We recognise the role of business as a corporate citizen, and Group Companies are encouraged to support local community investments and charitable projects.
What we believe
‘Community investments’ are voluntary activities, beyond our commercial and core business activities and our legal obligations, that contribute to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the countries and communities in which we operate.
These investments address a wide range of issues and causes in the communities where we operate, often involving charities, non-government organisations (NGOs) and ‘civil society’, and include expenditure on community projects or charitable contributions, in-kind donations and employee volunteering.
Group Companies should not make any community investment without first applying the due diligence and governance approach detailed in the Group Community Investment Framework
Supporting local communities
As an international business, BAT plays an important role in many countries, and Group Companies have built close ties with the communities in which they operate. We have a long-standing approach to supporting and giving back to these communities through our community investment.
The Group Community Investment Framework sets out how Group Companies must develop, deliver and monitor Community Investments, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Fully recording what we give
Any community investment by a Group Company must be fully recorded in the company’s books and, if required, placed on public record either by the company or the recipient.
Group Companies should ensure that community investments they report for ESG reporting purposes are consistent with those they report through Finance for financial and statutory reporting purposes.
Government officials, state-owned enterprises (SoEs) and equivalent public bodies
Additional due diligence and risk mitigation steps are required if contributions are to be made to a government organisation, SOE or equivalent public body (including in response to a request from government to provide funding to assist disaster relief efforts) applying the due diligence and governance approach detailed in the Group Community Investment Framework and supporting Annexure.
Group Companies must take care to ensure that such government organisation, SOE or equivalent body are genuine and that the community investment contribution benefits the general public and not Public Officials and their families.
We must not contribute to a Public Official’s charity at their request or with their agreement or acquiescence in exchange for official action, as a result of official action, or as a way to improperly influence the Public Official to advantage any Group company.
Contributions to a charity of a Public Official or a third party’s charity, such as a Public Official’s family member, friend or associate, in exchange for official action or as a result of official action or as a way to improperly influence the Public Official to the advantage of any Group Company are prohibited.
Community investments must never be used as an indirect means to make political contributions.
Verifying reputation and status
Group Companies should not make any community investment without first applying the due diligence and governance approach detailed in the Group Community Investment Framework and supporting Annexure in order to verify the recipient’s reputation and status.
Before making any contribution, Group Companies are expected to satisfy themselves that the recipient is acting in good faith and with sustainability objectives, such that the contribution will not be used for any improper purposes.
In countries where charitable organisations and/or NGOs are required to register, Group Companies should verify their registered status before making a contribution.
Who to talk to
- Your line manager
- Higher management
- Your local LEX Counsel
- Head of Compliance: email@example.com