Driving a zero-waste business
Circularity is at the heart of how we seek to manage resources. From minimising operational waste to innovative New Category product designs, we are working to address a growing global concern about plastic and other waste.
Following our Double Materiality assessment in 2022, we have included Circular Economy as one of our 11 material topics. Circular Economy is part of the ‘Tier 1’ category of material topics for BAT, along with Climate Change.
By using resources efficiently and in an innovative way, and by making decisions with consideration for the environment, we aim to address both our immediate impacts and the likely pressures on the business in the future.
Our goal at BAT is to adopt circular economy principles to help us to deliver better products for our consumers, create efficiencies in our operations, offer our employees opportunities to innovate and ultimately reduce our overall environmental impact on the planet.
Our Group-wide circular economy strategy for all our product categories is guided by three strategic priorities:
- Simplify: simplifying the design of products to improve recyclability and to reduce our use of virgin materials and resources;
- Maximise: maximising the longevity of our products to improve the experience for our consumers; and
- Recover: minimising waste through increased product recovery and recycling.
Find out more in our Group Circular Economy Position Statement.
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Butt littering and disposal of New Category products are two big challenges we face.
Butt littering is a complex topic with no easy answers. We are committed to working with consumers to enhance their understanding of the impact of butt littering and encourage responsible disposal. We have developed a new butt littering toolkit that will be rolled out across BAT in 2023. This utilises learning from our existing initiatives to focus on approaches that have proved to be most effective and resonated best with consumers. In 2022, we continued to implement campaigns across Italy, Denmark, France and Romania - among other countries.
To support consumers with responsible disposal, we also have take-back schemes in all markets where we sell New Category devices. These comprise one or both of: device return containers in our directly-operated and third-party retail outlets; and participation in national electrical equipment return and recycling schemes.
Take-Back schemes allow for the responsible disposal of end-of-life products, which can range from recycling to incineration with energy recovery, depending on local infrastructure, capacities and regulatory environment.
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Download our Combined Annual and Environmental, Social and Governance Report 2022