Philip Morris International (PMI) is the first company to be accepted into Sustainable Brands® new SB Voyager program. This new partnership, announced earlier this month, is yet another sign of PMI’s goal to further sustainability across the business.
Sustainable Brands® is a global community of brand leaders who inspire, engage and equip businesses so they can become more sustainable. SB launched its SB Voyager program at the beginning of March, which aims to support businesses that face significant challenges related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and reputation.
PMI’s CEO André Calantzopoulos hailed this new partnership with SB as an “important step” in the company’s transformation to a smoke-free future.* Calantzopoulos says: “Three years ago, at PMI, we made a commitment to a future without cigarettes, a smoke-free future that will improve the health trajectories of more than one billion adult smokers. We are actively transforming our business from the inside out and are doing everything we can to get to a smoke-free future as quickly as possible.”
As a company, PMI has structured its sustainability strategy around four pillars, keeping at the very core its goal of delivering a smoke-free future: transformation of the business; operational excellence; social impact; and reducing its environmental footprint. As an SB Voyager, PMI will have the opportunity to engage with the SB community and its corporate members as it continues to boldly pursue new, industry-changing paths to reduce impact and move toward a net-positive future. PMI will also be able to utilize the SB Brand Transformation Roadmap℠, a proprietary assessment sustainable business practices tool designed to help companies identify where they sit along a continuum of sustainable business practices.
KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Brands, says: “Change is tough, and even more so when pursued without critical feedback, guidance and accountability from a peer network of like-minded sojourners. We welcome PMI’s participation in this rigorous transformation process.”
For PMI, or indeed any tobacco company, to credibly speak about sustainability and contribute to today’s Sustainable Development Agenda, the purpose can be none other than to replace cigarettes with better alternatives for smokers, society, and the environment.
PMI has set ambitious targets as part of its company transformation and the highest level of attainment will be emerging as a truly ‘sustainable brand’ - a company operating a profitable, net-positive business model that seeks system-wide solutions through deep external collaboration. Speaking about the seriousness of the commitment, Huub Savelkouls, Chief Sustainability Officer for Philip Morris International, says: “For PMI, or indeed any tobacco company, to credibly speak about sustainability and contribute to today’s Sustainable Development Agenda, the purpose can be none other than to replace cigarettes with better alternatives for smokers, society, and the environment. This is an essential step to becoming a more sustainable business, the first of many steps ahead in our ambition to become a ‘sustainable brand.” **
*André Calantzopouplos was speaking in his role as CEO at the time. On May 5, 2021, Jacek Olczak succeeded Mr. Calantzopoulos as CEO, and Mr. Calantzopoulos became Executive Chairman of the Board.
** Jennifer Motles succeeded Huub Savelkouls as Chief Sustainability Officer on November 1, 2020, following Mr. Savelkouls’ retirement from PMI.