Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NS releases latest sustainability report

Written by 

Norfolk Southern Corp. released its latest "Connections" sustainability report Wednesday, July 16, 2014, detailing its ongoing efforts to contribute to a cleaner environment, a healthier economy, and stronger communities.

The report is available here.

"From our earliest beginnings, our commitment always has been to deliver customers' freight safely, efficiently, and economically, and in doing so to provide fair returns to our shareholders and a desirable workplace for employees," said NS CEO Wick Moorman. "Today we understand that everything we do must respect the planet. We understand that environmental sustainability is smart business."

The company's seventh annual sustainability report discloses Norfolk Southern's environmental, economic, and social impacts to help stakeholders assess the railroad's performance in corporate responsibility. Key environmental performance areas covered include locomotive fuel efficiency and emissions, energy use, land and land conservation, waste management, and water conservation.

"Norfolk Southern strives for excellence in environmental stewardship, and our uncompromising commitment to sustainability is supported and leveraged by employees across our network," said Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer. "We are working hard to integrate sustainability into all aspects of operations, building on successes achieved over the past seven years."

NS said its achievements in environmental performance during 2013 included:

• Reaching nearly 79% of a five-year goal launched in 2010 to reduce the company's greenhouse gas emissions by 10% per revenue ton-mile of freight.

• Saving an estimated 10 million gallons of locomotive diesel fuel and avoided around 110,500 metric tons of GHG emissions through LEADER train-handling technology.

• Completing 65% of a five-year, $5.6 million partnership begun in 2011 with GreenTrees® to reforest 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Delta, part of NS' Trees and Trains carbon mitigation initiative.

• Collaborating with The Nature Conservancy in support of the largest-ever longleaf pine reforestation effort in Virginia.

NS said its achievements in economic performance during 2013 included:

• Helping to locate 67 new industries and expand 25 existing businesses, representing customer investment of $2.3 billion, 3,100 new customer jobs, and more than 136,000 new carloads of rail business.

•Along with the South Carolina Ports Authority, making intermodal service available to a new inland port in Greer, S.C., resulting in rail business that will remove at least 20,000 trucks annually from Interstate 26.

• Opening regional intermodal facilities at Charlotte, N.C., and Greencastle, Pa., expanding freight rail capacity on the company's Crescent Corridor network, and mitigating truck-traffic congestion on interstate highways from New Orleans, La., to northern New Jersey.

NS said its achievements in social performance during 2013 included:

• Reducing serious workplace injuries by more than 5%.

• Hiring more than 1,000 employees.

• Distributing charitable donations of $12.8 million through combined Norfolk Southern Foundation and corporate giving, including grants to food banks, homeless shelters, free medical clinics, and environmental, cultural arts, and educational organizations.