NS Releases Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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Norfolk Southern (NS) released its 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, which highlights initiatives that aim to support a cleaner environment, promote economic growth and jobs, foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, and build stronger communities.

The company’s 12th annual CSR report details the railroad’s primary environmental, economic and social impacts during 2018 and early 2019. Among other achievements detailed in the report, NS in 2018:

Environmental performance:

  • Maintained record-level locomotive fuel efficiency for the second consecutive year, conserving more than 47 million gallons of diesel fuel over the past two years compared with 2016 fuel-economy performance.
  • Continued favorable trend of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through ongoing fuel-efficiency and emissions-reduction efforts, with absolute GHG emissions decreasing by 2.6% year-over-year.

Economic performance:

  • Began implementing Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) initiatives that drove significant improvements in the first half of 2019, including a more fluid, resilient network and more consistent and reliable service. For example, train speed improved 15% and terminal dwell of rail cars decreased 34% in the second quarter of 2019 versus full-year 2018 performance.
  • Achieved record financial results, including all-time best operating ratio of 65.4% and record income from railway operations.
  • Donated more than $8.8 million in charitable contributions through the Norfolk Southern Foundation and the corporation to support the health and vitality of communities where NS employees work and live.
  • Gained more than 60,000 carloads of new business across NS’ rail network through support of economic development efforts that represented more than $1.5 billion in customer investment and creation of nearly 3,000 customer jobs.

Social performance:

  • Continued efforts to reduce serious workplace injuries through a safety program built around peer-to-peer engagement, on-the-job safety briefings, workplace safety checkups, and a goal of zero injuries and incidents.
  • Provided training at no cost to more than 6,200 local emergency responders on how to prepare for and safely respond to potential rail-related incidents, including visiting 22 communities in 15 states with NS’ safety train, a mobile classroom that offers hands-on training opportunities.
  • Became the first Class I railroad to sign the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge, a public commitment to cultivate a workplace environment where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcome and where employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.

NS also posted its 2019 filing with CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, a voluntary disclosure of the company’s carbon emissions and steps the railroad is taking to reduce its carbon footprint and identify climate-change risks.

“Norfolk Southern continues to make gains in sustainable freight rail transportation with our focus on service, operating efficiencies, growth, and long-term shareholder value,” said CEO James A. Squires. “As we Reimagine Possible throughout our company, we remain committed to industry-best performance for the benefit of our shareholders, customers, employees, and the communities we serve.”

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