CEO letter

As a leading freight carrier, our railroad must invest in the communities we serve, and we must be a responsible steward of our environment.

Adherence to those two principles has enhanced and affirmed our understanding of the connections between our long-term business success and the health of our communities, our environment, and our employees. This sixth annual sustainability report highlights those connections and our commitment to best practices of corporate environmental, economic, and social responsibility.

Trains always have been the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly form of surface transportation. Today, we’re working hard to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions even further. Three years into a five-year initiative to reduce carbon emissions per revenue ton-mile by 10 percent, we’ve accomplished nearly 69 percent of the goal. In addition to lowering our locomotive fuel burn, we’re increasing the energy efficiency of railroad facilities all across our system. We’re achieving this through technology, innovation, and, most of all, the ingenuity of our employees, who are dedicated to improving network operating efficiencies.

Beyond operational programs, we are working with private and public partners on carbon mitigation projects. We’re continuing our partnership to help reforest 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. We also have directed more of our charitable giving toward forestry management projects that improve the quality of forest ecosystems. Across our 22-state system, Norfolk Southern employees contribute their time, talent, and treasure to volunteer activities that enrich the communities we serve.

Sustainability has become part of the culture of Norfolk Southern, much as safety and service define who we are as a company. We’re fundamentally changing our operating culture to create an even safer, more positive work environment in which our people can excel. This report describes our ongoing activity guided by proven and successful business principles of investing in employees and communities while protecting the environment for future generations.


Wick Moorman
Chairman and CEO

Wick Moorman
Wick Moorman, CEO, Norfolk Southern

GRI indicators

These indicators from the 2013 report are addressed on this page

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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