Norfolk Southern discloses strategic initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Aug 9, 2013

NORFOLK, VA. – Norfolk Southern has disclosed the railroad’s business strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its environmental footprint in a filing with the international not-for-profit CDP.

The railroad’s annual public disclosure to CDP provides customers, investors, employees, and communities information about how Norfolk Southern is addressing potential risks and benefits related to greenhouse gas emissions.

“Norfolk Southern is committed to being an industry leader in environmental stewardship,” said Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer. “Efforts to improve our performance and to mitigate the environmental impacts of business operations are part of daily life on our railroad. We are proud to offer customers a fuel- and carbon-efficient means of transporting their goods.”

In the CDP filing, Norfolk Southern describes key strategic initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They include:

  • purchasing new, more fuel-efficient locomotives
  • expanding use of idle-reduction and train-handling technologies
  • making infrastructure improvements to increase capacity and fluidity of the company’s major rail corridors, including the Heartland and Crescent corridors
  • continuing research and development of alternative power, including renewable biofuels and battery-powered locomotives
  • upgrading office buildings, shops, and yard facilities with more energy-efficient lighting and heating and air-conditioning systems
  • recycling older locomotives by equipping them with more fuel-efficient, cleaner-burning engines

Norfolk Southern has made considerable progress toward its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent per revenue ton mile between 2009 and 2014. By the end of 2012, the company had reached nearly 69 percent of the goal.

Longer term, the railroad’s investments in infrastructure, including public-private partnerships, are expanding the nation’s freight rail capacity and providing shippers a way to reduce their supply-chain carbon footprint. For example, by diverting long-haul freight to trains from trucks, Norfolk Southern’s Crescent Corridor – which spans 11 states from Louisiana to New Jersey – has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases by 1.9 million tons annually when fully developed.

Norfolk Southern engages with customers and suppliers to share information about sustainability practices and the railroad’s carbon efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. In September, Norfolk Southern and rail supplier GE will co-sponsor their third annual Railroad Sustainability Symposium to advance discussion of sustainability in the rail industry.

To learn more about Norfolk Southern’s efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of its business operations, visitwww.nssustainability.com and view the railroad’s 2013 sustainability report. 

DP, formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project, provides the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage, and share vital environmental information. CDP investor initiatives – backed in 2013 by more than 722 institutional investors representing an excess of $87 trillion in assets – give investors access to information about companies’ greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for managing climate change, water, and deforestation risks.

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, automotive, and industrial products.

For the full story: Log In, Register for Free or Subscribe