The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. on Nov. 9 published its fifth-annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report.
The 70-page report (download below), On Track Together, which summarizes the company’s global sustainability initiatives and performance from fiscal year 2023 (FY23), was prepared in accordance with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
According to Greenbrier, the report reviews the company’s 2021 materiality assessment to address stakeholders’ evolving values and priorities, and describes the state of the company’s assessment of climate-related physical and transition risks.
Greenbrier says its alignment with the TCFD framework “continues with the company’s internal analysis to identify gaps in its approach.”
The report highlights new targets and key achievements from FY23 in accordance with its five core ESG pillars: Safety & Quality, People, Environmental Sustainability, Governance & Ethics and Communities.
Safety & Quality
In FY23, one of Greenbrier’s railcar manufacturing facilities and eight maintenance services locations achieved at least one year without a recordable incident, another year of solid safety results, according to the report. In addition, the company introduced a continuous improvement safety initiative, Dynamic Hand Safety. This program, Greenbrier says, prioritizes the prevention of hand injuries, the company’s most prevalent safety incident.
According to the report, Greenbrier reiterated its dedication to its workforce, including advancing its Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Leadership (IDEAL) commitment. Two new Employee Resource Groups were introduced, for a total of eight. Greenbrier’s first-ever IDEAL Summit brought leaders across the company together to “identify successes, define improvement areas and set future objectives for DEI at the company.”
According to the report, Greenbrier has established a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal to reduce Scope 2 GHG emissions intensity by 20% per unit of output by 2027, based on its 2022 baseline. In FY23, a pilot solar power project began at Greenbrier Tlaxcala in Mexico. The production from the solar panel installation has a projected average energy savings of just over 67,000 kW-hours per month, Greenbrier said.
Greenbrier Maxion in Brazil and three facilities in Romania obtained ISO 14001 certifications. Including Greenbrier Wagony Swidnica in Poland, Greenbrier has five ISO 14001-certified manufacturing facilities. These certifications, Greenbrier says, result in part from the company’s “comprehensive approach to its Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) programs.”
After its annual meeting in January 2024, Greenbrier says it is expected that its Board diversity will increase with 33% ethnically diverse directors, up from 27%, and female Board composition at 44%, up from 36%. Added to this year’s review of Governance is an overview of Greenbrier’s work on cybersecurity, including training efforts to protect the company’s data and technology infrastructure.
According to the report, Greenbrier donated $1 million in 2023 to support its local communities and nonprofits worldwide with scholarships, human services, environmental enhancement and disaster relief.
“Greenbrier continually enhances our safety culture, invests in our people, and builds on our sustainability initiatives,” said Greenbrier President and CEO Lorie Tekorius. “In 2023, our ESG program has been bolstered by our Better Together strategy, which is creating positive connections and dialogue across Greenbrier and with our shareholders. ESG report audits, product enhancement initiatives, and sustainability projects have propelled us ahead. Today, we have adapted On Track Together to newly recognized reporting frameworks and consistently correlate it to best practices. Our commitments to advancing our ESG programs are ambitious and will continue.”