to Environmental Sustainability

SOUTHLAND has been utilizing propane as an alternative to diesel fuel since the 1980’s. We currently own and operate the largest propane-fueled fleet of school buses in all of Canada. As of 2020, this fleet has grown to over 850 buses! Not only is this initiative operationally viable, but it is a proven solution to reduce toxic emissions.

By using propane buses, we have removed 3,229 metric tonnes of CO2e from entering the atmosphere in 2019 alone! That’s equivalent to preventing 686 passenger vehicles being driven for a year.


Propane emits 60% less Carbon Monoxide than gasoline, 98% less particulate matter than diesel, and contains virtually no sulphur.


Our propane fleet helps us reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 44% when compared to diesel.


In the event of a leak, propane becomes 100% vapour that does not contaminate the soil, air or aquifers.

Understanding the impact of our environmental footprint and ensuring the preservation of the earth for future generations, has never been more important than it is today.

Transporting people and goods across this great province of ours is essential to our everyday life, but as a result, the transportation industry is the second largest contributor of Greenhouse gas emissions across the country. In 2015 alone, our sector was responsible for 28% of all emissions or 202 MEGATONS of gasses being released into our atmosphere. These gasses can have negative effects on our atmosphere, and harmful side effects on human health.

Founded in 1971, SOUTHLAND Transportation has been a leader in student transportation, and a trailblazer in forward-thinking transportation solutions. Our heart and soul are the communities we serve, so we believe in contributing to a sustainable future.

Looking to the future, SOUTHLAND’s parent company, Pacific Western Transportation continues to explore new sustainable technologies for the transportation sector. In Whistler, BC we operate a fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, and in St. Albert, AB we have been operating Electric Buses for transit since 2016. In 2018 we launched ‘ELA’, the first ever 100% electric autonomous shuttle pilot in Canada, a project open to the public that continues to expand into various locations around Alberta and beyond.

On Tuesday, June 4th, 2019, SOUTHLAND was invited to attend the 28th annual Emerald Awards, that took place at the Triffo Theatre in Edmonton. The awards are held by the Alberta Emerald Foundation and are meant to recognize and celebrate outstanding environmental achievements across all sectors in Alberta. We were named as finalists in the ‘Large Business’ category, for our commitment to the environment through STL’s operation of the largest propane bus fleet in Canada.

To learn more about Pacific Western Transportation’s sustainability initiatives, please visit www.pwt.ca/sustainability


SOUTHLAND ranks as the Largest propane fleet of school buses in Canada

Our propane fleet acquisition and expansion required the creation of new training programs for both maintenance personnel and operators, also, it required significant additions to the current infrastructure to expand its refueling capacity.

As a private school bus contractor, we are the second largest propane fleet in North America

Because of the nature of the precious cargo we carry, Safely Home every day, we have a constant reminder of what truly matters. This is why we are dedicated to creating a sustainable future for our planet, and why it’s at the forefront of our day-to-day operations.

Propane Buses were brought in because their potential to become an efficient alternative to Diesel fuel

In 2017, overall School Bus sales in North America show propane as the most popular alternative fuel accounting for 6% of the market. The Alberta Energy Regulator forecasts propane’s demand will continue increasing from 2018 to 2025 by a 14%.

Our fleet of propane vehicles has contributed to the market expansion of proven clean fuel

The use of propane as alternative vehicle fuel resulted in the revision of Canadian legislation and standards, namely MVSR, CMVSS, NSCS, and CSA D250-16. Changes have also been introduced to Canadian legislation so propane can be easily dispensed at fueling stations across the country.

Transportation needs to go hand in hand with the greener future we envision, and SOUTHLAND is working to make this a reality.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Position Statement

Pacific Western Group of Companies (“PWT”) recognizes that Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) factors represent both risks and opportunities for our business and key stakeholders – including our employees, customers, partners, and the communities in which we operate. We recognize that the way that we manage ESG factors has a direct link to the success of our business given the importance of ESG factors to the global transportation industry. As a leading provider of people transportation services in Canada, we are committed to doing our part to support positive environmental and social outcomes within the communities we serve.

Our Mission, Vision, and Core Values provide the framework that underpins our ESG approach. In conducting our business, our Core Values serve as a set of principles that define us as an organization, guiding every action and decision made by our people and informing and supporting everything we do.


To exceed customer expectations by employing talented people who share in the dedication of a company committed to Safety and Service.


We will grow a sustainable people transportation company through innovation, relationships, and our core values.

Our ESG Commitment

With our vision to grow a sustainable people transportation company, we believe that the integration of ESG factors into our corporate strategy is fundamental to our long-term success. Driven by the dual global imperatives to address climate change and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”), we recognize the vital role that the transportation sector plays in enabling the transition to a low carbon global economy and in driving sustainable real-world outcomes. Through our ESG Commitments, safety will remain our first core value, and is at the heart of all we do.

We also recognize that transparency and accountability is critically important to drive meaningful results. To this end, we are committed to adopting leading ESG reporting frameworks, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) Standards and the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) to provide this transparency to our key stakeholders.

Our ESG Approach

Our approach to ESG is guided by the following strategic pillars. These pillars are focused on the ESG risks and opportunities that we believe have the greatest potential to impact our value and performance, as determined by a formal ESG materiality assessment. These pillars are of the utmost importance to our key stakeholders, including employees and customers.

  • Continue to strive for health and safety excellence for our people and passengers through our Safely Home program
  • Support our people to foster an inclusive workplace culture and maintain a healthy, engaged, and diverse workforce
  • Strive to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions across all our lines of business
  • Seek opportunities to improve our governance structures to enable the effective oversight and management of our material ESG factors
  • Strengthen our relationships and ties with the communities in which we operate, including our Indigenous partners and stakeholders

To support these strategic pillars, we expect that everyone at all levels of the organization embody the responsibilities and commitments shared in this document. We expect our senior leadership team, onsite managers, supervisors, employees, and, to the extent feasible, contractors of PWT to support our objective to integrate ESG into our business by upholding our commitments to:

  • Enhance our understanding of the impacts of ESG across our lines of business and integrate ESG factors into our long-term strategic planning
  • Ensure sufficient budget allocation to maintain regulatory compliance on ESG factors and meet the evolving needs and expectations of our key stakeholders
  • Aim to capture ESG opportunities, including assessing and deploying new technologies to improve our ESG performance


PWT’s approach to ESG is underpinned by a governance framework that enables effective oversight and management of ESG risks and opportunities. The CEO has oversight responsibility for reviewing ESG-related management strategies, performance, and investment decisions related to ESG, including those related to climate change. The President and COO is responsible for ESG and has the highest level of management accountability for ESG issues, including climate-related risks and opportunities, and reports to the Board of Directors on ESG-related matters semi-annually. We are committed to maintaining strong governance structures that incorporate ESG considerations and, over time, bolstering our governance structures to exemplify leading ESG practices. Our Safety Council and Maintenance Excellence Committee will remain foundational to elements of our management and oversight of  safety and service as a core business and ESG priority.

Risk Management

We are committed to enhancing the integration of ESG  risks into our risk management processes to ensure that the unique and evolving nature of ESG risks, including climate-related risks, is appropriately assessed. Moving forward, we will leverage the results from our bi-annual ESG materiality assessments to help us identify and mitigate ESG-related risks over the short, medium, and long-term, and supplement efforts underway to embed ESG across PWT.

Metrics and Targets

We are committed to collecting, monitoring, and disclosing key ESG metrics to provide insight into our ESG performance and progression. Work is currently underway to enhance our disclosure on key metrics related to the ESG factors that have the most potential to impact PWT, as identified by our 2021 ESG materiality assessment. These metrics will be informed by the SASB Standards and the TCFD recommendations and will be provided in future disclosure.

As we continue to improve our ESG data collection and reporting processes over time, we will further evaluate the feasibility and relevance of setting ESG targets to ensure that we are accountable for advancing our ESG strategy over time.

Reporting and Disclosure

We will strive to continually improve our ESG and climate change reporting to our key stakeholders to enhance transparency on our ESG risks and opportunities, strategy implementation, and overall performance. As leading standards and frameworks for ESG- and climate-related disclosure, we aim to align our future disclosures with relevant SASB Standards, as well as the TCFD recommendations using a phased approach over time.