Environmental impact of operations

We strive to further reduce the environmental impact of our operations, focusing on environmental risks and opportunities significant for our business and stakeholders, which currently include climate change, sustainable use of resources and responsible waste management.

Energy and Emissions

Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge facing society and our business.

It will have serious implications for the supply chain of our materials, as our products are mainly agricultural-based. We are committed to tackle this issue and we will be reducing our GHG emissions to support the Paris Agreement on global climate change, with the longer-term aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions from our operations.

In pursuing this target, we will double the proportion of renewable electricity that we use to 25% by 2030, in support of our goal of reaching 100% by 2050.

In our direct operations, the renewable electricity target will be achieved through on-site generation and sourcing of third-party renewable energy.

Our Renewable Energy Task Team has carried out a factory-by-factory feasibility review of opportunities associated with solar, hydro, wind, and biomass power. Where feasible, and where it makes business sense, we have included these opportunities in our business planning and in our feasibility study for the 2030 Science Based Target. The team has also reviewed options relating to zero or low-carbon energy tariffs and green energy certificates.

In addition, our locations are encouraged to consider fuel and emissions efficiency, and alternative vehicles when selecting fleet vehicles. We are well on the way to achieving our 2030 renewable electricity target. By the end of 2018, 31% of electricity in our international factories was either purchased*1 or generated*2 from renewable sources.

Through our Energy Opportunities Scheme, our factories have identified over 150 no- or low-investment projects. These avoid over 7,600 tons of GHG emissions and represent a cost saving of over 2 million U.S. dollars, with an average payback of 8 months.

As part of the JT Group Environment Plan 2030, we are committed to reducing emissions associated with our purchased goods and services by 23% (2015-2030). We aim to achieve this through a 40% reduction in emissions from our direct leaf supply chain and reductions in non-tobacco materials such as packaging. As such, we will continue to improve our existing curing barn projects and expand to more locations. We will reduce the amount of wood used for curing, while at the same time ensuring that the wood we use comes from renewable sources in Zambia and Tanzania, for instance. In addition, we aim to reduce leaf-related emissions by further optimizing the use of crop inputs, such as fertilizers and crop protection agents, wherever possible. We will also be working with suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging associated with our non-tobacco materials.

SCIENCE BARSED TARGETS

Science Based Targets (SBT)

We have set a long-term GHG emission reduction target, which was approved as SBT by the Science Based Targets initiative.

The JT Group Press release

February, 2019

  • *1 We purchase electricity from renewable sources in Canada, Germany, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the Philippines.
  • *2 We generate electricity on-site from renewable sources in Jordan, Nigeria, The Netherlands, The Philippines, and Turkey.

Natural Resources

Water

Societal demand for water is increasing globally and water-related issues such as availability, quality, flooding, drought, or regulatory changes can have a major impact on society and our business.

Our tobacco and food manufacturing activities all use water. However, our main operation, the tobacco business, is not water-intensive and the water that is required for tobacco crops comes predominantly from rainfall.

As part of our ongoing program to address water-related risks to our business and further promote effective water management, by the end of 2018 we had completed water risk assessments at 60 of our 80 factories (75%).

Our 2030 goals
In the JT Group Environment Plan 2030, we commit to supporting global water stewardship by reducing our water use and encouraging water risk management in our supply chain. We have set a target to reduce our tobacco business-associated water withdrawal by 15% by 2030 vs 2015. This target was calculated taking into account site level water intensities and regional predictions for future water stress. We plan to achieve the target by using less freshwater for factory site irrigation, reducing water use in our processes and improving leak control, using more recycled water, and improving cleaning practices.

Water risk in our supply chain
Many of our raw materials require water in their production and water is an important resource for many of our suppliers. To better understand water usage and water-related risk in our supply chain across the Group, by 2022 we plan to implement a water risk management process.

Forestry

Ensuring a sustainable wood supply and further contributing to forest conservation and rehabilitation are key objectives set out in the JT Group Environment Plan 2030.

We already have a number of programs and initiatives in relation to sustainable forestry and wood. Through our ‘live barns’ initiative in Malawi, we are reducing the number of trees that are cut down to build curing barns, by constructing the barns out of living trees.

In addition to our current programs and to further focus our efforts on sustainable forest management, we will have assessed the drivers for deforestation and forest degradation in communities where we source tobacco and we will have action plans for improved wood resource use, forest conservation, and forest rehabilitation by 2020.

Within the JT Group Environment Plan 2030, we have a target to replace all wood from natural forests in the tobacco curing process of our directly contracted growers with renewable fuel sources by 2030.

For more details, please go to "promoting forestry" in supply chain section.

Waste

From a societal and stakeholder perspective, waste, and particularly plastic waste is of increasing concern. From a business perspective, all waste has a direct cost (handling and disposal) and an indirect cost (resource and processing costs etc.).

Waste management is a key component of our Environment Plan. Across the Company we apply a ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ approach. We also set targets for waste reduction as we believe that reducing waste helps to conserve resources, which in turn helps to minimize our environmental impact and cut business costs.

Longer-term goals
In our Environment Plan 2030, we commit to further reducing the environmental impact of waste associated with our processes and products.

By 2030, we will reduce waste associated with our tobacco business by 20% vs 2015. We will do this by improving resource efficiency and rolling out innovative solutions across different sites.

Moreover, by 2020, we will have targets and action plans relating to the appropriate use and responsible disposal of materials, including plastics used in our products and packaging.

For more details, please go to our environmental data.

Case studies

Reducing our environmental impact in tobacco manufacturing

Sustainability is deeply embedded within our manufacturing operations. At our factories around the world, we work to minimize our environmental impact by focusing on energy efficiency, GHG emission reduction, water efficiency, and waste reduction.
For more details, please refer to the PDF.