BC Ferries wins DuPont Safety and Sustainability Awards

BC Ferries

L to R: Mieke Jacobs, President of the Jury for the Dupont Safety and Sustainability Awards,
presents the DuPont Global Safety Award to Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO.


DuPont has announced the winners of the 13th Edition of the DuPont Safety and Sustainability Awards. The awards recognize outstanding intiatives aimed at enhancing workplace safety, sustainability and operational effectiveness.

Among the winners was BC Ferries (British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. and BC Ferry & Marine Workers’ Union) – one of the largest ferry operators in the world – for the Global Safety Award. “We are very pleased that our hard work and commitment to improve safety in our business has led us to be recognized internationally as the winner of the DuPont Global Safety Award,” said Mark Collins, President and CEO of BC Ferries.

Jury President Mieke Jacobs, Executive Coach with 20 years of Operations Management experience at DuPont, said that jury members were particularly impressed by both the quality and quantity of the projects submitted for consideration this year. “This growth is quite heartening, as I feel quite strongly that the recognition of positive contributions to workplace safety and corporate sustainability is crucial in galvanising the public and private sectors to promote and pursue improvement projects.”

BC Ferries moves over 21 million people and 8 million vehicles annually, on more than 186,000 sailings. With 4,500 employees, a fleet of 35 vessels, 47 terminals, multiple retail, food and beverage facilities, and a complex maintenance, supply, and distribution network, BC Ferries recorded revenues in 2016 of $834 million.

Despite a long-term commitment to safety, a high profile and tragic incident in 2006 led the senior management of BC Ferries to embark upon a major renewal of the company’s safety culture. Developed in partnership with the BC Ferry & Marine Workers’ Union, the employee-driven ‘SailSafe’ initiative has guided continual improvements to the Safety Management System over the last ten years. The initiative is based on the premise that all levels of the organization can participate by identifying areas for improvement. As a result, more than 4,500 recommendations, gathered from approximately 3,000 employees, have been incorporated into a series of 90 action plans organized under the four pillars of people, assets, procedures, and communication.

Following the conclusion of Phase III, ‘SailSafe’ has formally shifted from a defined safety implementation program into an ongoing, embedded commitment to safety excellence integrated into the full sweep of daily operations. To date, the initiative has not only resulted in fewer safety critical incidents, as well as improved training and reporting, but more importantly a 90 percent increase in the employee safety index and a close to 60 percent drop in passenger injuries.

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