About our report

This is Norfolk Southern’s sixth annual corporate sustainability report. It details our sustainability activities and performance data during calendar year 2012, unless otherwise noted.

Norfolk Southern declares that this report complies with the Global Reporting Initiative’s 3.1 Level C reporting standards. Accordingly, the report discloses the railroad’s significant environmental, economic, and social impacts to help stakeholders assess our commitment to corporate sustainability. Our stakeholders include shareholders, customers, employees, government and nongovernmental organizations, industry partners, and the communities we serve.

The report discloses our ongoing efforts to achieve balance between business imperatives and social commitments to mitigate unavoidable environmental impacts of railroad operations. We strive to deliver the most competitive service to customers and earn a solid return for shareholders, while respecting the interests of employees, communities, and the environment with which we are connected. Our long-term success as a company requires that we meet our present business needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Norfolk Southern’s formal sustainability program is managed by our corporate sustainability officer, a position appointed by the corporation’s board of directors. The CSO reports to the chair of the company’s Environmental Policy Council. The council is composed of senior managers and ensures that appropriate policies, procedures, and resources are in place to address environmental issues across our rail system, including activities deemed related to climate change. The CSO provides status reports to the council, which reports directly to Norfolk Southern's chief executive officer.

This report was prepared under the supervision and direction of the CSO and was reviewed for accuracy and reliability by the CSO, an intra-departmental corporate sustainability team, and Norfolk Southern subject matter experts.

Norfolk Southern welcomes feedback on our annual sustainability report and invites you to send comments and suggestions to footprints@nscorp.com.

Third-party review
Norfolk Southern contracted with auditing firm KPMG LLP to review the raw data and methodologies we followed to calculate our greenhouse gas emissions in calendar year 2012. We believe this review adds credibility to the data we provide to stakeholders, including investors who may factor the contents of this report into their investment decisions.

The assurance letter provided by KPMG and the emissions data reviewed by the auditor are included in the Environmental Performance section of this report.

GRI indicators

These indicators from the 2013 report are addressed on this page

3.1 3.5 3.6 3.13 4.14 4.15
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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