Managing biodiversity

Protecting the environment, protecting ourselves

Our business now and in the future depends on biodiversity because it helps provide resources like clean water, healthy soils and timber.

Our business now and in the future depends on biodiversity, as we rely on natural resources like clean water and healthy soils. We are advancing sustainable agriculture through our world-leading leaf science and a strong team of expert field technicians that support our 84,000+ directly contracted farmers and farming communities worldwide.  

We have a comprehensive approach to address any biodiversity impacts of tobacco growing. We do this by:  

  • Rolling out tools and technologies developed by our global leaf agronomy centre, like integrated pest management that minimises the use of agrochemicals, and drip irrigation and floating seedbeds that help to reduce water and agrochemical use; 
  • Promoting the sustainable use of wood fuels for tobacco curing and helping farmers deploy more efficient curing technologies that use up to 30% less fuel, to tackle deforestation; and
  • Providing ongoing training and capacity building

Our approach to managing biodiversity extends to our value chain – from tobacco sourcing to the packaging used for our products. We have a long and proud history of working with farmers around the world to advance sustainable agriculture. Though we don’t employ farmers directly or own farms, we are working with our contracted farmers to help minimise their environmental impact. For our tobacco supply chain, our global leaf agronomy centre based in Brazil drives leading innovative sustainable agriculture practices. The centre develops new farming techniques and technologies that help tackle various elements of biodiversity impact, such as integrated pest management and drip irrigation techniques, often in partnership with leading universities. Our expert field technicians provide our 84,000+ directly contracted farmers worldwide with on-the-ground support, technical assistance, best practice training and capacity building in farming communities. 

In addition to our sustainable agriculture efforts, we support afforestation, biodiversity and environmental conservation programmes around the world as part of our wider community-based initiatives.

Group Biodiversity Statement

Our Group Biodiversity Statement sets out the principles we follow to manage our biodiversity footprint across our operations. The statement is based on a mitigation hierarchy  which describes the steps to avoid, minimise, restore or offset biodiversity loss, wherever we operate.

Group Biodiversity Statement (242 kb) 

Biodiversity Partnership

From 2001 to 2015, we worked with three NGOs in the British American Tobacco Biodiversity Partnership: Fauna & Flora International, the Tropical Biology Association and Earthwatch Institute.

The Partnership focused on some of the challenging issues surrounding the conservation and management of biodiversity within agricultural landscapes and the ecosystems on which we depend.

We’re very proud of this 15-year collaboration and what we collectively achieved. Although the Partnership has concluded, our commitment to biodiversity remains a priority and forms an important part of a new, broader programme that focuses on how we support farmers and their livelihoods.

Biodiversity risk and opportunity assessments

The Biodiversity Risk and Opportunity Assessment tool was developed by the Biodiversity Partnership to help our companies identify, assess and address risks arising from their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and ecosystems in and around their leaf-growing operations. All our tobacco leaf growing operations have completed assessments and initiatives are in place to address the issues identified.

The Biodiversity Risk and Opportunity Assessment tool comprises a ‘how-to’ handbook guide that explains in detail the assessment process and how to follow it. An accompanying spreadsheet helps users to plan, capture information and to complete the assessment process.

Download the Biodiversity Risk and Opportunity Assessment Handbook and spreadsheet.

BROA Handbook (2.6mb) 

BROA Spreadsheet (376 kb) 

Biodiversity projects

 We joined The EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform  which promotes dialogue on the links between business and biodiversity. We contribute to two of the platform’s three workstreams: Natural Capital Accounting and Innovations for Biodiversity and Business. The third workstream is Access to Finance and Innovative Finance Mechanisms.

We also participate in the Natural Capital Coalition . This is a global multi-stakeholder coalition which brings together leading global initiatives and organisations to harmonise approaches to ‘natural capital’, a way of defining the wide range of benefits we derive from nature.

Biodiversity enquiry

If you have any questions about the Biodiversity Partnership please contact our Sustainability team using the secure form