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05/31/2021

Imperial Tobacco Canada unveils newly-refocused strategy

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Imperial Tobacco Canada’s newly-refocused strategy, called ‘A Better Tomorrow’ is aimed at improving the health and societal impact of its business.

“I realize that this is a bold action for a tobacco company to take, and announce on World No Tobacco Day,” Ralf Wittenberg, president and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada, said in a release. “But the world is changing, and we know that increasingly our consumers are looking for enjoyable alternatives to smoking.  This is our renewed commitment to deliver these products to them and provide the choice they are looking for.”

The company has refocused its strategy to put a sharper focus on what it calls "reduced risk products, which are being embraced by public health bodies and governments around the world." This includes, vapour products, tobacco heating products and modern oral nicotine pouches. BAT also recently acquired significant equity in Organigram, a Canadian cannabis producer, and has already launched its first CBD product in the UK.

“Smokers have long looked for products that can replace cigarettes. Most have not been satisfied with traditional alternatives, so have kept on smoking,” added Wittenberg. “But now, thanks to years of research and modern technology and innovation, we have exciting alternatives that provide adult smokers with a range of more enjoyable and less risky options. I have no doubt that these products will contribute to Health Canada’s objective to reduce the smoking rate to below 5% by 2035 – an objective we fully support.”

In addition to providing alternatives for adult smokers who want to quit, BAT's 'A Better Tomorrow' commitment includes sustainability initiatives. 

“In addition to our commitment to tobacco harm reduction for consumers, we also understand our societal impact both in Canada and around the world. As a result, we are moving from a business where sustainability has always been important, to one where it is front and centre in all that we do,” said Wittenberg.

The BAT Group has committed to carbon neutrality across its operations by 2030, 100% reusability or recyclability of its plastic packaging by 2025, and a 35% reduction of water use by 2025. Its efforts, which saw a 31% reduction in emissions in 2020 alone, recently saw it named a ‘2021 Climate Leader’ by the Financial Times. Imperial Tobacco Canada commits to undergo a thorough internal review to ensure it is a significant contributor to the global BAT targets. 

“We are immensely proud of our progress to date and excited by our strategy,” said Wittenberg. “This is truly a pivotal moment for Imperial Tobacco Canada, and I am extremely proud to be leading this transformation."