Japan Tobacco makes progress with sustainability initiatives and reportingJuly 2015
Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) has published a report outlining its sustainability initiatives and performance for 2014. JT began developing its sustainability strategy in 2012, initially focussing on its international business. There are now dedicated CSR departments throughout the company’s operations and a senior v-p for CSR, who is also an executive officer.
Regular meetings with stakeholders identify the most important sustainability issues for JT’s international tobacco business and help monitor whether these material issues are changing over time. In 2014, stakeholder concerns were focussed on the health risks of smoking, bribery, corruption, human rights, and illegal trade.
This approach will be extended throughout the whole JT Group in 2015. The company is looking to adopt global standards for sustainability, and in 2014 began referencing the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The plan is for JT’s FY2015 report to be in fully in accordance with the GRI’s G4 Core Guidelines.
Highlights of progress during 2014 included: establishing a Group-wide anti-bribery policy; withdrawing 5,470 children from child labour in Brazil, Malawi and Zambia via a program which helps tobacco farmers send their children to school; achieving a 12.6% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over JT’s FY2009 baseline, a major step towards achieving a targeted 20% reduction for 2020; and an investment of JPY 8,923m in corporate citizenship and community activities.
Additionally, In the UK, JT’s youth access prevention program led to a 7% increase in the number of retailers asking to see an age verification photo ID from prospective young purchasers in more than 6,000 test purchases.
JT’s efforts are starting to gain recognition. The company’s international tobacco business was recognized as a Top Employer in 33 countries around the world, including the top 3 position in Europe and is now certified by Investors in People in 17 countries.
Japan Tobacco (JT) is Japan’s sole cigarette manufacturer. It began as a government monopoly corporation in 1898 and is still 33% owned by the Japanese government. The JT Group has operations in over 70 countries and sells its products in over 120 countries.
JT owns the UK’s Gallaher Group and the non-US brands of RJR-Nabisco.
After Philip Morris and BAT, JT is the world’s third largest tobacco manufacturer. In 2014, JT generated worldwide revenues of JPY 2,433bn of which 55% was from international tobacco sales, mainly to the CIS and developing countries.
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