NORFOLK, VA. – Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) has made significant strides in its corporate sustainability program, including achieving nearly 40 percent of its five-year greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal during the first year.
The company’s progress is detailed in its fourth annual sustainability report, issued today on its environmental website, Footprints, at www.nssustainability.com. The 2011 report describes the strategic efforts involved in reducing the company’s carbon footprint and tracks ongoing initiatives to achieve industry leadership in fuel conservation, emissions reduction, efficient energy use, recycling, use of renewable materials, and environmental partnerships.
“We recognize that our continued ability to thrive as a business is connected to the health of our communities, our environment, our employees, and our economy,” notes CEO Wick Moorman. “In acknowledgement of this common future, we are strengthening our connections with communities and the environment to ensure that the impact we leave – social, economic, and environmental – will be a positive one for years to come.”
Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer, writes that the company made gains in its four areas of primary focus. Chief among them was reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.9 percent per revenue ton-mile of freight in 2010. The goal is to lower emissions by 10 percent per revenue ton-mile by 2014, with a focus on improving the fuel economy of its locomotive fleet, the railroad’s largest source of emissions. In addition, the company improved the energy efficiency of its office and railroad facilities, saw an increase in employee-led recycling programs, and launched an initiative to plant more than 6 million trees in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, which will serve as a model for future carbon mitigation efforts.
“Looking ahead, we’re mindful that we can do something beyond fuel-efficiency gains to have a positive impact on the environment and the communities we serve,” Wimbush said. “We’ve decided to make reforestation a central component of our carbon mitigation strategy.”
Moorman praises employees for the sustainability advances: “Our corporate success – whether in safety, service, or sustainability – is a reflection of the dedication, talent, and hard work of our people. They are the connections that make our network strong now and for future generations.”
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) 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.