Norfolk Southern has published its 13th annual Corporate Responsibility Report, highlighting the company’s performance in 2019.
Among the Class I’s initiatives:
- Invested $2 billion in the rail network to promote safe and efficient operations, modernize technology and support economic growth in its local communities. (This investment included the installation of 2.4 million crossties, surfacing of 5,012 miles of track, and installation of 449 miles of rail.)
- Achieved efficiencies with Precision Scheduled Railroading, retiring nearly 1,000 older, less efficient locomotives; consolidating traffic into fewer trains; and turning railcars 30% quicker and running trains 17% faster.
- Tapped into Waze, a mobile navigation app, to provide alerts to motorists approaching highway-rail grade crossings.
- Helped customers avoid almost 15 million metric tons of carbon emissions in 2019 vs. highway shipping—equivalent to saving about 1.5 billion gallons of truck diesel.
- Provided training at no cost to more than 5,800 local emergency responders on how to prepare for and safely respond to potential rail-related incidents.
- Contributed $8.7 million to support communities across the railroad network.
NS also outlined its diversity initiatives, such as:
- Conducting a summer 2020 engagement survey that “focused on the drivers of an inclusive work environment, giving employees an opportunity to share their views and concerns. Leaders acted on the results by facilitating further dialogue and professional development around inclusive practices.”
- Joining the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion coalition in 2018 and pledging to cultivate a workplace that values all individuals for their unique perspectives and experiences.
- Maintaining partnerships with diverse organizations, such as historically Black colleges and universities, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Women in Engineering, for its recruitment program.
In addition, NS noted in the report that 55% of its trainee and intern hires for 2020 were a racial minority and/or female. The Class I was named a 2020 Military Friendly® Company and a top-scoring company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index; it was listed as one of the world’s Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality in 2018 by the Human Rights Campaign; and it spent $126 million with diverse suppliers in 2019.
“What I can do, as the leader of our company, is to make clear that Norfolk Southern stands against racial injustice and hate in all its forms,” Chairman, President and CEO Jim Squires wrote. “We’re not perfect, but we’ll work with renewed energy to make Norfolk Southern a place that values the unique experiences, perspectives, and contributions of all our people.”