Research: Demand for CSR among Millennials

Shehzad Munim on Embracing ESG For a Better Tomorrow

We have developed a clear road map to reach our ESG targets that include but not limited to driving environmental excellence by changing carbon neutral operation by 2030

How can companies make the transition from CSR to ESG?

Over the years, corporations have conducted CSR programs that have had a significant impact on society. However, the fundamentals of CSR have evolved through time into what is now known as the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) framework. ESG enables us to focus not just on CSR projects, but also on other facets of sustainability via an integrated approach. If we want to become a global sourcing hub, a country that will attract more FDI, then ESG should remain at the front and center of all corporate operations.

To facilitate the transition, businesses must embrace the concept of ESG. This will assist businesses in implementing ESG efforts throughout all of their business activities. As a responsible corporate citizen, BAT Bangladesh in recent years has embarked on a journey of transformation including the principles of ESG. The company has been working on community investment projects that support environmental restoration, social upliftment of communities and global governance. But along with execution, businesses must ensure periodic reporting of the initiatives so that they can not only maintain track but also share their good practices with the global community and inspire others to join the journey. In this spirit, BAT Bangladesh has recently launched its ESG report showing our commitment to creating A Better Tomorrow for all our stakeholders.

How can companies support the National Agenda with their sustainable practices?

Bangladesh has stepped into her 51st year as an independent country. We have made our mark by overcoming every challenge with determination and resilience. We have made progress on MDGs and are now focusing on SDGs. Despite our efforts, a large segment of our population is still marginalized and lacks access to basic necessities. As we work towards materializing the dream of vision 2041 of further developing the socio-economic standing of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, we need to address these concerns. I believe, taking learnings from the past and investing in sustainable business initiatives, under the framework of ESG will ensure a holistic development of our country.

BAT Bangladesh has undertaken many initiatives to support this through our efforts like ensuring safe drinking water for all, distributing fruit, forestry, and medical saplings as a part of our afforestation program and providing sustainable energy sources to people in remote communities. This has helped empower local communities and opened doors to many new opportunities for these people. I believe if we can have more initiatives like these in the future, we will be able to materialize the dream of our Honorable Prime Minister regarding a prosperous Sonar Bangla.

How is BAT Bangladesh working towards the goal of A better tomorrow?

At BAT Bangladesh, the strategy through which we reach our purpose of A Better Tomorrow is through transforming our business for a sustainable future. A key concept of that transformation is embracing ESG, seeking to put in front and center of all our operations. We have developed a clear roadmap to reach our ESG targets that include but is not limited to driving environmental excellence by achieving carbon neutral operations by 2030 and net zero emissions across our value chain by 2050. We are aiming for zero child labor and zero forced labor in our tobacco supply chain by 2025. We want to increase the proportion of women in management roles to 31 percent by 2025. We are also supporting the government of Bangladesh by contributing to 8 out of 17 SDGs through our initiatives. Thus, having a strategy that places sustainability as its core is something I am proud of. That is what I believe, and I am confident, will be able to deliver A Better Tomorrow for all our stakeholders.

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