jump to search

Supply chain management

Minimising our impact

We rely on a complex but critical supply chain and we need it to be fit for the future. That’s why we’re using our influence to improve sustainability from crop all the way to the consumer.

We have a supply chain sustainability strategy that covers both our own operations, including manufacturing, logistics and trade marketing, and our wider supply chain of the farmers who grow tobacco leaf and suppliers of other goods and services. Our suppliers are valued business partners and we work with them to build shared value for all.

All of our new and existing first-tier suppliers are assessed through our supplier programmes – Sustainable Tobacco Programme (STP) for suppliers of tobacco leaf and Business Enabler Survey Tool (BEST) for non-leaf suppliers. These programmes include sustainability criteria covering areas such as environment, labour standards and human rights. Suppliers must meet minimum standards in order to be retained by BAT.

Tobacco growing is one of the most significant parts of our supply chain and you can read about our approach in Sustainable agriculture and farmer livelihoods.

Our non-leaf supply chain includes suppliers of direct materials such as cigarette packaging, filter materials and machinery, and indirect services such as IT consultancy. For direct materials suppliers, BEST assesses their sustainability performance and provides a framework for continual improvement.

As well as being required to meet criteria as part of our STP and BEST programmes, we expect all our suppliers to comply with local laws and with the requirements of our Supplier Code of Conduct. Sustainability criteria are also incorporated into all our framework agreements with global suppliers.

Selecting suppliers

We seek out and give preference to businesses and organisations that can demonstrate that they:

  • Comply with all applicable laws and regulations where they conduct business;
  • Ensure that the highest business ethics are followed and do not engage in corruption or fraudulent activity of any kind;
  • Proactively support efforts to combat illicit trade;
  • Comply with all international, national and local regulations for environmental performance, safety and occupational health provision;
  • Demonstrate that they pay due regard to the impacts of their activities on the environment and work to minimise these impacts;
  • Demonstrate assurance that the raw materials they use are from sustainable sources, where applicable;
  • Provide regular training for employees on environmental protection and company occupational, health and safety requirements;
  • Provide employees with a safe and healthy working environment;
  • Do not allow discrimination or harassment in the workplace;
  • Provide continuing education, learning and/or development opportunities for employees;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to universally recognised human rights and freedoms;
  • Do not employ child, prison or bonded labour or use corporal punishment or other forms of mental or physical coercion;
  • Demonstrate an interest in and actively contribute to the communities in which they operate.
  • We assess potential business partners’ ability to demonstrate their commitment and performance against these principles and request supporting evidence to verify claims where required.

Successfully appointed suppliers or business partners are provided with further support and guidance, enabling improvement against these principles as a business relationship develops.