NS achieves best-ever CDP score

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Norfolk Southern said Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, it has achieved its best-ever score in CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) reports that grade large U.S. and global companies on how well they measure and manage their carbon footprint.

In CDP’s 2013 S&P 500 and Global 500 climate change reports, NS scored a 90 for its carbon disclosure, on a scale of 0-100, a 2% improvement over its 2012 score of 88 and the company’s highest in the six years it has participated in the voluntary CDP survey.

Of 44 U.S. industrial-sector corporations in the CDP’s S&P 500 report, NS was among 14 that scored 90 or higher on carbon disclosure. In addition to scoring companies on their disclosure level, CDP awards performance grades of E to A to measure a company’s efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NS’s 2013 performance grade is B, matching its 2012 and 2011 grade.

By year-end 2012, NS had accomplished nearly 69% of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% per revenue ton-mile between 2009 and 2014. The company has invested in locomotive fuel-saving technologies, more efficient lighting and energy systems in rail facilities, and network improvements that increase the capacity and fluidity of rail routes.

For example, the company is investing nearly $30 million to equip road locomotives with New York Air Brake’s LEADER (Locomotive Engineer Assist/Display & Event Recorder), a GPS-based onboard computer system that, by optimizing brake and throttle settings, helps engineers achieve maximum fuel efficiency when operating trains. By diverting long-haul freight to trains from trucks, the company’s Crescent Corridor—a PPP (public-private partnership) improvement program that spans 11 states from Louisiana to New Jersey—has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases by 1.9 million tons annually when fully developed. Last year, the company invested nearly $1 million to replace lighting at six rail yards in West Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, reducing energy use at those facilities by 62%.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, Norfolk Southern strives to continuously improve the way we manage potential environmental impacts of our business operations, and we are pleased that this year’s disclosure score reflects those efforts,” said NS Vice President Real Estate and Corporate Sustainability Officer Blair Wimbush. “We are taking a comprehensive, strategic approach to reduce emissions throughout our operation. We are committed to maintaining a high-quality system that leverages freight rail’s inherent efficiencies in support of the economy, less highway congestion, and lower overall fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.”

CDP is an independent not-for-profit organization that supports reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the sustainable use of water and forest resources. CDP collects data from the world’s largest companies on behalf of more than 722 institutional investors with combined assets of $87 trillion. It provides the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage, and share vital environmental information.

To learn more, read Norfolk Southern’s 2013 corporate sustainability report at www.nssustainability.com.

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