News and stories22 May 2021
Biodiversity Day 2021: We’re part of the solution
BAT has announced it has signed-up as a signatory to Business for Nature’s Call to Action , a global coalition uniting influential organisations and forward-thinking businesses to amplify calls for collective action to reverse nature loss in this decade.
This announcement supports BAT’s efforts to mark the UN’s Biodiversity Day 2021, which is celebrated under the UN’s slogan: "We're part of the solution #ForNature" underscoring that we can all be powerful agents of positive change for people and the planet.
ESG is front and centre of everything we do at BAT and we’ve long recognised the importance of collective action to protect and promote biodiversity. That’s because our business now and in the future depends on biodiversity, as we rely on natural resources like clean water and healthy soils.
We have a proud history of supporting all our 84,000+ contracted farmers worldwide to promote the sustainable use of forest resources and to adopt sustainable agriculture techniques that preserve biodiversity. Since 2016, 99% of wood used by our contracted farmers for tobacco curing fuels was from sustainable sources. And, in 2020, we counted 144,000+ attendances at farmer training sessions on best practice natural resource preservation, forest and soil management.
We also support programmes around the world to plant trees and restore forests in communities where we operate. As highlighted by the UN, trees and forests can play a vital role in restoring and protecting biodiversity as well as tackling climate change by sequestering carbon.
BAT’s afforestation efforts are part of our corporate purpose to deliver A Better Tomorrow™ by being good stewards of the environment. This is vital for local communities, society and the planet.
Over the last 40 years, our long-standing programmes have helped distribute over 330 million tree saplings, including:
- 110 million in Bangladesh
- 87 million in Pakistan
- 110 million in Brazil
- 26 million in Vietnam
Case Study: Protecting the environment, protecting ourselves
For more than 40 years, BAT has pioneered a tree planting programme in Bangladesh, a country that has been identified as at risk for the effects of climate change. Called “Bonayan”, a Bengali word meaning hope, it is Bangladesh’s biggest private sector afforestation programme. Through Bonayan, BAT has collaborated with environmental and government authorities to distribute over 110 million saplings of medicinal, fruit and timber varieties. Our video below was shot by our colleagues in Bangladesh to mark the 40th anniversary of Bonayan last year.
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