The sole intention of profit-seeking among organisations has now been increasingly superseded by the need to acquire the favour of customers: both xisting and potential customers. Companies that intend to be at the top of their respective industries, or even survive, need the favour of the public. They could do this by presenting a positive image through marketing or they could touch a more profound aspect of their target market particularly those applicable to the morals and principles of the public. This need spawned what is termed as corporate social responsibility (CSR). Business organizations in Bangladesh are now widely involved in these CSR activities and British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) is one of them.
This report mainly investigates about the CSR activities of BATB and keeps an eye on its controversy.
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An enterprise’s usual main goal is to establish itself in the business world and reach the largest market possible. Shortly speaking, business is basically about money-making. Employing jobs is the most important benefit an enterprise gives that helps run the economy. The business industry is the main core of economy of a country. However, gaining profit should not only be the sole focus of a business.
Founding an enterprise engages in larger social responsibility. Social responsibility involves everyone in the society, from individuals to groups and organizations. It is an ideology that citizens should not function as individual beings with selfish motives but instead contribute to the welfare of the society. In the business world, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a mechanism of self-regulation in which it continues to focus on gaining profit but ensuring the enterprise abides by the law, support ethical standards and consider international norms.
In this case, businesses embrace the responsibility of its stakeholders, employees, consumers, communities and the environment. Essentially, corporate social responsibility deliberately includes the public interest into enterprise decision-making and voluntarily eliminates practices that harm the general public. However, critics debate that CSR distracts the fundamental economic role of businesses because considering public interest might decrease its contribution to the economy in financial terms. Considering public interest could confine the innovations and market of an enterprise, thus losing money.
But nonetheless, the pressure applied on industry in improving ethical business processes has increased due to arising issues of 21st century marketplaces. Regardless of many controversies, corporate social responsibility has definitely found its place in every establishment and British American Tobacco is one of the leading group companies that consider corporate social responsibility. Due to the nature of their product, tobacco companies face much criticism from many fronts, particularly the media and NGOs.
This public criticism has meant tobacco companies strive to implement sound and commendable CSR principles, initiatives, and codes, often voluntarily reporting on their CSR or sustainability activities. Tobacco companies have also faced criticism regarding their lobbying practices since the 1950s and onwards. Engagement with stakeholders has demonstrated to BAT that its product causes harm to its users, and believes that a responsible tobacco company should take steps to reduce the level of harm as much as possible.
British American Tobacco in particular has been widely lauded for its CSR and stakeholder engagement initiatives, while at the same time strongly censured and targeted by multiple NGO reports and in the press.
Objective of The Study
The main objective of the paper is to explore the running and existing CSR practices done by BAT. First, definition of CSR is analyzed from the economic perspective of business organization and consumer evaluation. Secondly, we focus on the key drivers of CSR in Bangladesh.
Thirdly, we discuss about the history and its existing and running CSR activities of BATB. On the next section we focus on the controversy about the CSR activities of BAT. Finally , we conclude the paper with some recommendation.
Limitations of The study
The study was limited by a number of factors. Firstly, the study was confined only to Bangladesh. Secondly, I wanted to include some other information like impact of CSR towards the overall performance of BATB, the overall cost of CSR inside the organization etc but I didn’t get supporting information in the internet.
Finally, time constraint led to get narrower outcomes, and finally the knowledge constraint of time constraint led to get narrower outcomes.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Theorists are increasingly covering a wide range of issues such as workplace, marketplace, environment, community, ethics, and human rights on the area of CSR. Though there are hundreds of studies examining CSR, researchers still lack of agreement on a precise definition about it. For defining CSR, they have used several factors, theories, and perception about it.
Economic perspective of organizations is one of the most important determinants of their CSR. Those who adopt neoclassical view believe that doing good to society is not the purpose of business (Friedman, 1962). They concentrate mainly on profit maximization and consider only payment of taxes and provision of employees as CSR. There are other organizations that find this neoclassical view quite non-normative and adopt a moral approach linked to social expectation (Holmes, 1976). In addition to profit making, they are involved in CSR for their moral obligation to society.
They take a view that because business has resources and skills it should help to solve problems of society. Other than these two approaches, there is another broad strand named enlightened self-interest (CCPA, 2000). The adapter of this approach find that by attaining a enhanced social role an organization can get business benefit, long term business sustainability and maintain support of its community. But it leaves a controversy whether this approach is motivated by only profit motive as it was in neoclassical approach or there underlies any moral or ethical imperative.
A fundamental question often arises about CSR that “socially responsible to whom”. To answer this question, Freeman argued that business relationships should include all those who may “affect or be affected by” a corporation. Much of the research in stakeholder theory has sought to systematically address the question of which stakeholders deserve or require management attention (Freeman, 1984, p. 46).
Approaches to this question have focused on relationships between organizations and stakeholders based on exchange transactions, power dependencies, legitimacy claims, or other claims. Researchers have attempted to integrate stakeholder theory with other managerial perspectives, particularly theories of governance and agency. In this theory, stakeholders are typically analyzed into primary group (including shareholders, investors, employees, customers, suppliers) and secondary groups (who influence or are influenced by the corporation, but they are not engaged in transactions with the corporation).
Social Contracts Theory
Donaldson and Dunfee’s social contracts theory provides a realistic and balanced approach to ethical decision-making that requires managers to consider firms’ ethical obligations to respect local community norms without violating universal moral principles. Hence companies who adopt a view of social contracts would describe their involvement as part of “social expectation”.
Legitimacy theory asserts that organizations continually seek to ensure that they operate within the bounds and norms of their respective societies, that is, they attempt to ensure that their activities are perceived by outside parties as being “legitimate” (Suchman, 1995). These bounds and norms are not considered to be fixed, but rather, change over time, thereby requiring the organization to be responsive to the environment in which they operate.
Evaluation of CSR Consumer evaluation of CSR differs from country and culture (Clarkson, 1995). CSR usually exchanges consumer support approval in return.
After reviewing the research of Todd Green and Fohn Peloza the consumer responses found are:
- Consumer responses to CSR depend on how CSR is manifested. For example, cause related marketing (donating a percentage of sales) is less effective than unrestricted cash donations at countering negative news about firm. One other hand, consumers are more likely to support firms that engage in cause related marketing when compared to the firm involvement in advocacy advertising (encouraging customers to support a given social issue with no overt request to purchase from the firm). Customers evaluate CSR of a firm according to their own interest, morals, and priorities. For example, a consumer may not support McDonalds because of their work with McDonalds Children’s Charities, but they will be highly motivated because of the healthy products it now offers in its menu.
- Social performance of a firm is about the evaluation of actions, and not the actions themselves. For example, a question often arises whether Wal-Mart be considered a responsible company for providing consumers with low-priced goods or an irresponsible one for paying its employee low wages.
Key drivers of CSR in Bangladesh
The current agenda for CSR in Bangladesh is driven by three factors, of which the main impetus for change is an increasing scrutiny of the local practices of subsidiaries of MNCs. The continuing incidents of pollution, exploitation, and increasing local appreciation and buy-in to world-class CR closely underpin the case for change to a wider adoption of CSR practices. The increased social consciousness of western consumers, brought about through high-profile cases of corporate exploitation, has been a strong impetus for companies to focus on CSR practices.
This has placed pressure on local subsidiaries of international MNCs to be held accountable and responsible. One sector where this is increasingly evident is the garment sector in Bangladesh. Here companies tend to perform better on CSR practices relative to other sectors, due to increased scrutiny and standard setting by their parent companies (Mortier,2003). In Bangladesh, the ability to hold companies accountable has also been facilitated to some extent, by the significant growth in the number of local NGOs (non-governmental organizations).
In 1970, it was estimated that there were around 40 NGOs operating in Bangladesh. By 1999, the figure was estimated at 22 000, of which around 150 are of foreign origin . In Bangladesh, as elsewhere in the world, out of the trend towards privatization and market liberalization policies, a discourse has emerged on the imperative for business to take up wider social responsibilities, which would both complement the role of the state and fill in the space created through possible retreat of the state.
An example of this is the HIV/ AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus / Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) initiative kicked off in 1998 by FICCI (Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in Bangladesh and UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), so as to form a business coalition on AIDS in the country (Matin 2002). The imperative for CSR is also the continuing evidence of issues and incidents relating to the wasteful use of scarce resources and pollution caused by industries, as well as by consumers in Bangladesh.
Some examples of these include the struggle between shrimp farmers and rice growers over land usage, the deforestation of the Chittagong hill tracts due to gas and oil prospecting, and the pollution of the Gulshan-Baridhara lake in Dhaka from the dumping of industrial waste from the Tejgaon, Badda, and Mohakhali industrial areas. These incidents have been reported in the international press as well as on international business and human rights websites, and have resulted in greater international and local demands for CSR practices.
Local and global resistance to corporate irresponsibility has resulted in community campaigns in the case of shrimp farming in Bangladesh, as well as quality pressures from European Union health regulators and consumer boycotts in Europe. Together, these local and global pressures have helped shape the CR agenda in Bangladesh. The drive for improved CR is evident in certain sectors through a new generation of business leaders, keen to develop new skills and new business practices that encompass thinking about a ‘triple bottom line’.
For example, a local company in the textile industry – Beximco Textiles – is part of a leading industrial corporation and a Greenfield technology partnership. It has achieved global competence in environmental and technological standards through integrating sustainability into innovation and corporate strategy. It has also successfully demonstrated the market benefits of vertical integration. Beximco is now leading the efforts of the Bangladesh Textile and Mills Association at establishing a homegrown code of conduct, comparable to international standards. . History of British American Tobacco Bangladesh British American Tobacco Bangladesh Company Limited is a subsidiary of British American Tobacco and is one of the 68 countries in which BAT has Manufacturing plants. It is one of the oldest and largest multinational companies operating in Bangladesh. BATB started its journey as Imperial Tobacco Company Limited in the undivided India in 1910. After the partition of India, Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) was established in 1949 to meet the demand for cigarettes of whole of Pakistan.
The monthly volume of sales in the former East Pakistan soon reached 40 million. The population of Dhaka was that time a mere . 25 million. All the local cigarettes including Capstan, Wills, Scissors, Passing show, Berkley and Tiger were manufactured in Mouripur Factory of Karachi in West Pakistan and were sent to Bangladesh and sold there. The East Pakistan became embroiled in the struggle for achieving full Provincial Autonomy in 1970 and this eventually lead to the civil war and emergence of independent Bangladesh on 16th in December, 1971.
After Bangladesh came into being, all properties of Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited (PTC) were declared as “ abandoned property” because the owners were citizens of a state which was engaged in war with Bangladesh after 25th March, 1971 and the ownership of the Company vested in the Government under the Bangladesh Abandoned Property (Control Management and Disposal) Order,1972 (known as P. O. 16). The new infant Government allowed the local and the expatriate British Management of the former PTC to continue to operate the Company and the reconstitution process was set in motion in 1972 by BAT.
The Marketing Department afterwards became no more than an allotment centre. Its role became limited to the allotment of whatever cigarettes that could be produced in the two Cigarettes Factories, to the Distributors. There was an acute shortage of skilled man power (the skilled employees had left for Pakistan), tobacco, Wrapping materials, spare parts and foreign currency. All these except the foreign currency used to come from West Pakistan.
After independence of Bangladesh, import of hand-made biris and ‘Tendu` leaves as wrapppers for locally made biris, were allowed from India and low-priced paper wrapped cigarettes rapidly lost both grounds and the volume to biris due largely to economic hardship, scarcity of cigarettes-for want of tobacco, wrapping materials and spare parts for the running of the Mollins Mark V makers and the M 2 and the Duplex packers. The sales volume came down to 550 million per month in 1972-73 from its early peak of 1,200 million of an year ago.
As the Company fell into great crisis of foreign exchange along with management and technical support,the Company was compelled to develop its own resources particularly the raw inputs. The proposed name of the company to be incorporated in Bangladesh to succeed PTC, was Tobacco Company Limited (TC) and the Company operated under this name till 2. 2. 1972. TC sought permission from the Ministry of Finance on 28 December, 1971 and the Ministry of Industries (the Ministry) on 30 December,1971 for permission to operate the bank accounts which were in the name of Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited (PTC).
As BTC has always been a part of BAT and over the years BTC has proved to be the perfect representative of BAT by manufacturing and marketing quality brands of cigarettes which met the standards of BAT. In recognition to its commitment towards BAT and the important role it played on BAT group, BTC was later named as British American Tobacco Bangladesh Company Limited (BATB).
CSR Activities of BATB
British American Tobacco Bangladesh has always taken seriously its wider role as a corporate citizen. The company is committed to building constructive partnerships for change, listening to our stakeholders to try and understand their expectations, and defining and demonstrating responsible behaviour. It is the single largest revenue generator in the private sector, generating some Tk. 1,700 crores in the 2002/03 fiscal year in supplementary duty and VAT for the government. Through various initiatives and projects, it is also involved in improving the environment, supporting community development programmes, promoting arts and culture,and assisting with primary health care and disaster relief. Here's a glimpse of some of our key activities.
British American Tobacco Bangladesh is committed to continuous improvement. Its approach to Social Reporting recognises that running a business is not just about profits. Social Reporting aims to strike a balance between meeting stakeholders' reasonable expectations and running a successful business The company has established a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Steering Group chaired by the Managing Director and consisting of the Deputy Managing Director and all function heads.
It is responsible for the review of stakeholder feedback, the development of responses, the integration of CSR principles into its business activities, and overseeing British American Tobacco Bangladesh follows the accepted standard for Social Reporting (AA1000), developed and regulated by the Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility (also known as AccountAbility). This standard allows users to embed the social accounting, auditing and reporting procedures into current management systems.
The essence of this standard includes:
- Putting stakeholder dialogue at the centre of our approach;
- Embedding the approach, while engaging in dialogue and producing regular reports;
- Following both the AA1000 and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework;
- Being measured against the AA1000 Standard through a highly rigorous external verification.
This Social Report focuses mainly on issues raised in the the preparation of the Social Report. stakeholder dialogue sessions. It also provides overviews on a number of other key and relevant topics.
Contribution to environmental amnagement
Stakeholders are expressing their concern regarding the impact that tobacco cultivation has on the environment. While afforestation programme by British American Tobacco Bangladesh was commended, some stakeholders felt that the company was also contributing to deforestation, as wood cut down for tobacco curing by farmers could become timber in the future. They also expressed their concern regarding the soil fertility issue due to tobacco cultivation. Stakeholders mentioned that British American Tobacco Bangladesh should make more meaningful contributions to environmental management.
Each stage in the production, distribution and consumption of tobacco products has environmental implications. British American Tobacco companies are in a position to influence directly some of the environmental impacts occurring during the product life cycle. Its aim is to minimise or eliminate these impacts to reduce our burden on the environment. Wherever it cannot directly manage impacts, it seeks actively to encourage best practices amongst suppliers, clients and consumers. Since almost all the raw materials used for the production of cigarettes are based on goods from the natural environment, such as tobacco, paper and board.
British American Tobacco has committed itself to attaining world class standards of environmental performance. In line with this approach, British American Tobacco Bangladesh already focusing on reducing wastes,promoting recycling, reducing water consumption, using raw materials efficiently, improving soil's nutrient composition, introducing alternatives to agricultural chemicals and wood fuels in tobacco growing, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and limiting atmospheric emissions.
Afforestation British American Tobacco Bangladesh started the country's largest private afforestation programme in 1980 and distribute more than 3. million saplings annually. Until now, it has contributed over 6. 35 crore saplings of different varieties countrywide. Most of these are located in the tobacco growing areas of Kushtia, Rangpur, Manikganj and Chittagong including the developing areas of Lama and Alikadam in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. It has been given recognition by the government for its well managed afforestation programme. The recognition came through the Prime Minister's award given to us in 1993, 1999 and 2002 for its contributions to the country's afforestation programme.
In 2008 the company received the award for the tree plantation initiative in Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong. The company also received awards in four other occasions as national recognition for contribution in tree plantation. It also received several awards from the local government bodies for participating in tree fairs at districts levels. British American Tobacco Bangladesh is one of the four operating companies in the British American Tobacco group, chosen under the global initiative of BAT Biodiversity Partnership, to formulate a local biodiversity strategy and to implement a portfolio of conservation activities.
The principal aim of this 'global thinking, local implementation' is to develop a replicable model for corporate biodiversity conservation based on 'best practice' examples derived from the pilot initiatives undertaken by these four operating companies of British American Tobacco.
Alternatives to Wood Fuel BATB meets 70% of its wood fuel requirements through alternatives like paddy straw, sugar cane bagasse, jute sticks, dhoncha sticks, mustard stalk, etc. It encourages all its 14,000 registered tobacco growers to use alternate fuel sources in tobacco curing.
It seeks to ensure efficient and sustainable use of wood fuel as far as practicable.
Fertiliser BATB uses potassium sulphate which is recommended by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC). It also recommends balanced use of fertilisers in the cultivation process. Fertilisers in Bangladesh are produced and imported by the government and price is fixed by the government. BATB buys the best available non-adulterated fertilisers from the government in bulk and supply at cost price to our farmers on a no-interest deferred payment basis.
This ensures availability of fertilisers locally at affordable prices. In the growing areas, it provides instructions on how organic waste of the homestead can be converted to compost in pits. Farmers are finding this low cost alternative very useful.
Soil Conservation BATB does not believe tobacco growing causes any imbalance in soil fertility. Tobacco growing itself leads to crop rotation and residual fertilisers, which actually improves soil fertility. This is evidenced by the increased yield over the years for both tobacco and other crops.
However, it conducts soil quality tests in the tobacco growing areas from time to time to determine the soil fertility status. Tobacco growing in the country has been going on for the last 30 years and there is no indication of loss in soil fertility in the growing areas. Another evidence of this is that farmers do grow other crops in tobacco growing areas. It tries to ensure that soil fertility issues are properly addressed within the existing cropping pattern. Its recommendation for crop rotation is: tobacco – green manuring - paddy/jute - paddy. Farmers are regularly trained on the use of balanced fertilisers.
BATB’s farmers have already taken up soil fertility programme i. e. green manuring and compost making and these will be further developed in the future. Research on producing organic herbicide using tobacco is going on in the developed world. Once any success is achieved, BATB will pilot it to see the impact on its crops.
Product waste and factory emission
The tobacco curing barns are generally 10 to 12 feet high with the chimney about another two feet higher. Hence, any smoke residue from the wood-fuel burning is emitted high in the air at about 12-14 feet.
The residual ashes are used as fertilisers. Every year BATB obtain a clearance certificate from the Department of Environment (DOE). This certification testifies that we are abiding by all environmental laws and regulations relevant to our operations. Recently a study was conducted jointly by DOE, Cantonment Board, DOHS and scientists from Dhaka University. No evidence of any significant environmental impact on the immediate neighbourhood of our cigarette factory was reported. However, recommendations made on making further improvements are being currently implemented.
BATB have a global policy on Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) practices that aims at achieving a high level of EH&S standards. The standards include the issue of waste management in our Green Leaf Threshing plant and Dhaka factory. A bio-filter plant was set up in 1996 at a cost of Tk 6 crore to reduce the impact of tobacco smell and residue from our Dhaka Factory. This is the only one of its kind in Bangladesh for any industry and is recommended by the DOE as best practice in connection with environmental pollution control.
BAT CSR towards its Human Resource
British American Tobacco Bangladesh continues to play a significant role in human resource development of the country. It offers world class human resource development trainings for our employees. In 2002 alone approximately 650 of its management and non-management employees attended 30 managerial and 156 technical training programmes on a wide variety of disciplines. As a result many of its managers are employed in BAT group companies in different parts of the world while many former managers are holding top positions in other reputed companies of Bangladesh.
It also provides training programmes to people outside its company. For example:
- It offers a 12-week internship programme for students of leading business schools in Bangladesh and
- Our Managers offer lectures on various management topics in different business schools
- provides marketing skills development programme for BRAC
- It runs management development programmes which are attended by managers of other business houses
- While we will explore the opportunity for exporting cigarettes, we are committed to satisfy the demands of our consumers in the domestic market.
If British American Tobacco Bangladesh withdrew from the cigarette business the demand for cigarettes would not disappear; it would simply be satisfied by other manufacturers.
Since 2004, BAT Bangladesh has recruited 37 talented managers from various leading universities through Battle of Minds. Thus, participants of this competition might get the added advantage to become a part of BAT Bangladesh! This is an exciting opportunity for young people to bring their difference and show the world what you are made of.
Battle of Minds is one of the most prestigious inter university competition in the country. British American Tobacco Bangladesh has been organizing this event since 2004 with an aim to develop the students into future leaders. Over the years, the competition has evolved to include contemporary issues to provide a platform for talented individuals to display entrepreneurial acumen. Battle of Minds thus enables potential graduates to prepare for the extremely competitive job market.
To develop the most vital element of the organization which is the human resource, BATB has put in a lot of efforts in responding to various changes and problems through effective formulation and implementation of human resource strategies through the HR department. It gives attractive facilities to its employees such as
- PF Loan
- Retirement benefits
- Workers' canteen
- Dispensary and medical treatment.
- Scholarship for employees children.
- Benevolent fund.
- Long service awards
There are certain guiding principles that center around the corporate principles of the company.
The core asset of the company is a result of the four philosophies that the company adheres to in every management aspect of the organization
- Open Minded: It encourages within the organization to be able to maintain an environment where the managers can have open-minded approach to various strategic decision-makings.
- Enterprising Spirit : The core asset of the organization will come from the enterprising spirit embedded in the minds of the managers, resulting from effective strategies.
- Freedom through Responsibility: Managers at all levels work with freedom of responsibility in their areas of functioning. Strength from Diversity: The Company derives its drive for effective attainment of goals from the strength of Diversity. BATB also motivate its employees through
- Bridging the gap between top level and lower level management
- Strive for excellent management practice
- From recruitment to selection and also from employee welfare to industrial relations, this department has to play an important role.
- Recruiting the right parson for the right job.
- Training and Development
- Fighting employee’s obsolescence.
- Assist operating managers to identify employee's training need. Assist the Training managers to design and implement training programs.
- To carry out general skill development program.
- Management training on Industrial Relations.
- Monitor on the job training and training offered by the training programs.
- They try to create and maintain a communication channel between the management and the employees independent of union influence.
- Employee briefing session.
- Quality circle meeting.
- Direct written Communique.
- Discussion with the union.
- Annual report booklet for the employees.
- Training and motivation session
- Open forum. Employment of security staffs.
Removal of Barriers Barriers, both physical and mental, were hindering the progress of the company. Company started removing barriers from early 1999. All offices were brought into a single location and all offices were made open. Managers and employees started using the same dining facility and the same uniform. Managing Director initiated Skip Level meeting with all levels of employees where issues are discussed openly. A Family Day was arranged where all members of the organisation participated along with their family members and enjoyed throughout the day.
BATB has introduced new Reward and Recognition system throughout the company to motivate the employees. Any employee, doing something extraordinary, is being selected as Champion for a specific month. As a result, people are opening up and trying to grab the title. This has generated a positive competition among the employees. Winning in Our World BATB has very good corporate reputation for excellent management practices base on Trust, Commitment and Achievement, which is the main driver to develop WOW (Winning in Our World) culture throughout the organisation.
The WOW values are clearly defined and employees, management & Union all are continuously striving to achieve these values. 6. Tobacco Industry and Corporate Social Responsibility: An Inherent Contradiction One area where BATB invests publicity efforts to improve its corporate image is the development and promotion of ineffective youth smoking prevention programmes. While these programmes are created to appear to dissuade or prevent young people from smoking, in fact the effect is often the contrary.
By portraying smoking as an adult activity, these programmes increase the appeal of cigarettes for adolescents. Proposed measures that involve proof of age for purchase at the counter are ultimately ineffective, as young people easily circumvent these restrictions. Tactically, these programmes serve the purpose of creating the appearance that tobacco companies are proposing solutions for the problems they create. In reality, they detract attention from proven, effective solutions—including price and tax increases—to which young people are particularly sensitive.
Tobacco companies vigorously oppose price and tax increases(Mortier ,2003) Perhaps most remarkable, and most cynical, are those BATB-sponsored programmes that aspire to public health goals. For instance, BATB extended their support to Shandhani Andhatyamochan (Blindness Relief) Lottery organized by Shandhani National Eye Donation Society by purchasing a large quantity of lottery tickets and making a donation to the Shandhani National Eye Donation Society, handing over a cheque at a public ceremony held the BAT factory in Dhaka.
No mention was made of the link between smoking and cataracts, a major cause of blindness. The same factory was the venue for an occupational health workshop for students of Bangladesh University. BAT Bangladesh Managing Director said upon accepting an award from the Bangladesh Scout Guide and Fellowship, “BAT is deeply committed to the development of the country and will nourish the company’s core value: Success and Responsibility go Together through contributions in different sectors of country’s socio economic development.
This report and these tobacco industry programs that seek to contribute to a greater social good urge the question: how can tobacco companies reconcile their main aim, to gain a maximum profit by producing and selling a deadly product, with the goals of CSR: business norms, based on ethical values and respect for employees, consumers, communities and the environment? Although BATB has given special priority to protection of forests to face the climate change phenomena, about 30 per cent of deforestation in the country has occurred due to tobacco manufacturing, according to an expert, reports UNB. Smoking also results in costs associated with fire damage and damage to the environment from the manufacturing and packaging of tobacco products," said Taifur Rahman, Campaign for Tobacco Free-Kids (CTFK) media and advocacy coordinator, at a workshop Friday. 'PROGGA' and 'Campaign for Tobacco Free-Kids' in collaboration with the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) organised the workshop titled 'Training Course on Media for Tobacco Control in Bangladesh' at the PIB auditorium in the city. Speaking at the workshop, Taifur Rahman said Bangladesh is one of the vulnerable countries across the world due to the rapid rise of its tobacco users. About 10 per cent of world's tobacco users are in Bangladesh. Tobacco users have increased 7. 5 per cent in five years from 2004 to 2009," he said. Highlighting the global scenario of tobacco use, Taifur Rahman said five million people die of tobacco related diseases all over the world annually. "If the trend continues, tobacco will kill eight million people by 2030 and one billion by the end of the current century," he added. According to a fact sheet, tobacco exacts a high cost on society and indirect costs of tobacco are estimated at US$ 652. 6 million (loss of income from death or disability due to tobacco-related illness). It said lost economic opportunities in highly populated developing countries are severe because half of all tobacco-related deaths occur during prime productive years (age 30-69). Over 57,000 people die in Bangladesh every year from tobacco-related diseases and some 16 per cent of all deaths among people aged 30 years and above are attributable to tobacco use. About 1. 2 million cases of tobacco-attributable illness are reported each year in Bangladesh.
Healthcare costs associated with tobacco related illness amount to 10 per cent of monthly household expenditures. The fact sheet revealed that about 52 per cent of adults (age above 30) use some form of tobacco. About 50 per cent of males and three per cent of females (age above 30) smoke, while about 22 per cent of males and 39 per cent of females use smokeless tobacco. Some 42 per cent of youths (13-15 years) are exposed to secondhand smoking in public places and 35 per cent of youths exposed to secondhand smoking at home, according to the fact sheet.
Children under 5 living in smoking households are more likely to be severely malnourished than the children who live in smoking-free homes. Advocate Syed Mahbubul Alam, policy analyst of WBB Trust, and Hasan Shahriar, training officer of PROGGA, among others, spoke at the workshop. In response to these controversies, Michael Prideaux, Director of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs of British American Tobacco says that “What if it’s actually about enabling us to demonstrate that our businesses
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