British American Tobacco - Environment and climate change

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Environment and climate change

Building a greener tomorrow

We have a global footprint and rely on natural resources to run our business. We also have a responsibility to wider society to minimise our impacts on the environment. That’s why we are driving environmental excellence for a greener tomorrow.

Excellence in environmental management is a key strategic pillar of our Group Sustainability Agenda.

Our approach focuses on the most important issues for our business and stakeholders across four priority areas:

  • Addressing climate change risks and opportunities: by 2030, we aim to be carbon neutral across our own operations1, and across our value chain by 20502;
  • Sustainable water stewardship: we are decreasing water use across our operations with a target to reduce the amount of water withdrawn by 35% by 20253;
  • Eliminating waste and applying circular economy principles across our business and product categories: by 2025, we aim for 100% of our plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; and
  • Biodiversity and afforestation: our business now and in the future depends on biodiversity and forest resources – by 2025, we are aiming for net zero deforestation of managed forests across our tobacco and paper and pulp based supply chains4 and net positive impact on forests in our tobacco supply chain5.

Environmental governance and management

Our Environmental Policy is implemented by all Group companies globally and outlines our commitment to high standards of environmental protection, adhering to the principles of sustainable development and protecting biodiversity.

Our Supplier Code of Conduct defines the minimum standards expected of our suppliers, including for environmental sustainability.

The Environment Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct have been endorsed by the Board of Directors of BAT p.l.c. (the Board). Our environmental targets, including for carbon neutrality, have also been endorsed by the Board and they review progress against these targets twice a year.

Our Management Board, chaired by the Chief Executive, has overall responsibility for overseeing the implementation of Group strategy and policies, including those relating to environmental management and climate change. The Operations Director is responsible for overseeing the delivery of our environmental strategy and targets, while relevant Management Board Directors regularly review our climate change and environmental performance.

Our policy commitments are supported by our well-established and mature Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) management system. This is based on international standards, including ISO 14001, and includes detailed requirements and guidelines for Group companies on best practice environmental management.

All BAT sites worldwide report performance against our climate and environmental targets and metrics on a monthly basis – monitored by our central EHS team. Each of our companies has an EHS Steering Committee, with overall environmental responsibility held by the General Manager or site manager. EHS is also a standing agenda item for management meetings and governance committees at area, regional and global levels.

  1. Covering Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions.
  2. Covering Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions.
  3. Against our 2017 baseline year.
  4. The scope of our supply chain for this commitment is our tobacco leaf and paper and pulp-based products supply chains. Our tobacco leaf supply chain covers BAT contracted farmers and farmers contracted to our strategic third-party suppliers, representing more than 80% of our total leaf purchases in 2020, as reported via our THRIVE assessments. For our paper- and pulp-based product supply chain, this means working with suppliers that can demonstrate that the material is sourced sustainably, with certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
  5. Our tobacco leaf supply chain covers BAT contracted farmers and farmers contracted to our strategic third-party suppliers, representing more than 80% of our total leaf purchases in 2020, as reported via our THRIVE assessments.
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