VIA Green Teams Get Industry Recognition

    MONTREAL, Oct. 6 /CNW/ - VIA Rail Canada received the Railway Association
of Canada's 2008 Environment Award today for creating 11 volunteer Green Teams
to raise and promote environmental awareness with passengers and their
communities across Canada.
    "The initiative is unique, brings flexibility and encourages individual
contributions to VIA's environmental performance," said RAC President and CEO
Cliff Mackay. "Their commitment fuels employee passion for reducing waste,
reusing and recycling materials."
    The first VIA Green Team was initiated in 2001 at the Montreal
Maintenance Centre to reduce waste and chemicals and build recycling
facilities. Since then, others have been established to rethink on-train
products and reduce paper consumption.
    Green Team members volunteer their time outside their normal work to
create awareness, support partnerships with others, and to organize
fundraising such as Toronto and Montreal employees climbing the CN Tower to
raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund. Green Team employees from
Southwestern Ontario planted new shrubs in the Cobourg Station yard in 2006
and the Halifax Green Team implemented a shoe-recycling program for Africa in
    They also participate in various community events such as Earth Day, Car
Free Day and Clean Air Day. "Our Green Teams are our best allies in VIA's
green approach," said John Marginson, the company's Chief Operating Officer
and head of Environment Management.

    The annual Safety and Environmental Awards program was created in 2005 by
the Railway Association of Canada, which represents some 55 freight and
passenger railways, to encourage workers to adopt safe, environmental
practices and operational techniques. They transport 75 per cent of surface
freight in the country, move 67.9 million passengers annually and generate
only three per cent of the country's transportation greenhouse gas emissions.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Roger Cameron, Railway
Association of Canada, (613) 564-8097,

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