[Sust-mar] VIA Rail wins environmental award (fwd)

Paul A Falvo pfalvo at chebucto.ns.ca
Tue Dec 13 15:44:20 EST 2005

- from the Railway Association of Canada - 

OTTAWA - A textile recovery and recycling initiative by VIA Rail Canada was recognised by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) in Ottawa on Wednesday, as the winner of the association's 2005 Environmental Protection Award.

The award was presented to Lori Hokan, VIA's Service Design Officer, who led the recovery and recycling activity with business partners in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, by Bruce R. Burrows, the Acting President and CEO of RAC. The textile recycling idea was put forward by VIA employee James Kleiner, a Senior Officer in the company's Service Design department.

"Setting up the program and finding the appropriate partners took some time," said Ms. Hokan, "but after that it ran very smoothly." Under the initiative, VIA recycles and/or recovers old uniforms and damaged linen from its employees and operations, which it then delivers to partner Habitat for Humanity in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax. The uniforms and linens are resold in Habitat's thrift stores (better know as Re-stores) with the money helping to fund the construction of homes for needy families. In Toronto the partner is Canadian Mill Supply Inc., which makes much of the linen into all-purpose towels. Most of the uniforms and some of linen are given to local shelters. In Montreal, the partner is Certex, a charitable organization that takes old uniforms, clothing and linens for donations 
to third world countries, usually in Africa. If not for VIA's program, all of the above uniforms and linens would have ended up in landfills.

The textile recycling initiative was awarded points by the RAC for its originality, the fact it was cost effective, adaptable by other association members and for the popular support it received from employees, contractors and clients. In Vancouver, for example, VIA's contract laundry service has asked for a contact at Habitat for Humanity to which it could send damaged linen from other commercial clients. Recently, VIA's Montreal laundry service has also taken similar approach.

The RAC's award came in the same week when Mike Greenberg, VIA's Vice President, Environment, Procurement and Real Estate, reported to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal that passenger rail is helping Canada to meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

"The Kyoto Protocol calls for a 6% reduction in GHGs below 1990 levels by 2012," Mr. Greenberg told the UN Conference. "Even though we are carrying more passengers, VIA has already cut GHGs by 11% since 1990, and cut fuel consumption per passenger kilometre by 28%".

VIA Rail Canada operates passenger rail services across the country on behalf of the Government of Canada. Serving more than 450 communities coast-to-coast, VIA's goal is to provide Canadians with a safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable and responsible passenger service.  For more details on VIA Rail Canada's products, services and fares contact VIA Rail Canada at 888-842-7245 (888-VIA-Rail) or visit http://www.viarail.ca ( http://www.viarail.ca/en_index.html ) .

- 30 -


Sylvie Bachand
VIA Rail Canada
(514) 871-6119
Sylvie_bachand at viarail.ca ( mailto:Sylvie_bachand at viarail.ca ) 
http://www.viarail.ca ( http://www.viarail.ca/en_index.html ) 


Subscribing, unsubscribing and updating your personal profile

You can change your personal profile
or change your subscription options at


At VIA Rail Canada, we always respect your privacy. For
more information on our privacy policy, please go to

More information about the sust-mar mailing list