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VIA Rail Reaffirms Commitment to the Environment through Earth Day Partnership


Montreal – Reaffirming its commitment to the environment, VIA Rail Canada has announced that it will partner with Earth Day Quebec to raise public awareness of the challenges facing all Canadians in light of climate change and other pressing environmental issues. VIA Rail has also begun a series of modifications and improvements to its equipment and operations in order to reduce the corporation’s ecological footprint.

Raising Awareness on Environmental Issues

Among the activities planned for Earth Day on April 22, VIA Rail and Cité Rock Détente will host an event in Montreal’s Central Station aimed at helping the public learn more about how they can contribute to a sustainable future. In addition, there will be a contest live on the radio, starting at 5:30 AM and running until 1:00 PM, where winners will receive travel credits on VIA’s network.

“I am proud that VIA has established a partnership with Earth Day Quebec,” said VIA Rail’s President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Côté. “When you think about it, our partnership is quite logical. The train is an ecological and responsible choice of transportation … a green choice … which has the potential to play an increasingly important role in our efforts to move towards a greener future. However, an effort of this magnitude goes well beyond rail transportation. We must all do our part and set an example for others,” added Mr. Côté.

“At VIA, employees are invited to do their part and take concrete measures to protect the environment,” confirmed Mr. Côté. “It has become a cornerstone of our corporate culture where each department takes active measures to reduce waste, to re-use materials and recycle.”

Improving VIA’s Environmental Performance

“We are constantly improving the environmental performance of our operations,” stated John Marginson, VIA’s Chief Operating Officer. Since 1990, VIA Rail has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by over 15%. That represents some 31,000 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to 10 million litres of fuel. "We are aiming to reduce our ecological footprint even further by rebuilding 54 of our older locomotives. This will allow us to save 5 million litres of fuel each year. The implications are that by 2020 we will have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 150 thousand tonnes,” added Mr. Marginson.


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