Sustainability initiative

A responsible sourcing policy to create lasting value for Canadians

When reviewing the impact of our activities on the environment and the people around us, we also have to look at everything involved in actually running the trains – the supplies that we buy and the services that we use – to ensure we deploy our actions more sustainably from the start.

Along with environmental and social initiatives, a core aspect of our five-year sustainability plan relies on implementing a Policy on Supplier Conduct and Responsible Sourcing, with the objective of integrating it into 80% of our suppliers’ contracts by 2025.


On the one hand, we are formalizing the way we hold our suppliers to the same standards of conduct we hold ourselves to. This includes:

  • Maintaining the highest standards of ethics, integrity and business conduct and respecting all of VIA Rail’s applicable policies and guidelines.
  • Treating their own workforce, as well as any individual with whom they interact, ethically, fairly, and with respect and dignity.
  • Providing their employees or anyone present in the workplace with a safe and healthy work environment.
  • Recognizing the unique culture and connection of Indigenous peoples to the land and working to develop mutually beneficial relationships based on recognition of rights, respect, and trust.
  • Managing and minimizing environmental impact as an integral part of their operations.


On the other hand, we are enhancing the way we purchase our supplies and services by gradually integrating sustainability in activities such as tendering and supplier selection. This will help us make tangible contributions to society, to the environment and to responsible economic development by selecting suppliers who meet requirements where appropriate, on these three fronts:

Social responsibility:

  • Maintaining recognized health and safety certifications such as ISO 45001.
  • Ensuring we offer equal opportunity to Indigenous peoples and businesses, marginalized or underrepresented groups as well as associations, cooperatives and mutual societies.
  • Delivering on our universal accessibility sourcing commitment.

Environmental responsibility:

  • Maintaining recognized environmental certifications such as ISO 14001.
  • Adopting a life-cycle approach, using eco-design and implementing concrete measures to minimize the environmental impact of products or services.
  • Prioritizing products with minimal, recyclable or compostable packaging that meet recognized environmental standards, certifications or eco-labels.

Economic responsibility:

  • Providing the total lifecycle cost of ownership for products or services.


We are happy to say that this policy will help us further the work that has already started. We had already made several changes to our onboard offering to improve sustainability, such as using single-lining cups, removing single-use plastic cutlery and reducing napkins and glass sizes to use 25% less plastic. And this is only a beginning, as we aim to offer a zero-waste experience in the Corridor by 2025.

You can find the complete Policy on Supplier Conduct and Responsible Sourcing here, and our five-year sustainability plan here to learn more about what we are doing to be part of the solution in helping Canada create a more sustainable future for all.