Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business

Is the idea of a tobacco company for the 21st century a contradiction?


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This question and many more regarding British American Tobacco’s products, activities and the future of its business are addressed in its latest Sustainability Summary Report: ‘Value Shared: A tobacco company for the 21st century’. 

BAT continues to present its approach to sustainability in innovative and engaging ways. So as well as the traditional 20-page printed document, this Report is also available as an interactive PDF and as a free app for iPads and Android tablets, included animated content and embedded videos. Performance charts and reporting against the GRI G4 indicators can be found online at
The Report focuses on harm reduction, sustainable agriculture and corporate behaviour and how British American Tobacco’s work in these areas is helping to build value for both the business and its wider stakeholders. For example, developing innovative, less risky tobacco and nicotine products is an area of future growth for the business and can also have a major, positive impact on public health.
“Of course, emphasising harm reduction is the responsible thing to do, but if it helps to meet genuine consumer demand, it also makes commercial sense. It’s what any sustainable business would do,” explains Nicandro Durante, Chief Executive of British American Tobacco.
Details of BAT’s work with over 100,000 farmers worldwide on sustainable agriculture practices are also covered, as well as how its approach to business is based around exemplary corporate behaviour and transparency across the whole Group.
Highlights include:

  • The launch of BAT’s first e-cigarette, Vype, in 2013.
  • Details of other less risky products under development, such as a new nicotine inhalation device and heat-not-burn products.
  • Over £33 billion paid to governments in excise and other taxes in 2013 – that’s more than eight times the Group’s profit after tax.
  • Over £50 million invested in the fight against tobacco trafficking in 2013.
  • Achieving a 45% reduction in CO2e emissions from the Group’s year-2000 baseline.
  • Planting over 170 million new trees over the last six years.
  • Reducing farmers’ use of natural forest for curing fuels to only 1.3%
  • Investing over £25 million in community projects focused on sustainable agriculture over the last six years.
  • 98% of BAT’s markets undertaking youth smoking prevention activities.
  • The publication of over 100 peer-reviewed research papers over the last five years.
  • Being ranked in the top 25% of EU companies for investment into R&D.

The Report and online performance data has been independently assured by Ernst & Young LLP, guided by AA1000 Assurance Standard (2008) and ISAE 3000.
British American Tobacco is one of the world’s most international businesses, with brands sold in more than 200 markets and employing more than 57,000 people worldwide.

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