Excellence in environmental management

The right thing to do and sound business sense

We are committed to reducing impacts across our operations and supply chain and preparing our business for the risks ahead.

Climate change

Addressing climate risks and opportunities across our value chain is key to the sustainability of our business. We have set ourselves an ambitious target to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 for our operations, and are already making great progress through:

  • Improving the energy efficiency of our factories, such as by upgrading to more efficient and lower impact equipment;
  • Increasing our use of renewable energy through renewable energy purchases and on-site energy generation projects; and 
  • Optimising our logistics and fleet, such as through improving vehicle performance and fuel efficiency.

Given our supply chain (Scope 3) emissions represent around 90% of our total carbon footprint, we are engaging with our largest direct product materials suppliers and conducting climate change impact assessments for our major tobacco-leaf-sourcing countries. We have also set ourselves a new stretching target for carbon neutrality for our Scope 3 emissions by 2050.

Why tackling climate change matters

Climate change impacts will be felt more strongly in the coming years. This can impact the natural environment and communities in which we operate, as well as our business and our supply chain. To secure access to natural resources, we need to build a climate-resilient business and work with our suppliers closely to address any risks arising from climate change. These risks are increasingly getting more complex, with potential impacts on crop yields, disruption to distribution networks and the livelihoods of communities, and reduced access to drinking water – a fundamental human right. While some impacts of climate change will be common everywhere, it is essential we understand and manage localised risks. Supporting people in our supply chain and preparing for the future are vital aspects of our business’s sustainability.

Read more about our approach to tackling climate change in our latest ESG Report.

Water

We have a long-established approach to driving water stewardship across our own operations and tobacco supply chain. While our industry is not particularly water intensive, with the changing climate, water scarcity is a growing concern. We need to make informed, risk-based decisions to effectively manage this essential natural resource. We are further strengthening how we review water risk across our value chain, in line with best practice standards. We are using water much more efficiently in our sites. And with our world-class global leaf agronomy centre, we are driving innovation and rolling out sustainable farming practices for our contracted farmers. 

Why water stewardship matters 

As global concerns grow around the impact of climate change on access to water, its importance to our business and to the communities in which we operate continues to increase. It is both our responsibility and good business conduct to use water efficiently and to address our impacts. By making decisions with consideration for our water use and needs, we can address both our immediate footprint and the likely pressures on the business in the future.

Read more about our approach to water stewardship in our latest ESG Report.

Waste

We are helping the planet and generating competitive advantage with our circular economy strategy. We are reducing waste today, from innovative product design to responsible waste management across our operations. And we are equipping ourselves with insights and innovation, led by a cross-functional leadership team. To deliver a greener tomorrow, we have established a circular economy strategy for all our product categories. We are already adopting innovative, greener design opportunities. We have ambitious goals for 2025 in line with the UK Government’s ‘Plastic Pact’:  

  • Eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging; 
  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; and 
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging. 
Why responsible waste management matters 

By using resources efficiently and in an innovative way, and by making decisions with consideration for the environment, we can address both our immediate impacts and the likely pressures on the business in the future. There is growing global concern around the use and disposal of plastics and other materials. Stakeholders are concerned about the unsustainable use of the earth’s resources and about discarded plastics damaging the environment and wildlife. Consumers are increasingly interested in products with a better environmental footprint. For BAT, adopting circular economy principles will deliver better products for our consumers, create efficiencies in our operations, offer our employees opportunities to innovate and reduce our overall environmental impact on the planet.

Read more about our approach to responsible waste management in our latest ESG Report.

Biodiversity

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 on environmental best practice 
Why biodiversity matters 

Conventional agricultural practices can be resource intensive, and may cause deforestation, pollution and environmental degradation. The integrity and quality of our products depend on securing our tobacco supply chain. This is why we constantly work with our contracted farmers to develop, advance and implement sustainable agriculture practices that preserve natural capital, enhance rural livelihoods and help increase farmers’ resilience to climate change. 

 Read more about our approach to biodiversity in our latest ESG Report.

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