BAT has published its Low-Carbon Transition Plan, detailing the actions it will take to reach its climate targets. This includes halving absolute emissions across its operations and supply chain by 2030 and to be net zero across its value chain by 2050 at the latest.
In 2021, BAT signed up to the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As part of this, signatory companies are asked to outline detailed plans for achieving these targets, within one year of signing up. The Paris Agreement of 2015 set a framework seeking to limit the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5ºC above preindustrial levels. As such, BAT realigned its emissions reduction strategy in line with this 1.5ºC target, a trajectory which was approved by the SBTi in July 2022.
Kingsley Wheaton, BAT’s Chief Growth Officer, said: “We’re proud to take this latest step in our sustainability journey. By outlining the measures we will take to live up to our Net Zero targets through our Low-Carbon Transition Plan, we’re demonstrating our continuing commitment to building A Better Tomorrow. As a global company, we know minimising impacts across our operations and value chain is the right thing to do, as well as making sound business sense. That is why we have set stretching science-based climate-related targets and continue to embed sustainability across our business.”
Using risk assessment analyses and scenario planning, BAT identified risks and opportunities along the entire value chain. BAT has committed to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2020 base year.
Furthermore, according to the CDP, tackling Scope 3 emissions, which are indirect emissions from BAT’s supply chain, will be the most critical and challenging for the sector, and it constitutes the majority of BAT’s total carbon footprint.
For these Scope 3 emissions, BAT has also committed to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2020 base year, by:
- Partnering with suppliers, especially those contributing the most emissions, to ensure sustainability progress.
- Progressively transitioning from air to sea freight as a lower-carbon mode of transport, on the occasions that products go by air (most production currently goes by sea freight).
- Collaborating with farmers on carbon-smart tobacco leaf farming and other projects.
- Fostering circularity throughout R&D, designing for end-of-life processes, and promoting eco-design principles.
This will be done through actions including:
- Investing in energy efficient projects, systems, and technologies. Implementing more than 70 such initiatives in 2021 resulted in a reduction of nearly 19,000 MT CO2e
- Entering into longer term power purchase agreements and investing in on-site renewable energy generation projects. By expanding global renewable electricity purchases in 2021, BAT created a reduction of 16,000 tCO2e.
- Rolling out electric and hybrid vehicles across BAT’s fleet, using fuels with high biofuel content, and running route optimisation processes. Between 2017 and 2021, BAT reduced fleet emissions by 30%. More information is provided in the full roadmap.
BAT has been consistently recognised for performance in sustainability and was named as a 2022 Climate Leader by the Financial Times, for successfully lowering its emissions intensity, and received the highest gold class in the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook 2021. BAT was also featured in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for the 20th consecutive year in 2021 and was the only tobacco company named on the DJSI’s World Index that same year.
BAT’s ambition is to have 50 million consumers of its non-combustible products by 2030 and to generate £5 billion of New Categories revenue by 2025. BAT has set stretching ESG targets including achieving carbon neutrality for Scopes 1 & 2 by 2030 and eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic and making all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.