About BC Ferries

President's Message

July 11, 2017

Mark Collins, President & CEO of BC FerriesI am frequently asked what BC Ferries means when we use the term “sustainable”. For me, sustainable refers to three key areas: the way we care for our customers, employees and communities; our stewardship of the environment; and operating an efficient and accountable company.

Sustainable means caring for our customers, employees and communities in ways that help them thrive. Sustaining our customers and communities means actively seeking opportunities to be of service; BC Ferries employees are active in a range of community-driven initiatives, from preparing meals for those in need to taking part in shoreline clean-ups and doing volunteer work that communities tell us they value. It means many of our employees live where they work, in communities up and down the coast, and become contributing members to those communities. BC Ferries, for example, formed one of the largest corporate shoreline cleanup teams last year, collecting 1,521 kg of waste from B.C. beaches, and we plan to take part again this year.

We were recently acknowledged as one of B.C.’s top employers, which contributes to our sustainability. We are proud that many of our employees choose to stay with us for their entire career, some as long as 45 years. We work to provide our employees with professional development and a positive career experience, helping them raise their families and have a satisfying home life. Along with the Union and our employees, we have developed a comprehensive safety program, including a health and wellness component. We offer thousands of hours of training every year, and continually attract new employees to the organization – further contributing to the company’s sustainability.

We also care deeply about the environment that surrounds us every day. Our crew, like our passengers, has the opportunity to see firsthand the beauty and majesty of our coast, and we work hard to protect it. We also work hard to be at the forefront, as with our adoption of LNG as a fuel, our focus on reducing fuel consumption and energy usage and increasing shore power use to reduce emissions. On land, we practice the sustainability mantra of reduce, re-use and recycle whenever possible. For example, in 2016 a sizable portion of our organic waste, over 450 metric tonnes, was composted. On vessels and terminals that serve Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island and at our shipyard, we diverted 36 per cent of waste from landfills. A recent initiative to go paperless with our payroll correspondence will save over 100,000 sheets of paper per year.

BC Ferries has made a corporate commitment to our planet, becoming a member of Green Marine, a voluntary environmental certification program. Green Marine allows BC Ferries to benchmark our annual environmental performance and demonstrate continuous improvements by undertaking concrete and measurable actions that exceed regulatory compliance. BC Ferries recently became the only company to be certified by Green Marine in all three participant categories: as a ship owner, terminal operator and shipyard. What’s more, our SeaForward program brings BC Ferries’ existing environmental activities, conservation projects, community investments, and new sustainability endeavors together under a single umbrella. Overall, BC Ferries strives to steadily and continually lessen our impact on the environment.

Sustainable also means operating a lean, efficient and accountable company. At BC Ferries, we see ourselves as a connector of communities and we must reliably serve the B.C. coast. This takes a company that can prudently re-invest for the long term in our infrastructure and people. We take seriously our mission to operate in a financially sustainable manner that enables us to continually build for the future. Today, BC Ferries is rebuilding our infrastructure two-to-three times faster by dollar value than we did a decade ago, while maintaining low overhead and administrative costs. Our investments in infrastructure and new vessels help us better serve increasing customer volumes, with vehicle and passenger traffic levels in fiscal 2017 the highest on record since fiscal 2008. BC Ferries will invest about $3 billion into the service in the next 12 years.

As we see it, we are building a ferry system not just for our children, but for their children and grandchildren. We are in for the long haul, delivering sustainable service to coastal B.C., building for the future and working to leave the smallest possible wake.

Until next month, have a safe and enjoyable summer,

Mark

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