How we measure up
Our comprehensive Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) management system has been in place for many years and is based on international standards, including ISO 14001.
At the end 2016, 27 locations across all regions were certified to the ISO 14001 environmental standard. We also have an internal reporting system for monitoring Group-wide environmental performance.
Each of our companies has an EHS Steering Committee, with overall environmental responsibility held by the General Manager or site manager. EHS is also a standing agenda item for management meetings and governance committees at area, regional and global levels. This has raised awareness of EHS risks across our business and our aim is to create a consistent approach for our companies in managing them.
Our Group Operations Director has overall responsibility for environmental management and our Management Board is responsible for our Environment Policy.
The Policy applies across all our activities including our supply chain and it requires our companies to:
Environmental management is also an important part of our integrated supply chain sustainability strategy. We invest around £20 million each year in environment, health and safety.
In 2016, we developed a new set of targets to achieve by 2025, based on our intensity measure per million cigarettes equivalent. We also continue to work towards our long-term target to cut carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by 80% by 2050 and have so far achieved a 47% reduction from our 2000 baseline.
Our environmental targets
We have 44 cigarette factories and a further 28 manufacturing sites worldwide which account for more than 60% of our direct impacts, so a number of our initiatives are focused on these operations.
Examples include investing in energy-efficient technologies, switching to less carbon-intensive fuels and renewable energy sourcing. Currently, 8% of our Group energy use is from renewable sources. We’re also optimising our logistics and fleet with standards for fuel efficiency, engine size and emissions, as well as increasing load capacity to reduce the number of journeys.
Our manufacturing processes don’t use as much water as other industries but, with the realities of water scarcity increasingly being felt in many parts of the world, we have conducted water risk assessments at strategic sites. Action plans are in place and we are now rolling them out to all our factories worldwide.
Environmental problems cannot be solved by one company acting alone, so we also work in collaboration with others.
In Kenya, for instance, we are members of the Nairobi Water Roundtable, working alongside local government, NGOs and other major companies, including Diageo and Coca-Cola, to find solutions to water scarcity in the area.
Many of the environmental impacts that are associated with growing tobacco are common across agriculture and the only way to completely avoid them would be not to farm any crop, which is clearly not a viable option. So we focus on working to mitigate these inherent risks and implement best practice environmental standards with all the farmers we work with.
Environmental criteria form a central part of the industry wide Sustainable Tobacco Programme and our expert field technicians provide farmers with technical assistance on areas such as sustainable soil, water, biodiversity, and forest and pest management. The benefits of this can be seen in agrochemical usage, which is generally significantly lower in tobacco growing than other comparable crops.
Also, because wood is often used as a fuel for curing, we have programmes in place to avoid and combat deforestation. The result is that 99% of the wood our contracted farmers used in 2016 was from sustainable sources.