Sustainable Tobacco Program
The Sustainable Tobacco Program (STP) is an industry-wide initiative, jointly developed by tobacco manufacturers and experts, to assure standards in agricultural practices as well as environmental management and key social and human rights areas. Through industry leverage the program delivers impact and continuous improvement in the tobacco supply chain.
The STP is developed in line with relevant UN SDGs as well as global standards, guidelines and reporting frameworks. The program is governed by the STP Steering Committee, which consists of representatives from PMI, JTI, BAT/RJ Reynolds, Imperial Brands, Altria, and Swedish Match, and managed by the STP Secretariat, an external party that holds a secretarial, project management and advisory role.
The STP addresses eight common industry priority themes: Governance, Crop, Climate change, Human and labor rights, Livelihoods, Natural habitat, Soil health, and Water. An industry guidance is defined for each theme, with specific goals and indicators to measure impact and track progress.
The first self-assessment cycle was completed in 2021. Future reviews will be done annually and based on the crop cycle. The aim of the first 3-year cycle is to perform third-party assessments on the subsidiaries of our suppliers that are located in geographies where there is an elevated risk of non-compliance with the high standard set by STP for each theme.
STP due diligence cycle
|Global, generic risk screening||Independent STP Secretariat||An industry-common process to identify what the generic risks (and possible opportunities) are and where (country specific results) the risks are the highest.|
|Self-assessment and validation||All suppliers;|
Independent STP Secretariat
|An industry-common process for all suppliers to perform self-assessment on an annual basis. Suppliers are asked to specify their commitment and procedures1) and report quantitative measures to show impact. The self-assessment results are then validated by the STP Secretariat.|
|Prioritization||Independent STP Secretariat;|
|Based on the generic risk screening and self-assessment validation results, a list of prioritized countries, suppliers and tobacco types are identified for an in-depth assessment.|
|In-depth assessment by third party||Prioritized suppliers;|
|The in-depth assessment is performed by a third party with subject expertise. This forms the basis for the consecutive stages in the STP process.|
|Dialogue for improvement||Prioritized suppliers;|
Independent STP Secretariat
|The STP platform delivers a standardized format for dialogue to promote synergies among stakeholders. This dialogue renders an impact oriented action plan aiming for improvement as well as effective results in measured KPIs set in the STP standard.|
|Implementation of actions||Prioritized suppliers;|
|A standardized log format is set to facilitate communication on progress. The results of this process provide input into the next cycle and show effective results in measured KPIs set in the STP standard.|
1) Procedures include farm monitoring, extreme breach procedure, prompt action issues procedure and grievance mechanisms and impact assessments.
Why we perform due diligence through STP
Swedish Match sources tobacco through major international suppliers, which contracts individual farmers seasonally. We have estimated that approximately 15,000 farmers scattered across the world are growing tobacco used in our smokefree products. With the industry sharing most of the tobacco growing markets and by working together within the industry in a non-competitive manner, we can use our joint leverage to drive social and environmental impact. The joint leverage helps the suppliers to focus on continuous improvement of their own sustainable practices rather than put extensive efforts on answering requests from each individual customer. Therefore, the industry collaboration through STP is a key element in our efforts to drive towards our sustainability goals and targets not least in relation towards prevention and mitigation of child labor and other human right risks in our tobacco supply chain.
Currently the STP covers nearly all of our tobacco suppliers for smokefree products. For more information on our efforts on human right issues in our supply chain, see page Human rights in our supply chain.