VIA Rail salutes Earth Day 2011; reaffirms commitment to green choices

MONTREAL, April 21 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada is pleased to support Earth Day 2011.  First launched as an environmental awareness event in the United States in 1970, Earth Day (April 22) is celebrated today as the birth of the environmental movement and has been celebrated in Canada since 1990.

"We have embraced the environment at all levels of the company, making it one of VIA's key corporate goals," said VIA's president and chief executive officer Marc Laliberté. "We  have taken the moniker 'a green choice' to heart, and are investing in real solutions for more sustainable public transportation options for Canadians today, and for years to come.  Many of these solutions come directly from VIA's 11 green teams, led by employees who volunteer their time and expertise to benefit the environment in the workplace and in communities right across Canada."

Reducing emissions

Since 1990, VIA has cut fuel consumption by 30 per cent, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 per cent. New technologies included in refurbished locomotives and rebuilt passenger cars that incorporate environmental enhancements (such as new, more efficient heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and lay-over systems), will together result in significant additional reductions in fuel consumption and GHG emissions. as these projects are completed over the next 18 months.

Reduce, re-use, recycle

"At VIA, everyone is encouraged to develop ¨reduce, re-use, and recycle¨ strategies in the workplace and on board trains," added Mr. Laliberté. A Green Procurement guide emphasizes the use of environmentally responsible products in all business activities. For example, recycled paper is used for onboard products such as napkins and toilet paper, and for printed materials such as train schedules. Coffee served on trains is 100 per cent fair trade coffee, which supports environmentally sustainable agriculture while improving living conditions in developing countries. Wherever possible, the Corporation recycles materials - from batteries to paper to discarded computer parts. And in recent years, maintenance teams have reduced the use of chemicals for processes such as water treatment and train cleaning by almost 50 per cent.


VIA has achieved an ISO 14000 environmental certification since 2001 at its Montreal Maintenance Centre, the largest facility of this type in Canada, and since 2002 at similar centres in Vancouver and Mission, BC, and Winnipeg, MB.. VIA was also recently recognized by the Railway Association of Canada for its uniform and linens recycling program, and for the work of its green teams.

For more information on Earth Day, go to or  Visit to learn about a uniquely Canadian approach to a very real global challenge, safe water.

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's ( mandate is to provide efficient, more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective passenger transportation, in the country's two official languages. Every week VIA operates 503 intercity, transcontinental and regional trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500 kilometers route network. The demand for VIA services is growing as travellers increasingly turn to train travel as a safe, hassle-free and environmentally responsible alternative to congested roads and airports.

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For further information:

Media Contacts:
Malcolm Andrews
VIA Rail Canada
(514) 871-6604


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