British American Tobacco - Robust corporate governance

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Robust corporate governance

Ethical values form the basis of our culture

Our actions impact our consumers and communities, from marketing responsibly to contributing to local economies through tax payments. We also have a responsibility to our shareholders to act as a reputable global business. We operate in an honest, transparent and accountable way, and maintain integrity in everything we do. Our robust principles and policies set out how we do this consistently, in every market we operate in.

Business ethics 

Unethical behaviour can damage our business, reputation and consumer trust. It can also distort markets, with developing countries especially vulnerable to the resulting economic, social and political impacts. We are guided by a robust, global set of principles and policies in everything we do, in all our markets. We aim for 100% adherence to our Standards of Business Conduct.

Our management approach 

Our operations: We have a strong culture of responsible behaviour, underpinned by our ethos. We will never compromise standards for the sake of results. Our Group-wide Delivery with Integrity programme helps everyone at BAT understand and play their role in maintaining those standards. 

Our supply chain: Just as we expect all our employees to deliver with integrity, we have similar, clearly defined minimum standards for our suppliers. These include human rights and anti-bribery and anti-corruption-related requirements, built into our contractual arrangement

Responsible marketing 

Responsible marketing practices are crucial for ensuring adult-only consumers use our tobacco and nicotine products and that they do not appeal to youth. We have strict marketing requirements, and support our employees, partners and customers in effectively applying them. We aim to have 100% adherence to our International Marketing Principles (IMP), and our Youth Access Prevention (YAP) Guidelines.

Our management approach

Our operations: Our strict marketing requirements are detailed in our IMP. We apply these consistently everywhere we operate, even when they are stricter than applicable local laws. 

Our value chain: We work closely with our trade partners and customers, building mutually beneficial relationships, characterised by integrity. We also support our retail partners in providing youth access prevention messaging wherever possible

Regulation and policy engagement 

Effective regulation requires cooperation between governments and industry. We want to contribute to the debate by sharing our world-class scientific research on the reduced-risk potential of New Category products. We can also deliver ideas and practical steps to help regulators address key issues facing the industry. We aim to have 100% adherence to our SoBC, including its Lobbying and Engagement Policy.

Our management approach

Our operations: We believe that all views – whether from businesses, NGOs or any other parties – should be communicated transparently to everyone. To support evidence-based regulation we offer expertise, information and ideas, especially around New Category products and tackling illicit trade. As a responsible company, we maintain clear standards for the engagement activities we conduct. All Group companies and employees are required to act in accordance with these. 

Our supply chain: We support third parties on policy issues of mutual interest. However, we will never ask a third party to conduct itself in any way that contravenes our Standards of Business Conduct.

Highlights for 2021

  • 100% employees completed our SoBC training and formal compliance sign-off procedures in 2021
  • 100% of markets aligned to our YAP guidlines where our products are sold*
  • £40.5 total taxes paid including taxes borne and collected in 2021
* Waivers from the YAP Guidelines are granted where there is a government ban on point-of-sale materials or YAP retailer engagement cannot be ensured due to practical or cultural limitations.