VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) has reached some key milestones in its sustainability journey with the unveiling of its sustainability plan and its participation in the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact.
VIA Rail’s promise is that in the 21st century, Canadians need a transportation network that seamlessly, efficiently, and sustainably connects their communities, that is why VIA Rail has been transforming passenger rail service through its modernization program and its sustainability and accessibility plans.
The Corporation reviewed in 2020 its policies, practices, and sustainability priorities to inform the development of this robust and future-oriented five-year sustainability plan that will allow VIA Rail to reduce its environmental footprint, enhance its role as a responsible transportation provider and create lasting value for present and future generations.
Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer, said that: “Sustainability is fundamentally related to our value of acting today for a better tomorrow,” “It is a priority and the foundation of the future we are all building together. This plan focuses amongst others on climate action, responsible sourcing and waste management and it will be yet another way for VIA Rail to be part of the solution in helping Canada create a more sustainable future for all.”
This sustainability plan contributes to Canada’s various strategies and objectives and will embed environmental, social and governance performance in all VIA Rail’s operations so that it can be future ready and more resilient.
And it is aiming to reach various objectives by 2025, including:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% or more by 2030 (compared to 2005)
- Offering zero-waste trains in the Québec City-Windsor corridor
- Training all employees on sustainability
- Aligning 80% of community investments with the priorities of this sustainability plan
- Reaching 80% integration of the responsible sourcing policy by suppliers
The company notes that the plan was also designed to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on which VIA Rail can have the greatest impact.
Determined to continue moving forward on this path and reinforcing its commitment towards responsible business practices, VIA Rail recently became the first land transportation company in Canada to join the United Nations Global Compact.
It will uphold the compact’s universal sustainability principles and contribute to broader societal goals.