Putting sustainability front and centre
We have a long and proud history of sustainability achievements, but today we are transitioning from being a business where sustainability has always been important to one where it is front and centre in all that we do.
Over the past 20 years, we’ve made significant progress on our sustainability journey, as reflected by our presence in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for 18 consecutive years and the other notable independent recognition we have received over the years.
Yet our approach needs to constantly develop, much as the world around us is evolving – from increasing expectations of the role of business in contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and addressing climate change; to evolving consumer preferences and the emergence of new category products, such as vapour products that offer potentially reduced risks for the estimated 19% of the world’s population who continue to smoke cigarettes.
Just as we are committed to making a step change in our New Categories performance, we are also committed to making a step change in our sustainability ambition. Recently, we have announced a number of stretching targets that we are confident will accelerate our purpose to deliver A Better Tomorrow for all our stakeholders, including:
We have evolved our Group strategy with the purpose of delivering A Better Tomorrow for all our stakeholders. At its heart, our evolved strategy is about anticipating and satisfying the ever-evolving consumer: providing pleasure, reducing risk and offering increasing choice.
Central to this evolved strategy is our updated Sustainability Agenda which 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 excellence in environmental management. At the same time, we remain committed to delivering a positive social impact and ensuring robust corporate governance across the Group.
The diagram below sets out our Sustainability Agenda in full and you will be able to read more about the agenda and our progress against it in our 2019 Sustainability Strategy Report and 2019 ESG Report which will be published on 26 March.
A key strength of our approach to sustainability is a robust process to identify and understand the most material environmental, social and governance (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.
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.