NS Releases Annual ESG Report

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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Norfolk Southern (NS) on July 12 released its annual Environmental, Social, Governance report, highlighting the railroad’s “long-term strategy to balance service, productivity and growth; initiatives to enhance rail safety; and the company’s ongoing efforts in East Palestine, Ohio.”

“We will continue to fulfill our promises to East Palestine and the surrounding areas,” said NS President and CEO Alan H. Shaw. “We believe in doing what’s right by our people, our customers, and the communities we serve, which is why we will always strive to enhance our safety culture, invest in our people, and build upon our long-standing sustainability initiatives.”

According to the report (download below), “Forging a Better Tomorrow,” which spans 2022 and early 2023, NS has made “meaningful progress toward its sustainability goals and took measurable steps to drive positive outcomes,” including:

Reducing Environmental Impact

  • 6% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity, advancing the goal of a 42% reduction by 2034.
  • Up to a 25% increase in fuel efficiency through each locomotive modernization.
  • 22% reduction of overall water usage, saving over 91 million gallons over the past two years.
  • Protected 1,105 acres of ecologically significant land in South Carolina’s coastal plain.

Building Strong Connections with Stakeholders

  • Partnered with union leaders to provide paid sick leave benefits to Norfolk Southern’s entire craft workforce, becoming the first Class I railroad to do so.
  • 5,000+ first responders trained through Norfolk Southern’s Operation Awareness & Response (OAR) program.
  • Announced a permanent regional training facility for first responders.
  • Ranked No. 1 out of over 10,000 transportation and logistics organizations in attracting talent from underrepresented groups.

Driving Growth for customers, Our Economy

  • $3.7 billion in intermodal shipments, $2.5 billion in agriculture, forest, and consumer products, and $1.7 billion in metals and construction merchandise.
  • Nearly $1.9 billion invested to promote safe, efficient operations, modernize technology, and support economic growth in communities.
  • 3,100 jobs created from customer investment in facilities along Norfolk Southern’s lines.

“We’ve made tremendous achievements in decarbonizing supply chains and reinforcing an inclusive workplace culture built around safety, and our work and commitment to these goals is unwavering,” said NS Chief Sustainability Officer Josh Raglin. “None of this would be possible without our incredible team of people who are committed to building a better planet and more resilient communities for generations to come.”

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