend components in use is a highly technical process and computers track production runs. Moisture content is also crucial. Too dry and the tobacco leaf will crumble; too moist and it may spoil during storage. The blended tobacco is treated with just the right amount of steam and water to make it supple and is then cut into the form used in cigarettes. Excess moisture is then removed so the cut tobacco can be given a final blending and quality check.

The technology has advanced dramatically over the years. Cigarette making, once done entirely by hand, is now almost fully automated, with the cut tobacco, cigarette paper and filters continuously fed into the cigarette-making machines. Quality is a top priority. Each cigarette is automatically quality controlled to ensure that it meets every aspect of its specification.

Packing machines put them into the familiar brand packs, wrap the packs in protective film and group them into cartons and cases. There is more testing at each stage to make sure the cigarettes are properly protected before the completed cases are ready for distribution.

* Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.

† Our products as sold in the US, including Vuse, Velo, Grizzly, Kodiak, and Camel Snus, are subject to FDA regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without agency clearance.

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