• Monday, July 22, 2024
businessday logo


Two decades of progress: Celebrating BAT Nigeria’s commitment to sustainability and growth

Two decades of progress: Celebrating BAT Nigeria’s commitment to sustainability and growth

By Olaoluwa Ibrahim

For over a century, British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) has been a landmark contributor to the Nigerian economy. As the company celebrates the 20th anniversary of its technologically advanced Ibadan factory, it’s crucial to recognize BAT Nigeria’s contributions to the Nigerian economic landscape as well as its ESG achievements. This signifies two decades of unwavering dedication to sustainability, innovation, economic growth, and responsible corporate citizenship.

BATN’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond mere words. Established in 2004, well ahead of the global sustainability movement, the Ibadan factory embodies a vision for the future. With energy-efficient design and a substantial 1.4 MW solar panel system, the company demonstrates a proactive approach to reducing its carbon footprint. This commitment extends to a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, setting a high bar for environmental responsibility within the industry.

Read also: Reducing Tobacco harm: Public health policy in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon.

BATN’s journey in Nigeria is marked by milestones that speak volumes about its dedication to the country. The acquisition of NTC PLC in 2000 solidified the company’s presence, while the 2001 Memorandum of Understanding with the federal government paved the way for collaborative efforts. This partnership resulted in the commissioning of the US$185 million state-of-the-art Ibadan Factory in 2003, a testament to the mutual benefits of cooperation.

The company’s investments have a ripple effect, strengthening the Nigerian economy. The US$30 million investment by third-party supplier NAMPAK SA is just one example. Furthermore, BATN has contributed a staggering N415 billion in taxes and levies between 2018 and 2023, directly supporting government initiatives.

BATN’s export operations, launched in 2006, stand as another significant contribution. The company has become a market leader, consistently ranking among the top 10 non-oil exporters, generating over $110 million annually in foreign exchange. This not only diversifies Nigeria’s export revenue but also positions the nation as a key player in the West African market. The company’s reach extends beyond the region, with exports to 11 West and Central African countries, and even the United States.

Recognizing that true success is intertwined with social responsibility, BATN fosters economic opportunities by creating an estimated 350,000 direct and indirect jobs. Their dedication to social good is further highlighted by a significant investment of N2 billion in Corporate Social Investment projects since 2003.

Economic growth is just one piece of the puzzle. BATN’s commitment to sustainable practices is evident in its 1.4 MW solar plant installation and certifications like IREC and AWS, all demonstrating a dedication to responsible environmental practices. The company boasts achievements like three years of zero lost-time injuries, transitioning to cleaner-burning CNG power in 2022, and achieving zero waste to landfill by 2020.

BAT Nigeria is also a champion of diversity and inclusion, with a noteworthy 38 percent of women in management roles. The innovative cigarette butt recycling initiative, launched in 2023, transforms waste into usable household items, further demonstrating their dedication to a circular economy.

Read also: British American Tobacco legacy: Building a better Nigeria, lasting impact

The impressive 17,388 cubic metres of water recycled in 2023 through their Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certified wastewater treatment plant showcases the company’s strong commitment to water conservation.

BATN’s story in Nigeria is far from over. Their dedication to innovation, sustainability, and social responsibility positions them as a valuable partner in Nigeria’s continued growth. As BATN celebrates its rich history in the nation, it’s clear that their commitment to Nigeria is a two-way street, fostering economic prosperity, environmental well-being, and a brighter future for all.

Olaoluwa Ibrahim writes from Ibadan.