British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America (BATCCA), in its double role as company and member of the community, is aware of its responsibility regarding environmental protection, rational use of energy sources, and issues relating to occupational safety and health. Therefore, BATCCA continuously checks the potential impact of its activities and implements proactive and economically efficient measures to preserve the environment and protect its employees’ health and safety.
The environment is a strategic issue and one of the pillars that support our social responsibility. In 2008, our Central American operations mitigated its operations. We are focused on reducing our carbon emissions, educating personnel on this issue, and conducting mitigation efforts by planting trees in the Region, with support from strategic partners such as the Climate Change Alliance Programme and Zamorano Pan-American School of Agriculture.
Our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are part of a wider BATCCA initiative called Thinking Green, the purpose of which – in addition to reducing, monitoring, and mitigating emissions – is to achieve corporate environmental best practices. The company’s employees are also involved in this initiative and have committed to the rational use of resources such as electricity, water, and paper.
The following elements are considered to calculate emissions produced by each country:
- Energy generation sources such as furnaces, ovens, burners, turbines, and power plants
- Power consumption
- Refrigeration systems
- Sewage treatment systems
- Vehicle fleet
- Export and import: number of containers that transport company products
- Executive travel
- Air conditioning use
- Organic waste
Since its creation in 2008, BATCCA has been working on this project in an attempt to systematise all initiatives from a product life cycle perspective. This means that the entire cigarette sales process – from tobacco plant cultivation to the end product in the consumers’ hands – is centred on minimising environmental impact.
Company mitigation efforts actively involve personnel so that thinking green also becomes part of their lives. In this manner, after calculating the tonnes of carbon emitted by the company, employees and their families are invited to plant the trees needed to mitigate the emissions of the offices in their countries.
Ometepe Island Project in Nicaragua
As of 2007, British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America, together with the Nicaraguan Tourist Board, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, Ometepe tour operators, villagers of Santo Domingo beach, and indigenous community leaders, work together in the development of a strategic alliance that benefits the community’s inhabitants by generating employment, protecting the environment, and developing ecotourism.
Ometepe’s main attractions are its two scalable active volcanoes, white sand beaches, sites of special archaeological interest, natural reserves, and forests teeming with tropical biodiversity. BATCCA has invested more than $80,000 in the construction of the 1,564m-long Peña Inculta ecotourism trail, an information booth, as well as forest ranger and tourist guide training.
Ometepe, which in Nahuatl means “two hills”, is a 276 square kilometre island with two volcanoes, Concepción and Maderas. The island’s population totals 45,000 inhabitants and more than 30,000 tourists visit the island each year. Ometepe is situated on Lake Cocibolca, Central America’s largest lake (8,000 Km2) and home to the planet’s only sweet water sharks.
BATCCA employees also take part in this project through the “Volunteers for” programme – an initiative encouraging employees to donate spare time to company-sponsored programmes. Volunteers for Nicaragua have helped with trail signage placement and cleaning, and planting trees, among other activities in support of Ometepe.
Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival Recycling Campaign
In an effort to think green and protect the environment, British American Tobacco Caribbean and Central American, together with its local company Carreras Limited, have placed recycling trash bins to collect plastic bottles during the island’s Jazz & Blues Festival.
These recycling bins have helped reduce the more than 40 million kilos of plastic bottles that were sent to Jamaica’s rubbish dumps. Plastic bottles collected during the Festival are processed by the Jamaica Environment Trust.
St. Lucia Jazz Festival Recycling Campaign
St. Lucia, like many small islands, is particularly vulnerable to environmental challenges. Limited available land, scarce resources, and a lack of awareness make waste management a matter of key importance. For this reason, in recent years, St. Lucia has become increasingly aware of the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Therefore, during the St. Lucia Jazz Festival on Pigeon Island, BATCCA has strategically placed recycling bins for festival attendees to dispose of bottles, plastic, and tins. Waste collected during the three-day event is sent to an environmentally-friendly recycling centre in Trinidad.
Support to Zamorano Pan-American School of Agriculture
Financial support from TAHSA/BATCCA in Honduras, enabled a group of Honduran and US scientists and conservationists to make an important discovery: a new habitat of the Emerald hummingbird, endemic to Honduras.
In November 2008, financial support contributed by TAHSA/BATCCA to the Zamorano Biodiversity Centre made it possible for this group of scientists to travel to the province of Santa Barbara in search of the Emerald hummingbird (Amazilia luciae). Its mission was to verify sightings of this rare bird.
Despite efforts to find the species in western Honduras, it had not been reported there since 1935. The team conducted searches in Santa Barbara and Cortés and found six sites inhabited by the Emerald, all in the department of Santa Barbara.
Considering this bird’s status as a Critically Endangered species, included in the “Red List” of endangered species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the precarious status of its habitat - it is believed that the species has fallen to 10% of its known original numbers – its rediscovery is of enormous importance for the scientific community in general, the conservation of Honduras, and the world’s biodiversity.
Support for the “International Coastal Cleanup Day”
Together with renowned organisations such as Ocean Conservancy, British American Tobacco takes part in the International Coastal Cleanup Day in countries such as Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. Our employees and their families are an important part of these cleanup efforts donating their free time to clean some of their countries’ most important beaches.
Support for the Organisation for Tropical Studies
Since 2007, British American Tobacco Caribbean and Central America has been supporting the Organisation for Tropical Studies (OTS) in an effort to promote the protection of tropical natural resources through the strengthening of initiatives centred on education, investigation, and protection of areas of great natural wealth and biodiversity.
The company’s support has taken the shape of improvements to the infrastructure of La Selva Biological Station, located in Sarapiquí, in the province of Heredia. Trails have been built, native tree species planted, and a nature guide training programme directed at young adults from the surrounding area is being implemented.
In recognition of BATCCA’s contribution to the organisation, the OTS dedicated one of the trails of La Selva Biological Station, the “Leaf-cutter ant” trail, to the company. This ant is renowned for its perseverance and team work, elements that characterise BATCCA.