We should defend human rights and ship a constructive social affect within the communities wherein we function.
In constructing A Higher Tomorrow™, we respect the human rights of individuals throughout our personal operations and our wider provide chain.
Our enterprise and provide chain covers a number of industries with vital human rights concerns, together with agriculture, electronics and manufacturing. The worldwide impacts of COVID-19 imply that human rights points now require an excellent sharper focus. Regardless of the product or the method, our rules stay the identical. We attempt to advertise, uphold and respect the human rights of the folks concerned.
We now have had a long-standing dedication to respect basic human rights, as affirmed by the Common Declaration of Human Rights. This dedication contains respecting the rights of our staff, the folks we work with and the communities wherein we function, throughout our provide chains and enterprise operations.
Defending human rights is a transparent precedence in our Group Sustainability Agenda for delivering a constructive social affect. Our Agenda additionally focuses on different essential environmental, social and governance (ESG) subjects which are interrelated to human rights, together with local weather change, farmer livelihoods, well being and security, folks, variety and tradition, and ethics and integrity.
In December 2020, we turned the primary tobacco firm to publish a Human Rights Report . The report presents the progress we’ve made, highlights our ongoing work and descriptions our plans for the longer term. It’s aligned with the UN Guiding Rules Reporting Framework, which offers complete steering for firms to report on how they respect human rights in accordance with the UN Guiding Rules on Enterprise and Human Rights. Watch our video under to seek out out extra.
BAT launches tobacco industry-first Human Rights Report
In December 2020, on Human Rights Day, BAT turned the primary tobacco firm to publish a Human Rights Report. The report highlights our dedication and actions to guard human rights throughout out world enterprise and provide chain
As well as, every year we publish our Modern Slavery Statement , in accordance with the UK Fashionable Slavery Act. The assertion particulars the steps taken by BAT plc and subsidiary Group firms to forestall trendy slavery and human trafficking in our enterprise and provide chains.
Our Combined Annual ESG Report additionally offers complete particulars of our method to human rights and efficiency for the yr, within the context of our broader Sustainability Agenda.
Our method to human rights
Our method to human rights administration is aligned to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). This contains following an outlined course of to establish our most essential and salient human rights impacts, for which:
- We interact: to know the views of, and impacts upon, our key stakeholders and rights-holders throughout our worth chain, together with intensive engagement with rights-holders in tobacco-growing communities as a part of our human rights affect assessments;
- We analysis: to know our place within the large image and establish rising dangers, traits and greatest apply; and
- We prioritise: to concentrate on the problems of best significance to our stakeholders and rights-holders.
Our Fundamental Board of Administrators has general accountability for human rights. The Board is supported by the Audit Committee, which screens efficiency, dangers and adherence to our requirements. This oversight is underpinned by our Regional Audit and CSR Committee framework. Collectively, our governance framework offers a versatile channel for the structured stream of data, monitoring and oversight of key points, together with these regarding human rights, in any respect ranges of the Group from our native enterprise models to the Board stage.
We work to maintain ourselves – and our provide chain – aligned and accountable by means of robust insurance policies, due diligence and remediation programmes.
Our Standards of Business Conduct (SoBC) units out the excessive requirements we’re dedicated to upholding. It includes our core world insurance policies, together with our Office and Human Rights Coverage detailing our assist for the UNGPs and the ILO’s Declaration on Basic Rules and Rights at Work. Our Supplier Code of Conduct enhances our SoBC by defining the minimal requirements anticipated of all suppliers to any BAT Group firm – together with human rights standards.
Provide chain due diligence
Our due diligence and remediation programmes allow us to watch the effectiveness of, and compliance with, our coverage commitments, in addition to to establish, forestall and mitigate human rights dangers, impacts and abuses.
Because of the inherent dangers in agriculture, our tobacco provide chain is especially weak to human rights points. We now have intensive due diligence in place for all our tobacco leaf operations and third-party suppliers, together with the industry-wide Sustainable Tobacco Programme, systematic farm monitoring and human rights affect assessments. We additionally take a long-term and collaborative method to mitigating the dangers and tackling the basis causes, together with rural poverty.
See Human rights and child labour in tobacco growing for extra particulars.
Past tobacco, we supply product supplies like paper and filters for cigarettes; and for our New Class merchandise, now we have a rising provide chain in shopper electronics and e-liquids. Earlier than we begin working with a brand new product supplies provider, they have to endure an unbiased audit by our companion Intertek . The audit assesses office situations protecting compelled labour, youngster labour, wages and hours, well being and security, surroundings, and administration programs. It’s aligned with worldwide requirements, together with these of the ILO, and we anticipate suppliers to realize a minimal rating of 70% to qualify.
We preserve a rigorous concentrate on human rights within the provide chain and conduct an annual danger evaluation on 100% of our present supplies suppliers. Utilizing unbiased human rights indices developed by Verisk Maplecroft , we assess suppliers’ inherent danger publicity based mostly on their nation location and the products or providers they supply. Suppliers recognized as excessive danger are then prioritised for audits.
In 2022, now we have additionally partnered with exterior supplier EcoVadis to increase our due diligence programme. Which means direct supplies suppliers recognized as greater danger proceed to be audited by Intertek, whereas all suppliers exterior Intertek’s scope are assessed by means of EcoVadis.
We monitor suppliers’ progress towards the corrective motion plans centrally. We now have zero tolerance to severe points, which, when recognized by means of the audit course of, are promptly remediated and validated by an unbiased auditor.
All different points, recognized both by way of Intertek or EcoVadis, are accomplished both by revisits (Intertek) or by means of a desktop assessment (Intertek and EcoVadis), for which the provider offers proof.
Subsidiary operations due diligence
Yearly, all our staff and enterprise entities should formally verify that they’ve complied with the SoBC.
Our enterprise entities full an annual evaluation towards our key audit controls wherein they verify that their space of enterprise, or market, has satisfactory procedures in place to assist SoBC compliance. All our staff should additionally full our annual SoBC sign-off, wherein they reaffirm their dedication and adherence to the SoBC and declare or redeclare any private conflicts of curiosity. As a part of the annual sign-off process, staff additionally endure SoBC coaching with examples of various eventualities they might face of their each day work, protecting subjects similar to discrimination, trendy slavery and freedom of affiliation.
As well as, now we have an outlined course of to establish and punctiliously monitor BAT operations in nations with the next danger for human rights points. This course of contains an annual danger evaluation of all nations worldwide, utilizing Verisk Maplecroft’s human rights indices (similar to its Fashionable Slavery Index). Our companies in every high-risk nation recognized then full a human rights evaluation, confirming compliance with Group insurance policies, requirements and controls, and offering particulars of measures in place to reinforce human rights administration. The outcomes are submitted to and famous by the Group Company Committee and Audit Committee, and, by the related Regional Audit & Company Social Accountability Committee (RACC), together with particulars of motion plans for any areas for enchancment recognized.
Our SoBC Assurance Process units out intimately how allegations of wrongdoing or breaches of the SoBC must be investigated and handled pretty and objectively. Particulars of all reported allegations are monitored by means of the yr by our Regional Audit and CSR Committees, and quarterly by the Board Audit Committee.
Communicate Up channels
We encourage anybody working for, or with, the Group to lift considerations or grievances by means of our Speak Up channels that are independently managed and obtainable 24 hours a day on-line, by textual content or phone. The channels can be utilized in confidence and anonymously and can be found in a number of native languages, and their particulars are promoted by means of employees coaching and communications, the SoBC app and the Provider Code of Conduct.
Our Communicate Up Coverage makes it clear nobody will undergo any direct or oblique reprisal for talking up about precise or suspected wrongdoing, even when they’re mistaken. We don’t tolerate the harassment or victimisation of anybody elevating considerations or anybody who assists them. Such conduct is itself a breach of the SoBC and a severe disciplinary matter.