Environmental Management

Strong environmental management

Norfolk Southern has many internal controls and procedures to ensure that we meet or exceed environmental regulations that apply to our company. We comply with an array of federal environmental statutes and programs delegated to state and local governments. Among relevant laws and regulations are the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Oil Pollution Control Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

We have developed formal corporate environmental policies and procedures that follow industry best-management practices, and we regularly compare efforts with other Class 1 railroads and FORTUNE 500 companies to ensure our programs are robust and continually improving.

In addition to our environmental staff, we believe every employee has personal responsibility for safety of operations and environmental compliance. While other companies have found that their safety and environmental departments can function outside of their operating departments, we believe that adhering to safety and environmental policies is so important to our success that employees charged with administering and managing these policies must be an integral part of our core operating department. The important synergies created by that philosophy cannot be overstated.

New software to manage environmental performance
In the last several years, third-party software systems and applications designed to manage corporate environmental and sustainability programs have matured considerably, offering a broader, more comprehensive way to track activities and trends across operations. Recognizing that, in 2012 we selected a new cloud-based software system to help us improve the way we manage environmental oversight and corporate sustainability.

We began using the system in early 2013 after spending much of 2012 building and integrating the software and its suite of applications into our data-collection systems. A primary benefit is that the new software centralizes collection and reporting of data we use to monitor and manage our environmental programs. Our operations, for example, must comply with more than 150 federal and state permits, each with strict monitoring requirements, and we maintain in excess of 200 environmental protection and pollution-prevention plans. The software will help us track those permits and plans on a daily basis to ensure that we are in compliance and will also allow us to identify trends over time.

In addition, the software will provide a platform for us to more easily measure, manage, and report our carbon footprint and other key environmental data important to the company’s sustainability efforts. We plan to use the system to track such things as water and electricity usage and recycling of railroad materials. Ultimately, it will enhance efforts to further integrate sustainability practices into railroad operations, and will improve our transparency in terms of disclosures of our sustainability performance.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE ENVIRONMENTAL OPERATIONS GROUPS
Brosnan Forest
EN26

Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services, and extent of impact mitigation.

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sustainability in action:

Creative thinking reduces energy use – and costs

Through our InnovatioNS program, Norfolk Southern encourages employees to look for ways to make their work safer, more efficient, and more cost effective. Brian Thomas’ ingenuity has saved the company money and contributed to its sustainability efforts. read more >

sustainability in action:

Committed to a greener workplace

Employees at Norfolk Southern have embraced the railroad’s sustainability efforts. At many locations across the system, employees such as Emily Hunter have taken the initiative to launch recycling and other green initiatives. read more >

sustainability in action:

A Norfolk Southern ‘River Star’

Ray Jones, a 32-year railroader, is committed to helping Norfolk Southern meet its pledge to be a good corporate neighbor and environmental steward. read more >

Creative thinking reduces energy use – and costs

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Committed to a greener workplace

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A Norfolk Southern ‘River Star’

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See all of our sustainability in action case studies

sustainability in action:

Keeping locomotives moving down the track

Norfolk Southern is continually looking for ways to increase the efficiency and productivity of operations. Devina Miller has played a key role in a Mechanical Department initiative dubbed Mission Critical. read more >

Keeping locomotives moving down the track

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See all of our sustainability in action case studies

sustainability in action:

A little effort, a lot of food for those in need

To strengthen the communities our railroad serves, Norfolk Southern promotes and supports employee volunteerism. Many employees, like Amanda Carpenter, volunteer their time, treasure, and talents to build community connections. read more >

sustainability in action:

Building community partnerships

Norfolk Southern strives to be a good corporate citizen. The railroad routinely partners with local, state, and federal government officials on projects that benefit communities and the country. Employees such as Ed Sites and David Dize are the ones who make these partnerships work. read more >

sustainability in action:

In pursuit of a dream

Norfolk Southern ensures that employees have ample opportunities to develop their skills and advance their careers. Jerome Perry is taking advantage of an NS program to further his education. read more >

sustainability in action:

Where good health meets good deeds

As part of its employee wellness program, dubbed WellNS, Norfolk Southern in 2011 introduced Power Train, an initiative that combines physical fitness and charitable giving. Misty Braden organized a Power Train team in Knoxville to help fund breast cancer research after a colleague was diagnosed with the disease. read more >

sustainability in action:

Partnering for safety

Safely operating our railroad is Norfolk Southern’s No. 1 priority. In addition to efforts to keep our employees safe on the job, we partner with communities in various ways to promote public safety. Employees Richard Vaughan and Greg Valentine demonstrate that commitment. read more >

A little effort, a lot of food for those in need

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Building community partnerships

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In pursuit of a dream

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Where good health meets good deeds

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Partnering for safety

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See all of our sustainability in action case studies