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NYSE: RAI $64.50   +0.18 (0.279%)
Sustainability Homepage - Commercial Integrity - Environmental Sustainability
Environmental Sustainability

We are committed to effectively managing our companies’ environmental footprint while delivering high quality products to adult tobacco consumers. Minimizing our environmental impact is the right thing to do for society and for our bottom line.
In 2015, we completed a third-party environmental footprint assessment to determine where our largest environmental impacts lie. Not surprisingly, we found the significant majority of our environmental impacts not in our internal operations, but rather in our supply chain.
Internally, our operating companies work continuously to maximize efficiencies and minimize our operations’ footprint. This study has enabled further prioritization of our internal initiatives for environmental and financial return on investment, and has helped us identify a priority list of projects our operating companies have been pursuing. Read more about significant initiatives from 2015 in energy and emissions, water and waste.

Increasingly, we plan on working with our supply chain partners, including the tobacco growers with whom we contract, to identify and agree on mutually beneficial projects. Read more about our environmental supply chain strategy in the Supplier Responsibility and the Responsible Agriculture sections.

Goals and Leadership

Our goal is to minimize the environmental impact of our operations.

  • Stabilize Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission by 2025 to the 2014 level
  • Reduce GHG intensity by 20% by 2020 against 2014 baseline
  • Reduce energy intensity by 25% by 2020 against 2014 baseline
  • Reduce water intensity by 30% by 2020 against 2014 baseline
  • Recycle at least 60% of our facility waste by 2020

The executive vice president (EVP) of operations for R.J. Reynolds Company and EVP of public affairs for Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) are ultimately responsible for RAI’s environmental goals. Executives in public affairs, supply chain, operations, finance and leaf collaborate with operations to develop, coordinate and execute programs to achieve company-wide targets.

Each operating company identifies and selects its own strategies to drive return on investment and environmental impact for the targets they control. Using results from our materiality assessment, representatives from environmental, health and safety (EHS), engineering, facilities, energy and recycle teams prioritize and implement initiatives. Progress is continually reviewed, and results are consolidated and reported annually.

While initiatives are managed at the operating company level, the EHS managers meet regularly as a group to work toward common RAI goals, fostering innovation through sharing best practices and providing tools to the operating companies. Additionally, RAI’s operating companies hold an annual EHS Symposium, which brings together stakeholders from within and outside the companies. The Symposium serves as a showcase of EHS best practices, and a mechanism for recognition of innovation efforts.

Environmental Management Systems

Strong operating systems are critical to sound environmental management. RAI’s operating companies are committed to continuously improving environmental management systems, which are guided by a variety of strict standards:

  • Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (SFNTC) is ISO 14001 certified at both its North Carolina manufacturing facility and at its New Mexico headquarters. ISO 14001 is the framework for developing an effective environmental management system.
  • SFNTC’s North Carolina manufacturing facility is also ISO 50001 certified. This is ISO’s Energy Management System framework, which improves energy efficiency and conservation, and drives reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • American Snuff Company’s facilities in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Clarksville and Memphis, Tennessee, facilities have in place environmental management systems based on the ISO 14001 format. These facilities are audited annually to an ISO standard.
  • R.J. Reynolds and SFNTC are certified by independent third-party auditors to the ISO 9001 Quality Standard. ISO 9001 delineates standard operating procedures and work instructions. These procedures include recordkeeping, which provides the structure and database for many environmental management procedures.

Robust environmental management systems are essential to maintaining safe and sustainable operations. Our companies are committed to doing the right thing for our communities and society at large, and our environmental management systems enable our facilities to operate in a manner that surpasses compliance with environmental regulations. RAI’s operating companies continue to excel in environmental compliance, and we are proud to report zero environmental violations again in 2015. 

Audit and Assurance Procedures

Audits play an important role in our continuous improvement process. RAI companies commission regular, independent EHS compliance audits of their facilities. They utilize a risk-based approach that uses specific risk factors to establish when facilities should be audited. Large facilities are audited, at minimum, every three years. All other facilities must be audited every four years and management has the discretion to accelerate audit frequency.

RAI’s subsidiaries manage environmental performance by measuring, monitoring and reporting key environmental metrics such as GHG emissions, energy efficiency, water consumption and waste disposal. The data they report are verified by an independent third party.

External Recognition

Our operating companies strive for sustainable operations and continuous improvement because it is the right thing to do. We are proud that our companies’ efforts have been recognized by various external stakeholders, such as:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Leadership Award;
  • The Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards;
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index;
  • Forsyth county Environmental Assistance and Protection department; and
  • North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

A full listing of our awards can be found here.

Programs and Priorities

We recognize our companies’ manufacturing operations rely on resources and produce waste streams that may impact the environment. Our operating companies are committed to minimizing their environmental footprint and driving their environmental, health and safety (EHS) programs in accordance with the guiding principles set out in RAI’s Environmental, Health and Safety Policy.

Greenhouse Gas & Energy


Waste & Recycling