Our strategic approach to sustainability

Front and centre of everything we do

Our Sustainability Agenda is integral to our evolved Group strategy and reflects our commitment to reducing the health impact of our business as our principal focus area. This is underpinned by excellence across our other ESG priorities.

Our Sustainability Agenda has been refreshed to reflect the changing external environment. Specifically, we are clear that reducing the health impact of our business is our principal focus area, as well as placing a greater emphasis on the importance of addressing climate change and environmental management. At the same time, we remain committed to delivering a positive social impact and ensuring robust corporate governance across the Group.

A key strength of our approach to sustainability is a robust process to identify and understand the most material ESG topics that drive our long-term business sustainability and value creation. Each year we engage with a wide range of stakeholders to understand what matters to them most and complement this with ongoing risk monitoring, research and benchmarking.

This comprehensive approach to evolving our Sustainability Agenda ensures we keep pace with emerging topics and stakeholder expectations. Outlined below are the priority areas identified in 2019 and which form the core of our Sustainability Agenda. You can read more about how we identify and prioritise them in our 2019 ESG Report (3.8 mb) .

Along with our principal focus on reducing the health impact of our business, we retain a strong focus on other ESG priorities. Together, this approach helps to create shared value for our consumers, society, our employees and our shareholders. Ultimately, it’s about building towards ‘A Better Tomorrow’ not just for BAT, but for all our stakeholders.

Our approach

Our approach is based on transparent independently assured reporting, stakeholder engagement, a detailed materiality process and sound governance procedures.

We have been producing independently assured reports since 2001 and believe this long history of reporting demonstrates a serious commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability. Read more about how we report and go to sustainability reporting to download our latest reports.

Our process for stakeholder engagement includes formal partnerships, collaborations and memberships, contributing our expertise and sharing information, as well as ongoing dialogue as part of our day-to-day business. Read more about stakeholder engagement.

We use a materiality process to identify the key areas that have the greatest significance to our business and our stakeholders. This determines our sustainability agenda and the content of our reporting. Read more about materiality.

Effective governance is critical to ensuring we manage our sustainability impacts, and our wider business, responsibly. Our governance structure starts at the Main Board of Directors, who have oversight of strategic sustainability issues, while our Board Audit Committee has responsibility for monitoring our sustainability performance. We also have clear policies, principles and standards that detail the way we do business and how we behave, covering issues such as human rights, bribery and corruption, environment, health and safety.

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