ESG Briefs: CN, CP, CSX, UP, NS (UPDATED)Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
CN, Canadian Pacific (CP), CSX and Union Pacific (UP) have been recognized as “sustainability leaders” through their inclusion in the 2022 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). Also, Norfolk Southern (NS) is awarding $1 million in grants to 57 nonprofits in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.
CN, CP, CSX and UP have been added to the DJSI. CN and CP are part of the DJSI World Index—CN for the 11th consecutive time and CP for the first—and CN, CP and CSX are part of the DJSI North America Index—CN for the 14th consecutive time, CP for the third, CSX for the 12th time and UP for the first time.
The DJSI follows a “best-in-class approach,” surveying sustainability leaders from each industry on a global and regional level. The annual review of the DJSI family of indices “is based on a thorough analysis of economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, climate change management, stakeholder engagement and labor practices,” CN noted.
DJSI World comprises S&P Global-identified “sustainability leaders” representing the top 10% of the largest 2,500 companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index (BMI) based on long-term economic, environmental and social criteria. DJSI North America comprises S&P Global-identified “sustainability leaders” that represent the top 20% of the largest 600 North American companies in the S&P Global BMI based on long-term economic, environmental and social criteria.
“We are honored to once again be included on the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indices,” CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson said. “At CN, we understand we play an important role in moving the economy and delivering the goods needed in communities across the continent. Our dedicated team of railroaders is committed to making sustainability an essential part of the way we do our work every day.”
CN reported that its sustainability targets and goals include:
- Reducing Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 43% by 2030 from a 2019 base year and reducing Scope 3 GHG emissions intensity from fuel- and energy-related activities by 40% by 2030 from a 2019 base year.
- Eliminating “serious injuries and fatalities from our workplace and reducing train accidents as we progressively move towards a zero-injury work environment.”
- Attaining by 2022 and thereafter maintaining an executive management team in which at least 30% are women.
- Attaining by 2022 and thereafter maintaining a Board of Directors composition in which at least 50% of the non-management Board members come from diverse groups, including gender parity.
- Tying CN’s executive compensation “to material sustainability factors, safety, employee engagement, customer centricity and environmental performance.”
“At CP, we continuously challenge ourselves to innovate across our business and develop meaningful ways to serve our customers, each other, and the communities we operate in and through,” CP President and CEO Keith Creel said. “We are proud to be recognized again as a sustainability leader by the DJSI, and committed to delivering on our sustainability journey.”
CP reported that this year it “performed particularly well in the areas of human rights, supply chain, occupational health and safety, environmental policy, management and reporting, and corporate citizenship and philanthropy.” The Class I railroad noted that in July 2022 it joined the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, a voluntary global corporate sustainability initiative, and in July 2021, released its “first comprehensive climate strategy,” outlining how it is working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt operations to the physical risks of climate change. CP’s strategy includes a commitment “to reducing Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions intensity of its locomotives by in excess of 38% by 2030,” and to “reducing absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions from non-locomotive operations by in excess of 27% by 2030.” These targets, the railroad reported in 2021, “are based on the most current methodology available to the transportation sector through the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), with CP’s locomotive target recently approved by SBTi.”
“CSX is proud to once again be named to the DJSI and to be recognized for our ESG performance,” CSX President and CEO Joe Hinrichs said. “As a growing number of our customers focus on reducing their carbon footprint, CSX is committed to helping them achieve their goals through the environmental advantages of rail. Moving freight by rail is three to four times more fuel-efficient than trucking, which enables our customers to achieve their sustainability goals by leveraging CSX’s rail-based supply chain solutions.”
In related developments, CSX in July released a new ESG report covering its performance in 2021. CP in May issued its 2021 corporate sustainability supplement that includes data on safety, operations and social impact; CN released its 2021 supplement in September, outlining key performance metrics in the areas of environment, safety, people, community and economy.
In 2021, the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) approved UP’s short-term target to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions and GHG emissions 26% by 2030. This year, UP committed to the SBTi to revalidate its short-term target in line with the 1.5°C global warming scenario and develop a long-term, science-based target to reach net-zero value chain GHG emissions by 2050. Both targets will be published after they are validated by SBTi.
As part of these commitments, the railroad signed the “largest locomotive modernization deal in rail history” earlier this year for 600 locomotive modernizations, totaling more than $1 billion. The modernizations, UP says, will provide approximately 350 tons of carbon reduction per locomotive per year, the equivalent of removing emissions from nearly 45,000 passenger cars.
Additional highlights of UP’s sustainability efforts include:
- Reduced fuel consumption by more than 11 million gallons in 2021 compared to 2020.
- Increased use of renewable fuel and biodiesels.
- Plans to purchase North America’s largest carrier-owned fleet of battery-electric locomotives.
- The first U.S. railroad to formally support the Task Force on Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), reinforcing company’s commitment to transparent disclosure.
NS on Dec. 12 reported that it will award $1 million to a diverse group of 57 Hampton Roads nonprofit organizations that “support educational, environmental, social equity and community advancement initiatives.”
The Class I railroad will distribute $1 million per year for five years through the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.
The selection committee comprised NS railroaders who live and work in the Hampton Roads area, which is located in Virginia’s southeastern corner and includes the core cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. According to NS, they reviewed more than 120 applications, which were due Oct. 28.
“Generations of Norfolk Southern employees have lived, worked and raised their families in the Hampton Roads community,” NS President and CEO Alan H. Shaw said. “Today, our railroaders and retirees continue to be engaged in the region and invested in its future. We are partnering with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to award the first tranche of this $5 million fund and continue our support for a community that means so much to us.”
NS on Nov. 10, 2021 formally opened its new headquarters building in Atlanta, Ga., the city and operational home of predecessor Southern Railway. When Norfolk & Western merged with Southern Railway in 1982 to form NS, the headquarters was located in Norfolk, Va., while the company’s operations and technology leadership was in Atlanta.
The 57 organizations receiving grants will be recognized at a Dec. 12 luncheon. They are:
- 757 Accelerate (Cause: Social Equity)
- Access College Foundation (Cause: Education Gaps for K-12 Students)
- Access Virginia (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- An Achievable Dream Virginia Beach (Cause: Education Gaps for K-12 Students)
- Blakey Weaver Counseling Center Inc. (Cause: Dropout Prevention)
- Chrysler Museum of Art (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Clever Communities In Action (Cause: Education Gaps for K-12 Students)
- Communities In Schools of Hampton Roads (Cause: Dropout Prevention)
- Community Outreach Coalition (Cause: Education Gaps for K-12 Students)
- Connect With a Wish (Cause: Social Equity)
- Cover 3 Football INC DBA Cover 3 Foundation (Cause: Food Insecurity)
- Elizabeth River Trail Foundation (Cause: Environmental Preservation and Restoration)
- Empowerment Center for Children Youth and Families (Cause: Social Equity)
- Envision Lead Grow, Inc. (Cause: Education Gaps for K-12 Students)
- EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program (Cause: Social Equity)
- Families of Autistic Children Of Tidewater (Cause: Social Equity)
- G.I.R.L.S. Club (Cause: Dropout Prevention)
- Habitat for Humanity South Hampton Roads (Cause: Homelessness and Housing Instability Services)
- Hampton Roads Workforce Foundation (Cause: Social Equity)
- Healthy Chesapeake (Cause: Social Equity)
- Hope House Foundation, Inc. (Cause: Social Equity)
- Horizons Hampton Roads, Inc. (Cause: Education Gaps for K-12 Students)
- I. Sherman Greene Chorale, Inc. (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- The Barry Robinson Center (Cause: Dropout Prevention)
- LGBT Life Center (Cause: Social Equity)
- Lynnhaven River NOW (Cause: Environmental Preservation and Restoration)
- New Vision Youth Services, Inc. (Cause: Homelessness and Housing Instability Services)
- Norfolk Botanical Garden, Inc. (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Norfolk Senior Center (Cause: Food Insecurity)
- Nursing CAP, Inc. (Cause: Social Equity)
- Regent University (Cause: Social Equity)
- Samaritan House, Inc. (Cause: Homelessness and Housing Instability Services)
- Seton Youth Shelters (Cause: Homelessness and Housing Instability Services)
- Southeastern Virginia Areawide Model Program (Cause: Food Insecurity)
- St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children (Cause: Social Equity)
- Suffolk Meals on Wheels, Inc. (Cause: Food Insecurity)
- The Four Rivers Project (Cause: Social Equity)
- The Genieve Shelter (Cause: Social Equity)
- Tidewater African Cultural Alliance (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Trails of Purpose (Cause: Social Equity)
- USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. (Cause: Social Equity)
- Village Family (Cause: Food Insecurity)
- Virginia African American Cultural Center, Inc. (Cause: Social Equity)
- Virginia Arts Festival (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Virginia Beach CASA (Cause: Social Equity)
- Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation (Cause: Early Childhood Care and Education)
- Virginia Children’s Chorus (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Virginia Opera Association, Inc. (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Virginia Stage Company (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Virginia Symphony Orchestra (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Virginia Zoological Society (Cause: Arts and Culture)
- Walk In It Inc. (Cause: Education Gaps for K-12 Students)
- Western Tidewater Free Clinic, Inc. (Cause: Social Equity)
- YMCA of South Hampton Roads (Cause: Social Equity)
- Young Investors Group (Cause: Homelessness and Housing Instability Services)
- Youth Outreach Urban Resources & Services (Cause: Dropout Prevention)
- YWCA South Hampton Roads (Homelessness and Housing Instability Services)
Separately, NS on Sept. 28 announced a commitment of $400,000 in grants to 31 food banks located across the states served by the company.
Union Pacific (UP) on Dec. 15 reported that it was selected