Sustainability & EHS Summit Europe: Speaker Insights From Diego Campos Of British American Tobacco

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Sustainability & EHS Summit Europe: Speaker Insights From Diego Campos Of British American Tobacco

In an environment of ever-increasing scrutiny, achieving excellence in environment, health and safety (EHS) is a multifaceted challenge. Practitioners must grapple with escalating demands for reporting, navigate intricate regulatory requirements, keep employees healthy, ensure operations are safe and sustainable, and undertake the formidable task of digitizing and streamlining processes. To help the European EHS community respond to these complex requirements, the Verdantix Sustainability & EHS Summit Europe is coming to Amsterdam, Netherlands on the 4th and 5th of June.

Ahead of the event, Verdantix gathered insights from one of the speakers at the summit, Diego Campos, to provide a sneak peek at the kind of expertise to expect in Amsterdam. Diego is Global EHS Compliance Manager at British American Tobacco, and he will be hosting a discussion group on "EHS Sector Trends in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods and Manufacturing".

Who are you and how has your EHS career developed so far?

I’m Diego Campos. I'm from Brazil, a husband and a father of a handsome four-year-old boy, based in London since 2021. With an environmental and safety engineering background, I have built my career in diverse sectors, including tobacco, manufacturing, energy, oil and gas, logistics, and heavy construction. Today – after 18 years – I am still thrilled to work in EHS, which I see as and like to call ‘the Art of Taking Care’.

I think I can say that I took all the steps you’d expect in an EHS/sustainability career path, starting as an Environmental Jr. Consultant, moving to Environmental Analyst, EHS Engineer, Safety and Environmental Coordinator, then taking multiple EHS and Sustainability Managerial positions, before the senior position I hold today, Global EHS Compliance Manager. Besides working in different industries, what I find super interesting to share about my career was the opportunity to work across various organizational and geographical levels. I’ve been lucky enough to develop a diverse geographical footprint, with numerous business visits to strategic locations across the globe, including: Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Panama, Pakistan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and many more. I can truly say that my EHS journey has taken me everywhere.

In your career, you have worked in many different geographies. When it comes to environment, health and safety, do you see many regional differences? If so, what are these?

Yes – working globally, I've noticed significant regional differences in EHS. For instance, regulations governing hazardous waste disposal vary significantly between countries. Cultural attitudes towards safety and environmental stewardship also influence compliance and the effectiveness of our corporate programmes. In some countries, people don’t want to share that they have had an accident, because in their culture the work is more important than anything else.

Understanding these nuances is crucial for developing tailored strategies that resonate with local stakeholders, while upholding global standards. After all, we must understand and know how to ‘speak the language’ of the person we are trying to impact. It is very difficult to apply the same strategy to an employee who carries out a specific, rudimentary activity in the interior of Brazil and an employee who operates a very high-tech machine in South Korea.

You work in both EHS and sustainability. How do you see the two functions overlapping?

EHS and sustainability go hand in hand: they are interconnected and integral to organizational success, as the areas share common objectives such as minimizing environmental impact, promoting workplace safety and enhancing corporate responsibility. EHS initiatives often form the foundation of sustainability efforts by addressing risk mitigation, resource conservation and stakeholder engagement. Integrating EHS principles into sustainability practices fosters holistic approaches that drive long-term value creation and resilience.

How do you see technology helping in your role?

Technology plays a pivotal role in transforming EHS management by enabling real-time monitoring, data analytics and predictive modelling. Advanced sensors, drones and Internet of Things devices enhance hazard detection and response capabilities, facilitating proactive risk mitigation. Moreover, digital platforms streamline compliance reporting, facilitate stakeholder communication and enable informed decision-making.

I really believe that embracing technological innovations empowers organizations to optimize EHS performance, drive operational efficiency and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Of course, for global organizations, the technology journey isn’t always that standardized, as some of the applications aren’t available everywhere – but as I always say, “EHS excellence is a journey, not a final destination”.

At the summit, you’re hosting a discussion group on EHS trends in manufacturing and fast-moving consumer goods sectors. What does the safety culture look like in that sector?

In the manufacturing and FMCG sectors, safety culture is paramount due to the high-risk nature of operations and the importance of protecting employees, clients and members of the public. Usually, the safety culture in these sectors revolves around leadership commitment, employee involvement, comprehensive training, clear policies, risk management, continuous improvement, open communication and recognition of safety achievements. By prioritizing safety as a core value and integrating safety principles into daily operations, firms create safer work environments, protect human lives and enhance overall organizational performance.

You attended the previous Verdantix EHS Summit Europe – how did you find that and what are you looking forward to most at the 2024 event?

Yes, I had the opportunity to attend the 2023 event in London, and it provided valuable insights to me with emerging trends, best practices and industry benchmarks within the EHS domain. It also served as a platform for networking, knowledge exchange and thought leadership, featuring engaging presentations and interactive discussions. Looking ahead to the 2024 event, I am eager to explore innovative strategies, learn from other industry experts and gain actionable insights.

If you had to pick between HSE and EHS, which would you prefer?

As you could see since the beginning of our conversation, I personally prefer EHS because it's commonly used in most organizations I've worked with.


Diego Campos will be attending the Verdantix Sustainability & EHS Summit Europe, which is taking place in Amsterdam on the 4th and 5th of June. Book your pass before the 25th of February to save €350 on your ticket to join Diego Campos, the Verdantix research team, corporates such as AkzoNobel, Amazon, Chevron and Netflix, and leading environment, health and safety vendors. See the full speaker line up and event agenda here.

Book your ticket here. If you are providing or selling services, technologies or products that improve environment, health and/or safety performance and want to attend the event, please fill in the Sustainability & EHS Summit Europe Sponsorship Enquiry form. Alternatively, register your interest in vendor tickets.

For any further questions on this please contact Moses Makin - [email protected].

Moses Makin

Moses joined Verdantix in 2023 as a Conference Producer in the Events team. His role is to shape the strategy, content and commercial direction of Verdantix events. Before joining Verdantix, Moses worked on conferences related to renewable energy and the early adoption of ‘deep-tech’. These events addressed topics such as energy storage, power purchase agreements, privacy-enhancing technologies, AI hardware, the IoT and animal microbiomes. Moses has a BA in Economics and History from the University of Leeds. Whilst studying for that, he completed a summer exchange in Hong Kong and an internship at the Civil Service.