British American Tobacco's 2015 Sustainability Summary keeps an open door on people, performance and promises
22 March 2016
Published today, the company’s ongoing commitment to shared value is highlighted in its latest annual Sustainability Summary.
Shared value is based on the premise that business can deliver value for its shareholders without this coming at a ‘cost’ to society.
Showcasing the company’s strategy for how it continues to invest in a sustainable future for the business and for society, the report provides updates and progress on three key areas: harm reduction, sustainable agriculture and farmer livelihoods, and corporate behaviour.
Within each of these three key areas, the report sets out clear commitments to:
- Research, develop and commercialise less risky products to regular cigarettes;
- Work to enable prosperous livelihoods for all famers who supply our tobacco leaf;
- Operate to the highest standards of corporate conduct and transparency.
Nicandro Durante, Chief Executive of British American Tobacco, comments:
“The concept of shared value is one that I truly believe in – this is why it forms the foundation of our approach to BAT as a sustainable business, and has done for many years.
“As a business working in a controversial industry, operating in over 200 markets around the world and with an agricultural supply chain, we face many different challenges and issues.
“What this report demonstrates is our continued commitment to upholding the highest standards of corporate conduct and transparency wherever we operate, and how we are working to address these challenges in order to grow our business for the shared value of both shareholders and society.”
BAT’s commitment to openness, collaboration and engagement has been underscored this year with the inclusion of an ‘Expert View’ introduction from three well-respected independent external stakeholders: Scott Ballin, health policy advisor and key opinion leader on tobacco harm reduction; Tony Juniper, a leading British environmentalist, campaigner and sustainability advisor; and Simon Webley, Research Director at the Institute of Business Ethics.
The report also includes Q&As with Nicandro Durante, Chief Executive Officer; Kingsley Wheaton, Managing Director of Next Generation Products; Alan Davy, Group Operations Director; and Jerry Abelman, Group Legal and External Affairs Director, in which they respond to challenging questions.
Report highlights include:
- We have invested significant time, funds and resources into developing a sustainable pipeline of high-quality Next Generation Products (NGP) to give consumers a choice of less risky alternatives to smoking. We now have a range of NGPs uniquely across three distinct product categories and available to consumers in seven markets.
- In 2015, we continued to enhance our NGP business and capabilities with a new agreement with the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company to collaborate and share technology around Vapour Products, and the acquisition of the CHIC Group, a leading Vapour Product business in Poland.
- In 2015, we worked with the British Standards Institution and AFNOR, the French standards association, to develop new safety standards for Vapour Products. For now, they remain voluntary, but they have set an important benchmark for best practice globally.
- We also developed and published new Vapour Products Marketing Principles in 2015 to provide a globally consistent and responsible approach to the marketing of our Vapour Products.
- In 2015, we worked as part of an industry-wide initiative to strengthen supplier standards with the development of a new Sustainable Tobacco Programme, which will replace our Social Responsibility in Tobacco Production (SRTP) programme later in 2016.
- In 2015, we developed a new Supplier Code of Conduct defining the minimum standards we expect to strengthen human rights management in our supply chain.
- As part of an industry group, we signed an agreement in 2015 with the United Nations to implement and further develop anti-illicit trade solutions that work across national borders.
- We made significant progress against our long-term carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reduction targets, with a 48% reduction in CO2e emissions (from our 2000 baseline).
BAT has been producing independently assured reports since 2001. The company’s ongoing commitment to and progress in this area is reflected in the Group’s inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the last 14 years, 13 of which as industry leader.
For more information and to download the report, go to www.bat.com/sustainability.
Notes to editors
British American Tobacco’s reporting is independently assured by Ernst & Young LLP and, as well as the 18-page Summary, is also available as an interactive PDF, including additional animated content. Detailed performance information, including progress against goals, data charts and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 reporting, can be found online at www.bat.com/sustainability/data.