British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco Russia (BAT Russia) is a member of British American Tobacco Group of companies, the world’s most international tobacco company which has the global market share of 15% and sells its brands in more than 180 markets. BAT Russia makes quality products and contributes to the Russian economy and society.
While conducting its activity BAT Russia seeks to respond to various stakeholder expectations and contribute to the development of the economy and society where it operates. The company places great emphasis not only on its business results but also on its ability to meet society’s expectations of a socially responsible business.
BAT Russia has the following imperatives for its CSI:
- Social assistance to the underprivileged (senior citizens, people with disabilities, and people in rehabilitation);
- Supporting ecological projects and events (including upgrading streets and public areas in Russian cities);
- Supporting institutes of art and culture (graphic arts).
Below is a list of some of the charity initiatives supported by BAT Russia.
- Annual Social Projects Grant Contest, ‘Time to Help!’ (in 2006 and 2007 the company has supported projects for assisting mentally and physically challenged people);
- Saratov Social Projects Contest (provides grants for social initiatives in Saratov and the Saratov Region);
- Support for the Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled “Ikar” (tennis competitions for wheelchair bound people);
- Support for the rehabilitation programme run by the Children’s Burn Unit of the Speransky Children’s City Hospital;
- Non-financial assistance to children’s homes and organizations for the disabled (in-kind donations such as equipment, furniture, computers).
- WWF Programme, ‘Nature Reserves and National Parks of Russia’;
- Ecological programme in the Primorksy District (St. Petersburg, Yuntolovsky Nature Reserve and Udelny Park);
- The programme for upgrading streets and public areas and for planting greenery in Saratov’s Frunzensky District;
- On-going EH&S programmes (energy and water saving, recycling of production waste and paper).
- Moscow State Tretyakov Gallery (investment in the technical equipment of the museum and exhibition activities, purchase of works for the gallery’s permanent collection);
- State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg (organising the ‘Russia’ travelling exhibition, support for exhibitions);
- Saratov Opera and Ballet House;
- The Neva Flows into the Volga Festival (Saratov).
Employee contribution to social projects
BAT Russia provides financial support to various charity programmes and creates opportunities for its employees to take part in charity initiatives encouraging their willingness to make personal charitable donations.
Since 2004 the company has been successfully running the programme for charitable donations, ‘They Need Your Help’. Donations are made via the programme site, http://donatenow. ru, where any BAT Russia employee can register. Programme participants can select a charitable organisation to support and determine the amount of his/her donation. The stated sum is deducted from the employee’s salary. The programme participants receive detailed reports on the use of donated funds on a regular basis. Both programme participants and company management which matches the contribution made by its staff share the principles of the programme which are: voluntary participation, confidentiality of contributions and financial transparency.
In addition, every year employees of the company collect clothes, books, videos, toys and other items for children’s homes and orphanages. In Moscow and in Saratov, employees and their families take part in the Green Watch volunteer activities helping to clean, improve and preserve the parks and natural springs and to plant greenery.
Underage Smoking Prevention (USP)
BAT Russia’s USP activities are aimed at achieving two goals: to prevent the sale of tobacco products to minors and to discourage children and teenagers from smoking.
Retail Access Prevention Programme
As part of the Retail Access Prevention Programme BAT Russia’s Trade Marketing employees distribute to retailers booklets quoting the Federal Law ‘On Restricting Tobacco Smoking’ and the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation bearing on the responsibility of violations of regulations that apply to tobacco sales. Retailers also receive special stickers that state, ‘We do not sell tobacco products to persons under 18’. The Retail Access Prevention Programme includes seminars and round tables by the ‘Your Choice’ Public Council in Support of the Positive Development of Youth together with relevant state authorities. Since 2004 educational events have been conducted in Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Kazan, Vladivostok, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Moscow and other Russian cities. In 2006 the ‘Your Choice’ Public Council made the ‘Be Able to Say “No”’ educational video for retailers. Furthermore, in response to stakeholder expectations to step up USP efforts BAT Russia produced the video, ‘What Will Your Answer Be?’, to help Trade Marketing employees in their educational efforts.
‘Non-Smoking Class’ Contest for Schoolchildren of 6–7 Grades
The North-West Public Council on the Problem of Underage Smoking with the support of BAT Russia and other tobacco companies runs the ‘Non-Smoking Class’ Contest since 2001 in St. Petersburg, since 2002 in Saratov, since 2003 in Moscow and since 2004 in Lipetsk. Schoolchildren become participants on condition that their class (at least 90% of its students) make a resolution not to smoke for either 3 or 6 months. The schoolchildren also take part in activities opposed to smoking, in trainings and smoking prevention classes. They enjoy various contests, games and sports competitions conducted during the year in various districts between schools, at the municipal level, and lately even between schools of different cities. The classes that comply with the contest’s requirements receive awards and prizes. Currently over 800 classes in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saratov and Lipetsk participate in this contest.
‘Responsible Parents’ Educational Programme for Parents
BAT Russia together with other major tobacco companies supports the ‘My Choice’ Centre for Educational and Social Programmes. In 2006 the ‘My Choice’ Centre developed a new underage smoking prevention programme called ‘Responsible Parents’. Its purpose is to solve the issue of underage smoking by educating and engaging parents of schoolchildren of grades 1–11 in joint activities. The ‘Responsible Parents’ programme includes meetings with parents and various joint activities with participation of parents, children, families, the public and authorities.
Smoking in Public Places
The company does not believe that people should smoke anywhere they like: environmental tobacco smoke inconveniences smokers and nonsmokers alike. British American Tobacco is convinced that a consensus solution can be found if state authorities, healthcare professionals, recreation and entertainment professionals and manufacturers of tobacco products will combine their efforts. The company believes that in a majority of cases the most prudent, practical and effective response is to designate special smoking areas equipped with powerful ventilation. Environmental tobacco smoke may have a negative impact on human health, such as acute asthma attack or respiratory illnesses among children. This is why smokers should be considerate and respect those around them by refraining from smoking in the presence of children, pregnant women, and people suffering from respiratory diseases and by properly disposing of their cigarette butts which will also reduce the hazard of fire.
In accordance with the commitment assumed by BAT Russia following Cycle 2 of its social reporting in 2002–2003, the company provided financial support to a public organization to determine the principles of ‘tobacco etiquette’. An original cartoon series format with a light and humourous touch created by the well-known artist Andrey Bilzho was chosen to disseminate the concept of ‘tobacco etiquette’. Six of his best pictures were selected by focus group participants, and they were used in a series of handout cards that the company distributed to locations where tobacco products are typically consumed. Since 2004 these cards and matchboxes with six cartoons have been distributed to cafes, restaurants and entertainment clubs in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg and other major cities of Russia.
Prevention of Smoking Among Expectant Women
In 2005 BAT Russia provided assistance to a public organization to develop a programme to discourage smoking among expectant women and supported its pilot project in St. Petersburg. In 2005– 2007, as part of this project, informational posters saying ‘He Doesn’t Like It!’ were placed in prenatal clinics and other medical institutions in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tomsk, Kaliningrad and Kazan discouraging expectant women from smoking.
‘A balanced and structured approach to BAT Russia’s social activities and the success of charity programmes demonstrate how charity and social projects can be made effective and transparent by following the social reporting guidelines and listening to what the society in which we operate has to say’, says Kingsley James Wheaton, General Manager BAT Russia.