Social Affairs

BVTE member companies take their social responsibility very seriously. For many years, they have met the highest standards in terms of working conditions, such as diversity, safety and work-life balance. The three BVTE members BAT, JTI and Reemtsma, for example, are among the 165 top employers in Germany that have been awarded the "Top Employer Germany" seal.

Social responsibility towards society is also regularly and consistently exercised through numerous measures and campaigns. Foundation activities, help days and major fundraising campaigns are firmly anchored in their corporate culture.

Tobacco as an employer

Awards from the Top Employers Institute

All BVTE member companies are committed to creating a working environment that values all employees equally, regardless of gender, nationality or ethnic origin. As attractive employers, they enable a flexible way of working to be able to balance family and career life. BAT, JTI and Reemtsma are among the 165 top employers in Germany that were awarded the "Top Employer Germany" seal in 2023.

Top Employer

This seal of quality has been awarded since 2003 by the Top Employers Institute, an independent organisation for the certification of working conditions. Only companies that offer their employees an outstanding working environment, development opportunities and comply with strict criteria receive the “Top Employer” award following an in-depth certification process and audit. Certification is based on an inventory and analysis of more than 600 company practices. These include, for example, HR strategy, leadership culture, digital HR management and talent acquisition. The general working environment, development and career opportunities, remuneration and bonus models, the integration quality of new employees are also analysed, as are the well-being and commitment of employees, the significance of diversity and inclusion and company values.

JT International Germany GmbH is the largest employer in the tobacco industry in Germany and employs around 2,200 people at its two sites in Cologne and Trier. The company has been awarded the "Top Employer Germany" seal for the tenth time in a row since 2013. The company has also been recognised as a "Global Top Employer" for nine consecutive years and is one of only 15 companies worldwide to have received this title in 2023.

The long-established Hamburg-based company Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH is part of the British Imperial Brands PLC and the second largest company in the German tobacco market - with almost 2,000 employees at its sites in Hamburg, Langenhagen and Trossingen. Reemtsma was certified as a "Top Employer Germany" for the sixth time in a row in 2023 and was also recognised as a "Top Employer Europe".

British American Tobacco (Germany) GmbH is the third-largest tobacco company in Germany. The BAT companies in Germany employed a total of 840 people in 2019. BAT has received the "Top Employer Germany" award every year since 2006 and for the 18th time in a row, making it one of the most attractive employers in Germany.


Social Commitment

BVTE member companies have firmly anchored social commitment in their business principles and are involved in numerous areas. Some examples of their social commitment are presented below. Other measures and campaigns can be found on the members' websites.

For many decades, British American Tobacco has been committed to improving the living conditions of people at its business locations around the world. Its commitment to society is focussed on two areas: sustainable agriculture and rural communities, and empowerment. In the last three years, the BAT Group has therefore invested GBP 46.1 million (approx. EUR 54 million) in community and charity projects, including over GBP 13 million (approx. EUR 15 million) in 2019. "Education makes you strong" - this is the approach the BAT Group pursues in the funding area of empowerment. In Germany, this concept is implemented as part of foundation activities. For example, the Foundation for Future Studies has set itself the task of acting as an interface between business, science, politics and society to develop sustainable solutions for a better quality of life.

BAT Germany has also been committed to supporting students with a refugee background since 2017. In 2020, the company supported five refugees with German scholarships at the University of Hamburg. The company was also actively involved in promoting the fine arts at its Hamburg and Bayreuth sites for many decades.

Reemtsma is convinced that corporate responsibility and social commitment do not stop at the company gate but must go far beyond and have done so for over 110 years. This tradition gave birth the Reemtsma Help Day in 2012. Once a year, up to 150 employees at the Hamburg site are released by Reemtsma to volunteerat various charitable organisations in the city.

The selected projects range from environmental protection, nature conservation and animal welfare to helping the needy and refugees, as well as initiatives that promote social interaction, social participation and integration. Over the years, the Reemtsma Help Day has established close partnerships with Hamburg organisations. Other examples of how Reemtsma fulfils its social responsibility include Reemtsma Help for the Homeless and Reemtsma Foundation for the Promotion of the Gifted. Find out more here Reemtsma Responsibility.

JTI believe that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in society. To make this possible, JTI runs local programmes and initiatives at all its sites. Through these programmes, JTI seeks to promote social inclusion in the spirit of the United Nations and make rural communities more resilient to adversities. JTI also offers its employees the opportunity to volunteer, utilise and develop their skills for the benefit of their local communities.

In Germany, JTI has been committed to supporting art and culture for many years. The JTI Trier Jazz Award is one of the company's commitments to its Trier location. At JTI, supporting local cultural projects stands for social responsibility, but also for entrepreneurial thinking. Through its cultural commitment, JTI contributes to improving the quality of life at its locations – art is a basic human need.

Not just international corporations but also BVTE's SME members take their social and environmental responsibility very seriously. Entrepreneurial activities includes responsibility for employees and the region. The GIZEH team, for example, took part in a voluntary rubbish collection campaign together with friends and family, in the region and collected half a container of rubbish and cigarette butts at the Aggertalsperre reservoir in just a few hours.

Responsibility in the value-added process, for employees and society is also important to Von Eicken in Lübeck. The company is committed to always striving for a balance between nature and people and to using natural resources carefully and sustainably on a daily basis.

Landewyck also takes social and environmental responsibility very seriously. For this reason, Landewyck constantly strives for a balance between the three pillars of responsible corporate behaviour in all areas of the Group's activities.

Social commitment