Norfolk Southern Corp. has issued its fifth annual corporate sustainability report, documenting progress on the railroad’s efforts to reduce its business impacts on the environment.
The 2012 report can be found on Norfolk Southern’s environmental website,www.nssustainability.com. It highlights advances made in the five years since the company launched a sustainability program with the goals of achieving industry leadership in fuel conservation, emissions reduction, efficient energy use, recycling, use of renewable materials, and environmental partnerships.
“I am pleased with the progress we have made and the plans we have for strengthening connections with our people, communities, customers, investors, and all those who have a stake in Norfolk Southern’s success,” notes CEO Wick Moorman. “In five years, we’ve made a good start. We pledge our long-term commitment to corporate responsibility in sustainability practices and to the principle that environmental stewardship is essential to Norfolk Southern’s business success.”
The report details initiatives involving social responsibility, economic performance, and environmental conservation. Among other highlights, the railroad reports reaching nearly 60 percent of a five-year goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Norfolk Southern set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent per revenue ton-mile of freight between 2009 and 2014. By the end of 2011, the railroad had reduced emissions by 5.9 percent per revenue ton-mile. The report outlines strategies the railroad has adopted to reduce emissions, including use of technologies and computer-based systems to improve network operating efficiencies and the fuel economy of its locomotive fleet, the company’s largest source of carbon emissions.
“Even as increased demand for our freight transportation services has led to higher fuel consumption, we are constantly working to improve our greenhouse gas intensity,” notes Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer.
The report also updates progress on Norfolk Southern’s $5.6 million Trees and Trains program, an initiative launched in June 2011 with partner GreenTrees to reforest 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Delta. As part of a broader plan to reduce potential environmental impacts of its railroad operations, Norfolk Southern is working with private-sector partners to sustain longleaf pine forest ecosystems and to restore American chestnut trees to their native range through planting initiatives at former coal mine sites.
“Norfolk Southern’s sustainability program is all about minimizing our footprint while connecting with partners who share our vision for responsible corporate environmental stewardship,” Wimbush said.
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.
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