Improving environmental performance supports efficiency and cost optimisation and enables us to better comply with evolving environmental legislation. We recognise that certain resources are finite and that the environment must be protected.
To better understand our main environmental impacts we have undertaken an environmental footprint analysis.
We have a formal approach to environmental management through the application of ISO 14001, which is the main standard within our operations. We have a number of targets which primarily relate to waste, energgy, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.
Targets to reduce the environmental impact of our transportation activities are principally in the areas of route planning, load optimisation, vehicle selection, maintenance and driver training.
We seek to minimise waste and waste to landfill through a combined approach of reduce, reuse and recycling, as key elements of our environmental programme.
We are committed to making further progress in minimising product and packaging waste and speeding up the decomposition process, especially in relation to cigarette filters, by working with material and equipment suppliers and supporting research in packaging and filter technology.
In our manufacturing operations we continuously seek to improve and be most efficient. We aim to achieve the highest output on the basis of a lean way of working. Reducing complexity and the rollout of our Operational Excellence Programme (OEP) continues to move us further towards better ways to working and streamlined processes.
CLIMATE AND ENERGY
We recognise that energy use is a cause of greenhouse gas emissions. We reduce our direct impacts through energy efficiency and carbon emission management. We reduce our indirect impacts by collaborating with our suppliers. In factories we have achieved energy savings in lighting and heating, by investing in technical improvements and modifying processes and procedures.
We invest in renewable energy where deemed appropriate. We believe that solar, wind and geothermal generated energy offer benefits in terms of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, better energy security, cost stabilisation and energy price volatility.
We engage on climate change through the CDP Climate Change Programme, the UK Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme requirements.
We submit information on our climate change strategy, carbon accounting, risks and opportunities to the CDP Climate Change Programme. We encourage our suppliers to do the same through the CDP Supply Chain Programme.
We seek to protect forests and their associated biodiversity as they support our access to natural resources. Forests are important for key materials and for us to maintain access to good quality tobacco, water, timber and other agricultural products.
In tobacco production, wood may be used as either a fuel for curing tobacco or as construction material for drying and grading barns. Partnerships with suppliers and communities are helping us to protect forests and support wood sustainability.
We are investing in projects to increase the number of fuel-efficient drying or curing barns. We have made improvements to furnace design and curing technology for better efficiency and to reduce wood consumption.
Forestry protection and biodiversity management are core elements of our leaf supplier programme. We are focused on having a sustainable source of wood for all our tobacco requirements of African origin. In this context we are approaching wood sustainability as a cost of production so that the suppliers we do business with in Africa do forestry on our behalf.
Where possible we support the use of FSC certified materials for our products and use.
Biodiversity is important in securing access to natural resources including timber and other agricultural products. This is part of supply chain sustainability and maintaining access to good quality tobacco. Partnerships with suppliers and communities help us to address this issue.
We have participated in the Natural Value Initiative (NVI) Ecosystem Services Benchmark Analysis. The NVI is a collaboration between the environmental NGO Fauna & Flora International, a Brazilian business school and the UNEP Finance Initiative. The benchmark identified our leaf supplier programme as a key strength in biodiversity and ecosystem protection.
We protect biodiversity through the progression of environmental management systems and by monitoring to ensure that we operate within recommended and legal limits.
Water scarcity and seasonal shortages may impact our factories and the surrounding communities. Water conservation and protection is managed locally within environmental management systems. Waste water quality is strictly controlled to meet local regulations and consent limits. We apply a standard for bulk fuel containment, spillage control and emergency action.
Our factories generally use mains water from local suppliers, however some extract and filter groundwater from wells, for production purposes, in accordance with local authority permits and extraction limits.
We have a target to reduce water use and specific targets for sites in countries that have been identified at risk from water scarcity. Improvements include new waste water discharge systems, better water metering, water recycling from air conditioning, cooling tower processes and rainwater use for sanitary facilities.