Social responsibility

We accept that we produce and market a controversial product. Therefore, we believe it is essential that we do so responsibly.

Corporate Social Investment

In line with all British American Tobacco Group companies, British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America (BATCCA) carries out different activities in support of different social, cultural, environmental, and educational projects fulfilling its role of good corporate citizen in those communities in which it operates.

The purpose of BATCCA’s Corporate Social Investment policy is to provide guidelines that govern the company’s corporate social investment, understood as all those contributions – either in cash or in kind – towards voluntary activities that are beyond its commercial or legal obligations whose purpose is to contribute towards the sustainable economic, social, and environmental development of those communities in which it operates.

Corporate Social Investment activities focus around the following areas:

Biodiversity

It includes activities such as efforts to improve the environment and access to water, afforestation, grants for environmental research, and community training on how to make sustainable use of the surrounding natural resources.

Civic and community life

It encompasses the implementation and support of cultural, educational, and artistic activities that aim to enrich public and community life, including the preservation of indigenous cultures and restoration of public spaces.

Empowerment

It focuses on giving people training, education and opportunities to help them develop. BATCCA understands each of these activities to be an end in itself and not a means of promotion.

Youth Smoking Prevention

Smoking is a pleasure that entails risks. Therefore, we strongly believe that smoking is only for informed adults who are aware of these risks.

We fully support laws and regulations prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the legal minimum age. We also believe that enforcement and penalties for breaking such laws must be tough enough to discourage anybody from selling to minors.

We also know how important it is that our marketing practices are aligned with efforts to combat underage smoking. That is why we abide by British American Tobacco’s strict International Marketing Standards, which are globally consistent and demonstrate our commitment to marketing appropriately and only to informed adult tobacco consumers.

British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America (BATCCA) works with retailers - a group of key importance in the battle against underage smoking - in order to contribute towards youth smoking prevention.

However, in a few countries, with the support of interested parties, we are also involved in educational and advertising-based efforts to help discourage youth smoking.

Our approach

Our Youth Smoking Prevention campaign (YSP) has two main objectives: to prevent underage access to tobacco products, and to discourage smoking among this sector of the population. Our efforts are centred around three basic approaches:

  • Retail access prevention – These programmes aim to block sales to the under age at the point of sale. They include proof-of-age schemes and retailer motivation on the importance of not selling cigarettes to minors.
  • Activities outside the point-of-sale – Our markets also implement awareness campaigns for the general population, as well as educational campaigns directed at parents.
  • Stakeholder engagement – We seek the support of stakeholders such as business associations, national and local governments, and non-governmental organisations, among others, to work together towards the prevention of underage smoking.
Our activities

The company’s policy is NOT to market its products to minors. Therefore, as of 2002, BATCCA has implemented different campaigns at regional level, directed at retailers, to prevent underage cigarette sales.

The initiative is the company’s specific response to the concerns of different sectors of society, and its purpose is to create awareness among retailers and consumers about the need to prevent underage smoking and adhere to legislation prohibiting tobacco sales to adolescents. We believe that youth smoking prevention is the responsibility of society as a whole, including the tobacco industry.

Nonetheless, it is important to highlight that underage smoking is a complex problem and there is no simple solution. However, by taking advantage of the experience and knowledge of all interested parties, including government, retailers, parents, teachers and youth themselves, we hope YSP programmes are accepted and successful.

What are we doing today?

From 2010, British American Tobacco is being implementing a global youth smoking prevention campaign. Its aim is to stress that tobacco products must be marketed responsibly and that retailers must NOT sell tobacco products to anyone under 18.

The point-of-sale is where consumers purchase tobacco products. Therefore, BATCCA is focusing its greatest efforts here in order to prevent underage access to these products. The global campaign has been implemented in more than 124,000 points-of-sale in Central America and the Caribbean.

“Volunteers for” Programme

Though British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America (BATCCA) implements many community outreach initiatives, the “Volunteers for” programme deserves special attention. This programme involves company employees and their families, who donate their spare time to participate in voluntary work activities that benefit the community, using resources contributed by the company.

As its name indicates, employees participating in the “Volunteers for” programme voluntarily donate their spare time and labour to carry out different social welfare activities, while the company acts as facilitator donating the required economic resources, including materials, transport, and food, among others.

The “Volunteers for” programme initiated in 2003 and adopts the name of each country where the activities take place; thus, for example, we have Volunteers for Jamaica, Volunteers for Suriname, Volunteers for El Salvador, Volunteers for Panama, among others.

In line with BATCCA’s Social Investment policy, “Volunteers for” focuses around specific areas of action:

  •  Empowerment
  • Sustainable agriculture/biodiversity
  • Civic and community life

“Volunteers for” activities have included reforestation and dengue fever prevention campaigns, cleaning and embellishment of social welfare institutions, beach cleanups, construction of housing solutions, and natural disaster relief, among other projects.

Each country carries out a minimum of two activities per year, with an average 65% employee participation.

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