News Release16 November 2020
BAT named in Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for 19th consecutive year
- BAT is building A Better Tomorrow with sustainability at the heart of its business
- BAT recognised as a sustainability leader for 19th consecutive year - the only tobacco company to be included in the prestigious DJSI World Index
- BAT highest scoring tobacco company in DJSI - leading the industry in 13 out of 23 categories
British American Tobacco p.l.c. (BAT) has been named in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for the 19th consecutive year and, once again, is the only tobacco company to be included in the prestigious DJSI World Index.
BAT is the highest scoring tobacco company in 2020, with industry leading scores in 13 of the 23 categories assessed, whilst achieving a top score of 100% in 7 categories.
Created by S&P Dow Jones Indices, the DJSI represents the gold standard for tracking corporate sustainability. In 2020, around 3,500 companies had their sustainability practices assessed against ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) criteria. Only the top 10% are recognised as leaders in corporate sustainability and achieve DJSI World Index inclusion. BAT is also recognised by MCSI with a BBB rating and Sustainalytics with a 27.8 ESG rating*.
BAT's A Better Tomorrow Corporate Purpose
This announcement is a further demonstration of BAT's continued commitment to its purpose, to build A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of its global business, which entails:
- Committing to providing adult consumers with a wide range of enjoyable and less risky products
- Continuing to be clear that combustible cigarettes pose serious health risks, and the only way to avoid these risks is not to start or to quit
- Encouraging those who otherwise continue to smoke, to switch completely to scientifically-substantiated, reduced-risk alternatives
- Tracking and sharing progress of our transformation
BAT aims to accelerate the growth of its New Category revenues at a faster rate than its total revenue, reaching £5 billion in 2025. BAT has an ambition to reach 50 million consumers of non-combustible products worldwide by 2030. Today, BAT's non-combustible products are already available in more than 50 countries across the globe.
Kingsley Wheaton, Chief Marketing Officer at BAT, said:
“At BAT, sustainability is at the heart of our transformation, and we are proud to have been included in the DJSI for a 19th consecutive year.
“We have a bold purpose to deliver A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of our business.
“We are making great progress towards our ambition. We already have nearly 12 million users of our non-combustible products and in the last 12 months have added nearly a quarter of a million new consumers every month.
“We believe our inclusion in the DJSI World Index, combined with the recognition we have received from other respected ESG ratings agencies including MSCI and Sustainalytics, is testament to our commitment to accelerate the transformation of our company.”
Manjit Jus, Global Head of ESG Research and Data, S&P Global:
“We congratulate BAT plc for being included in the DJSI World and Europe. A DJSI distinction is a reflection of being a sustainability leader in your industry. With a record number of companies participating in the 2020 Corporate Sustainability Assessment and more stringent rules for inclusion this year, this sets your company apart and rewards your continued commitment to people and planet."
* A Sustainalytics score of zero represents the lowest ESG risk.
Forward looking statements
This communication contains certain forward-looking statements, including “forward-looking” statements made within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “could,” “may,” “would,” “should,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “positioned,” “strategy,” “outlook”, “target” and similar expressions. These include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, amongst other things, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the economic and business circumstances occurring from time to time in the countries and markets in which the BAT Group operates.
All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual future financial condition, performance and results to differ materially from the plans, goals, expectations and results expressed in the forward-looking statements and other financial and/or statistical data within this communication. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are uncertainties related to the following: the impact of competition from illicit trade; the impact of adverse domestic or international legislation and regulation; changes in domestic or international tax laws and rates and the impact of an unfavourable ruling by a tax authority in a disputed area; adverse litigation and dispute outcomes and the effect of such outcomes on the BAT Group’s financial condition; changes or differences in domestic or international economic or political conditions; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; adverse decisions by domestic or international regulatory bodies; the impact of market size reduction and consumer down-trading; translational and transactional foreign exchange rate exposure; the impact of serious injury, illness or death in the workplace; the ability to maintain credit ratings and to fund the business under the current capital structure; the inability to develop, commercialise and rollout New Categories; and changes in the market position, businesses, financial condition, results of operations or prospects of the BAT Group.
It is believed that the expectations reflected in this communication are reasonable, but they may be affected by a wide range of variables that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. Past performance is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. The forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information available at the date of preparation of this communication and the BAT Group undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.
No statement in this communication is intended to be a profit forecast and no statement in this communication should be interpreted to mean that earnings per share of BAT for the current or future financial years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings per share of BAT.
Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including the Annual Report on Form 20-F filed on 26 March 2020 and Current Reports on Form 6-K, which may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s website, http://www.sec.gov, and the Company’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from the British American Tobacco website www.bat.com.