British American Tobacco establishes a biodiversity partnership with NGOs

British American Tobacco has established a biodiversity partnership, now in its third five-year term (2011-2015). The partners (Fauna & Flora International, Earthwatch, Tropical Biology Association, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and British American Tobacco) have appointed an independent programme manager and developed a programme framework around three strategic priorities: protect and restore habitats and species and ensure sustainable use of natural resources; integrate biodiversity into the business; and build capacity of individuals and organisations.

British American Tobacco donated £1 million per year to the Partnership in its first five years and £1.5 million per year for the five years from 2006. In 2010, they agreed on the scope of work for the next five years of the Partnership, with a commitment of £1.5 million per year.

From 2011 onwards, the Partnership is focusing on fewer projects that are larger in scope and ambition than previous projects. The Partnership’s projects fall into two categories: operational projects and aligned projects. Operational projects focus on areas where British American Tobacco has leaf growing operations and they are largely undertaken as a result of biodiversity risk and opportunity assessments and corrective action plans. Aligned projects will be delivered independently by each Partner: Fauna & Flora International will focus on climate adaptation and valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services, to build resilience in complex agricultural landscapes; Earthwatch Institute will focus on developing new research on biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes in Brazil and India; by improving and developing capability within sub-Saharan Africa, the Tropical Biology Association will help to manage impacts and provide solutions in agricultural and forest landscapes of importance to ecosystem services.

In 2006-2007 the Partnership and British American Tobacco developed Biodiversity Risk and Opportunity Assessment (BROA) tool and the first round of assessments were completed in all British American Tobacco’s leaf growing operations by the end of 2010. In 2011, the tool was revised based on lessons learned from the original assessments and on reviews by leading experts. The updated tool, known as BROA 2, is designed to give a more consistent approach to the assessments across the globe. It is currently being piloted in Vietnam and will be released publicly later in 2012 to encourage other tobacco and agricultural businesses to adopt a similar approach.

Further information


Partnership types

Advocacy of global issues; Doing business with the poor; Standards and all (5)

Global issues

Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry; Community development; Environment and all (3)

Business sectors

Manufacturing; Retail trade