The guidelines that govern our business
This page is not a complete description of our policies and standards, but offers an overview of those likely to be of particular interest to stakeholders.
We believe in the Business Principles of British American Tobacco which seek to capture the key topics that underpin Corporate Social Responsibility for a multinational tobacco business. They also address the issues that are important to stakeholders, including those who criticise tobacco products and the industry. Indeed, our Business Principles aim to cover all the issues that we must balance across our business.
Our Statement of Business Principles forms the basis on which we expect our businesses to be run in terms of responsibility. Developed with the help of stakeholders in dialogue, it consists of three Business Principles: Mutual Benefit, Responsible Product Stewardship and Good Corporate Conduct, and eighteen Core Beliefs.
Our Standards of Business Conduct are an integral part of the BAT Group’s governance and, together with our Business Principles, underpin our commitment to high standards of corporate responsibility. The Standards apply to all Group companies and employees and require high standards of behaviour and integrity wherever our businesses operate. Each subsidiary company, like Carreras, is required to adopt them or local policies which reflect them and each employee is expected to know and comply with their provisions. Each General Manager and Head of Function must sign a letter annually confirming compliance and continuous information on performance against the Standards is gathered and reported quarterly to the BAT Group’s Board Audit Committee.
British American Tobacco Group is committed to corporate transparency. It recognises that as a responsible company, all engagement activities that it undertakes must be guided by internal standards. The principles and standards set out here form British American Tobacco’s ‘Principles for Engagement’. All Group companies and employees are required to act in accordance with the Principles for Engagement. British American Tobacco does support third parties on policy issues of mutual interest, but will never ask a third party to conduct itself in any way that contravenes these ‘Principles for Engagement’.
The International Marketing Principles (IMP) of British American Tobacco set down detailed guidance on all aspects of tobacco marketing, from print, billboards and electronic media to promotional events, packaging and sponsorship. Central to the IMP is our long held commitment to ensuring that no marketing activity is directed at, or particularly appeals to, youth. The IMP are globally applicable and in some countries exceed the requirements of local laws. Adherence by our companies forms part of our regular internal audit process, supported by annual self-certification by management and Audit Committee review. We publicly report any instances of incomplete adherence each year.