Skip to main content

Norfolk Southern releases 2021 ESG report

Builds on over a decade of sustainable business actions to further invest for the future

Norfolk, Va. - Aug 09, 2021

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today released its 14th annual report on corporate responsibility. The company’s report received a name change this year, now known as the Environmental, Social, and Governance Report, to better reflect the company’s holistic commitment to a sustainable enterprise.

“At Norfolk Southern, sustainability is in our DNA – a part of everything we do as a company. From environmental stewardship to the safety and development of our entire team, we are in the business of a better planet, committed to bold leadership and deliberate action,” said James A. Squires, Norfolk Southern chairman, president and CEO.

Norfolk Southern took its industry-leading sustainability efforts to new heights in 2020, becoming the first major North American railroad to issue green bonds, in the amount of $500 million. Further, the company established a science-based target for a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity that is consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“We’re focused on driving change, being proactive, and managing for results. We’re going to continue looking for ways to drive efficiency in our business and lower our environmental impacts. It’s really about being the best steward that we can be of our assets, contributing to a better planet, and adding value for our stakeholders,” said Josh Raglin, Norfolk Southern’s chief sustainability officer.

Among the milestones listed in the report, Norfolk Southern:

Made significant infrastructure and community investments

  • Issued $500 million in green bonds to fund eligible green projects addressing climate change and sustainability.
  • Made approximately $850 million in new infrastructure investments, inclusive of rail, crossties, ballast, and track.
  • Spent $166 million with diverse suppliers.
  • Made $13.1 million in total corporate contributions across the company’s 22 state footprint.

Set and met ambitious goals

  • In 2015, Norfolk Southern set a goal to improve fuel efficiency 8.6% by 2020. That goal was exceeded in 2020, with a 9.4% improvement. This saved more than 130 million gallons of diesel fuel and avoided 1.3 million metric tons of emissions.
  • Nearly doubled renewable energy usage to 18% in deregulated markets as of May 1, 2021. Established a new goal of using 30% clean energy by 2030.

Furthered sustainable operations

  • Diverted 81% of waste from landfills.
  • Minimized RCRA Hazardous Waste to 0.03% of total waste generated.
  • Recycled 100% of old cross ties and more than 90% of steel.
  • Recycled all 400 miles of rail replaced each year.
  • Reclaimed over 6,200 tons of used oil.

Delivered for the U.S. economy

  • Carried over 274,900 tons of asphalt shingles, 3.9 million tons of lumber, and 312,500 tons of drywall sheets – enough supply to roof, frame, and drywall 120,000-160,000 average single-family homes.
  • Moved more than 10.2 billion pounds of grain that poultry producers used as feedstock to raise 1.7 billion chickens and turkeys to help feed America.  
  • Helped to create nearly 3,000 new customer jobs.

To access the full Environmental, Social, and Governance Report, 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 opportunity, with safe, reliable, and cost-effective shipping solutions. The company’s service area includes 22 states and the District of Columbia, every major container port in the eastern United States, and a majority of the U.S. population and manufacturing base.

Media Inquiries:
Media Relations, 404-420-4444 (

Investor Inquiries:
Meghan Achimasi, 470-867-4807 (