Customers who ship with Norfolk Southern helped avoid almost 15 million metric tons of carbon emissions in 2019 by choosing rail for their transportation needs instead of highway shipping, according to Norfolk Southern’s recently released Corporate Responsibility report. That equates to saving approximately 1.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel.
“It’s a substantial reduction,” said Josh Raglin, Norfolk Southern’s chief sustainability officer, who has spent nearly 25 years in the fields of conservation, forestry, and environmental stewardship. “As companies continue to set climate goals around lowering their emissions, rail can be part of that solution.” Raglin is leading the charge to integrate sustainability into every aspect of the company’s business. Trained as a wildlife biologist, Raglin joined NS in 1996 as a ranger at the company’s Brosnan Forest conservation and conference center in Dorchester, South Carolina.
Norfolk Southern’s 13th annual Corporate Responsibility report highlights the company’s performance in a number of areas, featuring initiatives that support a cleaner environment, foster an inclusive workplace, and build stronger and safer communities.
Among initiatives detailed in the report, Norfolk Southern:
- Invested $2 billion in its rail network to promote safe and efficient operations, modernize technology, and support economic growth in communities NS serves.
- Led the industry in tapping into Waze, a mobile navigation app, providing alerts to motorists approaching highway-rail grade crossings.
- Transformed a stretch of eroded shoreline on the Elizabeth River at the railroad’s Lamberts Point terminal into a green oasis for oysters and other wildlife.
- Joined the Operation Clean Sweep Pledge aimed at eliminating plastic pollution with a goal of zero loss of plastic resin into the environment.
- 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.
- Continued efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to cultivate a workplace that values all individuals for their experiences and perspectives.
- Contributed $8.7 million to support communities across the railroad’s system.
Norfolk Southern also has posted its 2020 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-related risks.