Tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc. has added more transparency to how it's approaching the future of the company. It comes in the form of a new sustainability report – with online elements – released Tuesday.

Reynolds isn't dealing solely with the usual environmental focus when it refers to “sustainability.” Instead, RAI is talking about sustaining the company itself.

In a statement, the company's president, Susan Cameron, said encouraging sustainable practices at Reynolds will be key in steering the company into the future.

“It is important for our long-term business success to make meaningful progress on a range of issues, from minimizing the environmental impact of our companies' operations and products to promoting the well-being of our employees and the communities in which they live,” said Cameron.

RAI spokesman Bryan Hatchell says the report is intended to communicate to the community, employees and investors what the company's been up to.

“As you can imagine, the corporate footprint from larger companies is much broader than just environmental sustainability,” Hatchell said. “It's also social and economic sustainability, and those are the kind of factors we've incorporated into this new report.”

While the U.S. tobacco industry continues to face challenges in the flame-lit cigarette market, companies like Reynolds American have been finding success with alternative products, including electronic cigarettes. Still, some investors are wary of the industry because of an uncertain regulatory environment, especially for newer products.

Such changes in the business have made sustainable practices across the industry – and the communication of those practices to a wide audience – a priority for RAI, according to Hatchell.

The new report is available on the Reynolds American website, and will be updated on an annual basis.

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