Corporate social responsibility

Fulfill our responsibilities towards consumers, shareholders, employees and wider society

Environment, health & safety

The increasing size and scope of our business means our environment, health and safety (EHS) responsibilities continue to expand. As a business we strive for world-class performance in everything we do. EHS is no exception

Beyond compliance

EHS performance is often associated with regulatory compliance or certification standards in factories and offices. While these are core elements of our EHS activities, we aim to do more than meet these standards.

A closer look into the hundreds of projects going on at any one time across our business reveals the full scope and achievements of our EHS program. Our business is having a positive impact on people and the environment in many different ways.

A health and safety culture

The safety vision of our factories is clear: ‘Together we will create an injury-free work environment.’ This is supported by our Safety Change program that provides two pillars – a safe work environment, and a culture where safety is a priority.

The Safety Change program involves managers and employees throughout the company and brings people together from all disciplines to develop safety solutions.

We continuously invest in our health and safety specialists and ensure the right training is given to our managers, supervisors, employees and contractors.

Driving company vehicles is the biggest occupational risk we face. We are constantly looking at ways to improve driving safety and have a Fleet Safety Change program that has been successful in reducing accidents.

Environmental management

We set reduction targets for water, waste, energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and over the last few years we have made significant progress in all of these areas thanks to the active participation of employees.

Between 2009 and 2013, we reduced the energy consumed by our business by 1.3%, CO2 emissions by 6.4%, waste produced by 24.3% and water use by 8.2%. At the same time, we’ve increased recycling by 2%.

Tobacco leaf

Supporting our overall business objective of a stable supply of quality tobacco is an important theme for EHS. To help tobacco farming communities, we operate a reforestation and community support program in a number of countries, including Malawi, Tanzania and the Philippines.

EHS certification

We have invested in a group-wide EHS certification process, setting and measuring performance standards since 2008.

We use the same team of external auditors for all international sites, to ensure our EHS management team has consistent, comparable assessments. The information is used to both benchmark and understand any performance variations, enabling better-informed decision-making.

Promoting a culture of achievement

Our EHS Excellence program awards have been running since 2005, celebrating the EHS commitment and enthusiasm of our employees.

Projects awarded include initiatives to motivate and reinforce safe behavior, address employee health and well-being, and support community tree planting.

By giving these initiatives recognition we strengthen employee engagement in delivering better standards of EHS performance.