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Sustainability is much more than a buzzword. It is an imperative.

I’m sure many of us are in the same pandemic predicament: our regular routines – from sleep, to diet, to exercise – are modified and may be out of whack.

Normally, I love to downhill ski in the winter. This year, though, I’ve taken up cross-country skiing because it is less complicated given current public health restrictions at downhill ski centres. Getting out on the trails is how I find balance and sustain myself.

Personal and corporate sustainability have been hot topics in recent years, perhaps even more so as we prepare to enter the recovery phase of the pandemic.

But sustainability is much more than a buzzword. It is an imperative.

On an individual basis, we need to be mindful of our day-to-day life choices, so we don’t end up with longer-term, lingering issues once the current health emergency is behind us.

Similarly, corporations also must be thinking about their daily operations with an eye to the future. We need to get the operational ins and outs right so we can be there for those counting on us for years to come. This includes our clients, stake- and shareholders, and the broader public who are all watching to see that we are making the right choices to be sustainable for the long-term.

This issue of RAC’s newsletter is all about sustainability for our sector.

It’s something with which our team in Ottawa and our members railways and suppliers from coast to coast are seized.

Whether it’s looking at our response to Bill C-15, Clean Fuel Standard regulations, or the latest federal environmental statements, or whether we are talking about the countless changes railways make to improve their operations every day, as an industry we can be proud to say that Canada’s rail sector is indeed on the right track when it comes to sustainability.

We are making the decisions – large and small – to have a positive, long-term impact on the communities we serve.

To paraphrase one of the better definitions of sustainability I’ve seen: “we are doing things today to ensure future generations of Canadians can succeed and thrive. We are living our commitment to leave this place better than we found it.”

In this edition, you will read about a member that is taking a true ‘can-do’ approach to sustainability and an associate member whose work ensures the safety and protection of those who live communities where railways are present. You will get to meet one of RAC’s resident sustainability champion, Stéphanie Montreuil. And we share with you some fascinating public opinion data from a recent lunch and learn with subject matter experts that contains plenty of food for thought about where we go from here.

Wishing you and yours a safe and healthy month ahead.