Our guiding principles provide clarity to our people around the world about what we stand for as a company, the foundations of our culture and guide how we operate.
We value enterprise from all of our employees across the world, giving us a great breadth of ideas and viewpoints to enhance the way we do business. We have the confidence to passionately pursue growth and new opportunities while accepting the considered entrepreneurial risk that comes with it. We are bold and strive to overcome challenges. This is the cornerstone of our success.
We give our people the freedom to operate in their local environment, providing them with the benefits of our scale but the ability to succeed locally. We always strive to do the right thing, exercising our responsibility to society and other stakeholders. We use our freedom to take decisions and act in the best interest of consumers.
Our corporate culture is a great strength of the business and one of the reasons we have been and will continue to be successful. We are forward-looking and anticipate consumer needs, winning with innovative, high-quality products. We listen to and genuinely consider other perspectives and changing social expectations. We are open to new ways of doing things.
Our management population comprises people from approximately 140 nations, giving us unique insights into local markets and enhancing our ability to compete across the world. We respect and celebrate each other’s differences and enjoy working together. We harness diversity – of our people, cultures, viewpoints, brands, markets and ideas – to strengthen our business. We value what makes each of us unique.
Our Standards of Business Conduct are an integral part of the 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 company 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 Board Audit Committee.
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. All Group companies have adopted the Statement and are encouraged to engage in stakeholder dialogue to help determine how it should best be reflected in their business practices. The Business Principles and Core Beliefs form the basis for our continuous auditing of Group companies’ CSR performance.
Our International Marketing Principles (IMP) set down detailed guidance on all aspects of tobacco marketing. 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.
Our Supplier Code of Conduct complements our Group Standards of Business Conduct by defining the minimum standards we expect our suppliers to adhere to in order to supply goods or services to BAT and any BAT Group company. This builds upon our long-standing commitment to operating to the highest standards of corporate conduct for both our own business operations and our wider supply chain. It also supports our continuing commitment to respect human rights and uphold international standards, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Our ABC procedure ensures that all third parties and non-company personnel engaged by us comply with stringent anti-bribery and corruption standards while carrying out work on behalf of the Company. It ensures that all service providers conduct their business in a manner that avoids risk of bribery and corruption.
We accept that our companies’ operations impact the environment and are committed to adopting high standards of environmental protection, adhering to the principles of sustainable development and protecting biodiversity.
We are committed to ensure the safety of our employees at work as well as non-company personnel on company premises. We aim to apply the best international standards of practice relating to health and safety and to give a high priority to these activities. The Statement is backed by detailed specific requirements.