Class I Briefs: NS, UP

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
NS will present 15 customers and suppliers with inaugural Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards in January 2023.

NS will present 15 customers and suppliers with inaugural Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards in January 2023.

Norfolk Southern (NS) recognizes 15 customers and suppliers for leadership in energy efficiency, innovation and environmental stewardship. Also, Union Pacific (UP) reports the Mexican government’s extension of the Carta Porte grace period.

NS on Dec. 1 announced the customer and supplier recipients of its inaugural Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards, which honor corporate programs in three categories: achieving “significant energy efficiency savings”; implementing “innovations that have significantly contributed to a more sustainable future”; and working to “promote stewardship of the environment.”

NS in August introduced the awards program via LinkedIn, and opened up nominations in September. A cross-department team reviewed applications for measurable progress during 2021, and selected winners “based on their program’s novelty, relevance and impact,” the railroad said. According to NS, winner achievements included:

  • “Diverting 17 million pounds of waste from landfills.
  • “Avoiding more than 500,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
  • “Eliminating 5.2 million miles of diesel fuel burn annually.
  • “Achieving a 30% reduction in fuel consumption, saving 225,000 gallons annually.
  • “Removing abandoned fishing nets and lines in the ocean and converting them to auto parts, mitigating some of the estimated 700,000 tons of fishing gear discarded annually.”

And the 15 winners are (by category):

Energy Efficiency


Environmental Stewardship

Recipients will be honored next month at a ceremony at NS headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. The event will also mark the first meeting of the railroad’s Partner Council, whose members are also the award winners, NS reported.  

“Sustainability is embedded in every facet of our organization, including helping our customers reduce their supply chain emissions,” NS Chief Sustainability Officer Josh Raglin said. “The more we encourage and recognize our stakeholders for their collaboration with partners, the quicker we will all achieve measurable progress toward our shared sustainability goals.”

In related developments, NS has committed $750,000 to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), which will create a new initiative for entrepreneurs in sustainability-focused technology. Also, NS’s headquarters won the U.S. Green Building Council Chrysalis Award in the “New Construction Transformation” category.

UP on Nov. 30 notified customers that the Mexican government has again extended the grace period for shipments that do not meet Carta Porte requirements. It has been moved from Dec. 31, 2022, to July 31, 2023. The Class I railroad said it “will use this grace period to continue waybill compliance checks before the Mexican Tax Authority begins implementing fines and rejections at the border for non-compliant cars on August 1, 2023.”

UP provided the following documents reflecting the most recent changes:

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