Policies, principles and standards

This page is not a complete description of our policies and standards, but offers an overview of those likely to be of interest to stakeholders, with links to relevant documents.

Standards of Business Conduct

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  the Standards  or local policies which reflect them and each employee is expected to know and comply with the  Standards. 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.

Standards of Business Conduct 2020 (2,348 kb) 

Statement of Business Principles

The Statement of Business Principles forms the basis on which we run our business in terms of responsibility. Developed by the BAT Group with input from stakeholders, the Statement consists of three Business Principles: Mutual Benefit, Responsible Product Stewardship and Good Corporate Conduct, which are supported by eighteen Core Beliefs.

BAT New Zealand has adopted the Statement and continues to engage stakeholders in dialogue to help determine how it should best be reflected in our business practices. The Business Principles and Core Beliefs form the basis for monitoring our performance in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Statement of Business Principles (74 kb) 

International Marketing Principles

The 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 cases exceed the requirements of local law. In New Zealand local legislation in most cases exceeds the provisions of the IMP. Nevertheless, adherence by BAT New Zealand forms part of our regular internal audit process, supported by annual self-certification by management and Audit Committee review. The Group publicly reports any instances of incomplete adherence each year.

International Marketing Principles (1,445 kb) 

Principles for 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 BAT’s ‘Principles for Engagement’. All Group companies and employees are required to act in accordance with the Principles for Engagement. BAT 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 for Engagement (109 kb) 

Our ethos

A key driver to delivering our purpose to build A Better Tomorrow is our ethos, which guides behaviours across the entire BAT Group.

Our ethos is about being bold, fast, empowered, responsible and diverse to create a future-fit culture at BAT.

Developed with significant input from employees, our ethos is the thread that must run through everything we do and how we do it. We believe it empowers our people, fosters a vibrant and rewarding workplace and promotes sustainable long-term value.

For our long-time employees and those who have more recently joined, we are inspiring an ethos that is responsive to constant change, embodies a learning culture and that is dedicated to continuous improvement.

We are bold

We are bold

  • Dream big – with innovative ideas.
  • Make tough decisions quickly and proudly stand accountable for them.
  • Resilient and fearless to compete.
We are fast

We are fast

  • Speed matters. Set clear direction and move fast.
  • Keep it simple. Focus on outcomes.
  • Learn quickly and share learnings.
We are empowered

We are empowered

  • Set the context for our teams and trust their expertise.
  • Challenge each other. Once in agreement, we commit collectively.
  • Collaborate and hold each other accountable to deliver.
We are diverse

We are diverse

  • Value different perspectives.
  • Build on each others’ ideas, knowledge and experiences.
  • Challenge ourselves to be open-minded recognising unconscious bias.
We are responsible

We are responsible

  • Take action to reduce the health impact of our business.
  • Ensure the best quality products for our consumers, the best place to work for our people, and the best results for shareholders.
  • Act with integrity, never compromising our standards and ethics.

Supplier Code of Conduct

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.

Supplier Code of Conduct (2018) (291 kb) 

Environment, Health and Safety Policy Statements

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  give a high priority to these activities. The following policy statements demonstrate this commitment.

Health and Safety Policy Statement (31 kb) 

Group Environmental Policy (43 kb)