Railroad outlines sustainability efforts in new report

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern Corp. has issued its fifth-annual corporate sustainability report, documenting progress on the railroad’s efforts to reduce its business impacts on the environment.

The 2012 report can be found on Norfolk Southern’s environmental website, www.nssustainability.com. It highlights advances made in the five years since the company launched a sustainability program with the goals of achieving industry leadership in fuel conservation, emissions reduction, efficient energy use, recycling, use of renewable materials, and environmental partnerships.

The report details initiatives involving social responsibility, economic performance and environmental conservation. Among other highlights, the railroad reports reaching nearly 60 percent of a five-year goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Norfolk Southern set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent per revenue ton-mile of freight between 2009 and 2014. By the end of 2011, the railroad had reduced emissions by 5.9 percent per revenue ton-mile. The report outlines strategies the railroad has adopted to reduce emissions, including use of technologies and computer-based systems to improve network operating efficiencies and the fuel economy of its locomotive fleet, the company’s largest source of carbon emissions.

The report also updates progress on Norfolk Southern’s $5.6-million Trees and Trains program, an initiative launched in June 2011 with partner GreenTrees to reforest 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Delta. As part of a broader plan to reduce potential environmental impacts of its railroad operations, Norfolk Southern is working with private-sector partners to sustain longleaf pine forest ecosystems and to restore American chestnut trees to their native range through planting initiatives at former coal mine sites.

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