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Norfolk Southern launches industry-leading carbon calculator

Online tool helps customers accurately factor in the emissions impact of shipping decisions

ATLANTA - Mar 14, 2022


Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today announced the launch of a next generation carbon calculator to support customer efforts to account, measure and mitigate carbon emissions in their supply chain decisions. Rail is the most efficient way to transport freight across the landscape. Every day, Norfolk Southern helps to deliver the low carbon economy. According to the most recent CDP report, for the average company, supply chain emissions are 11.4 times higher than operational emissions. With a sample size of over 7 million shipments, the online calculator is built on an algorithm that produces results based on actual data to strengthen and improve efficiency estimates, giving customers the ability to include emissions into their transportation decisions.

Norfolk Southern was first in the rail industry to create a carbon calculator in 2008. In an industry-leading approach, this new calculator improves the accuracy of carbon estimates by capturing the entire cycle of fuel usage. Direct fuel consumption from locomotives is applied to every rail car based on weight and distance traveled. Additional fuel accounted for includes yard and local operations, equipment repositioning, and fuel expended while handling containers in intermodal operations. The innovative process generates a rail fuel efficiency factor for 18 rail car types and 30 commodities plus intermodal.

“Technology is the fuel accelerating Norfolk Southern’s digital transformation,” said Josh Raglin, Chief Sustainability Officer for Norfolk Southern. “More than 25% of our customers have set public targets for emission reductions, and our new calculator provides a level of assurance that customers need to both measure and manage supply chain emissions. This tool provides our current and future customers with the data to understand the sustainable advantages of shipping via rail,” Raglin added.

This next generation calculator was designed with the entire transportation industry in mind. Norfolk Southern worked with logistic partners to ensure the calculations drawn between shipping via truck and rail sectors were accurate. With 57% of all freight considered flexible freight, this calculator focuses on incorporating carbon into the decision framework of shippers to encourage the shipper to choose the most efficient and least carbon intensive mode of transportation.

Users enter the type of commodity they want to transport, shipment weight and frequency, and then choose from over 75,000 origins and destinations in the U.S. The calculator provides data on estimated and avoided emissions, carbon dollars saved, highway miles avoided, trucks and cars taken off the road, and other carbon equivalents.

“Rail is one of the most sustainable transportation solutions,” said Ed Elkins, Chief Marketing Officer for Norfolk Southern. “Railroads move 45% of the country’s long-distance freight but produce only 7% of all freight-related emissions. The second-generation carbon calculator is an innovative tool that illustrates the effectiveness of rail to help customers reach their own sustainability goals.”

For a brief demonstration of the carbon calculator click here. For more about Norfolk Southern’s sustainability initiatives, visit

About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies, moving the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Norfolk Southern connects customers to markets and communities to economic opportunities with safe, reliable, and cost-effective shipping solutions. The service area includes 22 states and the District of Columbia, every major container port in the eastern United States, and most of the U.S. population and manufacturing base.

Norfolk Southern Media Inquiries:
Media Relations, 404-420-4444

Investor Inquiries:
Meghan Achimasi, 470-867-4807