Stakeholder engagement

A commitment to open dialogue

We engage with a wide range of stakeholders at local, regional and global levels on our key sustainability issues.

Listening to our stakeholders helps us better understand their views and concerns and so respond to them appropriately. It gives us valuable inputs to, and feedback on, our strategic approach to sustainability, as well as our policies, procedures and ways of working. This helps us to continually improve and strengthen them and ensure we’re meeting the expectations of our stakeholders.

For example, the development of our Human Rights Policy and approach to human rights management has been informed by an independently facilitated stakeholder dialogue session and subsequent work with external consultancies with expertise in this area. Our new operational standard on child labour prevention was also developed with important contributions from the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

We also participate in a wide range of multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaborations to develop joint solutions to common challenges, and we actively share our experience and expertise with others, which can help to raise standards across the industry and make a valuable contribution to wider society. For example, openly sharing our scientific research and approach to product stewardship is helping to inform the development of industry-wide quality and safety standards for vapour and tobacco heating products.

Who we engage with

Anyone who is impacted by, or can impact upon, our business operations is a stakeholder of British American Tobacco. They include:

  • Shareholders and investors
  • Employees, contractors and trade unions
  • Suppliers, business partners and farmers
  • Customers – retailers, wholesalers and distributors
  • Adult consumers and smokers
  • Governments and regulators
  • Scientific and public health communities
  • Industry and other peer companies
  • Key opinion leaders, experts and academics
  • International organisations, such as the United Nations and International Labour Organization
  • Standards bodies and organisations, such as the International Organization for Standardization and CEN, the European Standards Body
  • Law enforcement agencies and customs bodies
  • NGOs and development agencies
  • Media and journalists
  • Local communities and the general public

How we engage

Our engagement with stakeholders takes many different forms. Here are some examples.

Partnerships, collaborations and memberships
  • Stakeholder panels of leading experts to provide opinions on, and inform, our programmes, such as our External Scientific Panel and our Sustainability Stakeholder Panel
  • Formal partnerships, such as the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation
  • Sustainability groups, such as Business in the Community, the Institute of Business Ethics, the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group and the EU Business and Biodiversity Platform
  • Local partnership projects with the industry, NGOs, governments and peer companies, to support local communities and the environment
  • Industry groups, such as the Digital Coding & Tracking Association and Tobacco Manufacturers’ Associations
  • Cooperation agreements to tackle the illegal tobacco trade, such as with the European Commission, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and with local governments, customs and law enforcement
  • Collaborations and studies with scientific research partners and inventors.
Contributing our expertise and sharing information
  • Working groups, such as with  CEN and ISO on vapour product standards, and the UK Digital Policy Alliance on online age-verification
  • Submissions to government consultations, such as on the development of new regulation
  • Corporate publications, websites and social media channels
  • Investor meetings and roadshows and submissions to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
  • We openly share our scientific research on www.bat-science.com, through publications in peer-reviewed journals and by participating in international conferences and workshops.
Ongoing dialogue and engagement
  • Support for farmers through our Leaf Extension Services, farmer clubs and capacity building
  • Engagement with retailers via our Trade Representatives on preventing underage access to our products
  • Customer Voice programme to measure our retail customers’ satisfaction
  • Supplier forums and working groups, such as on the development of the Sustainable Tobacco Programme
  • Regulatory engagement and advocacy
  • Independently facilitated dialogue sessions on specific issues, such as human rights and climate change
  • Relationships, negotiations and consultations with trades unions and employee/worker groups
  • Consumer research and focus groups
  • Employee opinion surveys and focus groups
  • Consumer information and campaigns, such as on the health risks of our products and youth access prevention
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