Excellence in environmental management

The right thing to do and sound business sense

We are committed to reducing impacts across our operations and supply chain and preparing our business for the risks ahead.

Climate change

Having achieved a 47% CO2e reduction towards our original intensity-based targets, from a 2000 baseline, we then set new science-based targets to reduce our direct emissions, from a 2017 baseline, against which we’ve already achieved a 9.5% reduction, such as by: 

  • Improving the energy efficiency of our factories, such as by upgrading to more efficient and lower-impact equipment;  
  • Increasing our use of renewable energy through green energy certificates and onsite energy generation projects; and 
  • Optimising our logistics and fleet, such as through improving vehicle performance and fuel efficiency.

Given our supply chain (Scope 3) emissions represent 90% of our total carbon footprint, we’re engaging with our largest direct product materials suppliers and conducting climate change impact assessments for our major tobacco leaf sourcing countries. 

Water and waste

We’ve reduced water withdrawals across our operations by 13.1% from our 2017 baseline, such as by: 

  • Improving water efficiency and controls across our sites;
  • and Increasing water recycling rates to 13.7%.

We’ve reduced waste sent to landfill by 13.8% since 2017 by recycling over 90% of our waste each year across all our sites worldwide.

Sustainable agriculture 

We’re supporting 90,000+ directly contracted farmers worldwide to address the environmental impacts of tobacco growing such as by: 

  • Giving them access to technologies developed by our Leaf Science & research, like drip irrigation and floating seedbeds that help to reduce water and agrochemical use; 
  • Promoting the sustainable use of forest resources as fuels for tobacco curing to tackle deforestation;
  • Reducing carbon emissions from tobacco curing with more efficient curing technologies that use up to 30% less fuel – these have been introduced to our contracted farmers in eight countries,
  • Providing ongoing training and capacity building on environmental best practice. 

Circular economy 

We’re developing a new Group-wide circular economy strategy for all our product categories, through a Management Board-led cross-functional project team:  

  • As a start, we’ve removed silicon caps from our Vype e-liquid pods, saving the equivalent of around 1,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, and we plan to have removed all unnecessary plastic from Vuse packaging by the end of 2021;  
  • Trialling take-back schemes for new category products in France, Japan, Mexico and South Korea, and we plan to implement take-back schemes for all our new category devices by 2021; and 
  • Setting ambitious new targets aligned to the UK Government’s ‘Plastics Pact’.

Next steps

Building on our progress, we’re now setting ourselves even more ambitious and stretching targets: 

  • All our direct operations to be carbon neutral by 2030; 
  • Reduce our Scopes 1 and 2 CO2e emissions by 30% by 2025;
  • Source 30% of our direct energy from renewable sources by 2025;
  • Reduce the total amount of water withdrawn by 35% and increase water recycling to 15% by 2025;
  • Reduce waste sent to landfill by 40% by 2025 and recycle at least 95% of our total waste each year;  
  • Eliminate the use of unsustainable wood sources by our contracted farmers for curing fuels;  
  • Eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025;
  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025; and
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging by 2025.

Highlights for 2019

  • 9.5% reduction in direct co2e from 2017 baseline and aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030
  • 13.1% reduction in water withdrawals from our 2017 baseline and aiming to reduce by  35% by 2025
  • 99% of wood fuel used by our contracted farmers for curing was from sustainable sources in 2019
  • 1,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent saved annually by removing silicon caps from Vype e-liquid pods