Policies, principles and standards

A set of key principles and standards guide the actions of all British American Tobacco Group companies worldwide.

This page is not a complete description of the BAT Group and British American Tobacco Malaysia’s policies and standards, but offers an overview of those likely to be of particular interest to stakeholders, with links to the documents.

Statement of Business Principles

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 BAT 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 BAT Group companies’ CSR performance.

Standards of Business Conduct

The Standards of Business Conduct are an integral part of our governance and, together with our Business Principles, underpin our commitment to high standards of corporate responsibility. The Standards apply to all companies within the BATM Group and its employees and require high standards of behaviour and integrity. 

Standards of Business Conduct (11,046 kb) 

Principles of Engagement

British American Tobacco is committed to corporate transparency. It recognises that as a responsible company, all engagement activities that it undertakes must be guided by internal standards. The principles and standards set out here form British American Tobacco’s ‘Principles for Engagement’. All BAT Group companies and employees are required to act in accordance with the Principles for Engagement. British American Tobacco does support third parties on policy issues of mutual interest, but will never ask a third party to conduct itself in any way that contravenes these ‘Principles for Engagement’.

Principles of Engagement (109 kb)  

International Marketing Principles

Our International Marketing Principles (IMP) set down detailed guidance on all aspects of tobacco marketing, from print, billboards and electronic media to promotional events, packaging and sponsorship. 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.

In Malaysia, the marketing principles should be read together with our local laws - Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 and Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2008.

International Marketing Principles (2,256 kb) 

International Marketing Principles Guidelines (6,247 kb) 

Employment Principles

Our Employment Principles build on our commitment to good employment practices and workplace related human rights. They set out a common approach to our companies’ development of policies and procedures, while recognising that each company must take account of local labour law and practice and the local political, economic and cultural context. All our companies have committed to the Employment Principles and, through our internal audit process, are required to demonstrate that they are embedding them in the workplace. Our auditing also monitors that our companies are strongly encouraging key suppliers to meet similar standards.

Employment Principles (105 kb) 

Supplier Code of Conduct

Our Supplier Code of Conduct complements our BAT 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.

Supplier Code of Conduct (2,749 kb) 

BAT Group Environmental Policy

We accept that our companies’ operations affect the environment and we are committed to following high standards of environmental protection, adhering to the principles of sustainable development and protecting biodiversity.
See also Environment, Health and Safety(link to section 3.2)

BAT Group Environment Policy (43 kb) 

See also Environment, Health and Safety

Health and Safety Policy Statement

We aim to apply the best international standards of practice relating to the health and safety of employees at work and non-company personnel on company premises and to give a high priority to these activities. The Statement is backed by detailed specific requirements.

Health and Safety Policy Statement (31 kb)