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.
When a Norfolk Southern intern started a recycling effort at the Conway Locomotive Shop in Conway, Pa., a year ago, Emily Hunter, a fireman and oiler, decided the program needed to continue for the long haul.
“In 2012, NS topped all the railroads in Newsweek’s Green Rankings for efforts to increase fuel efficiency and new technology, and we are committed to reducing environmental impacts,” Hunter explained. “I was intrigued by how Conway could help contribute to the sustainability efforts.”
To make things easy for employees, Hunter placed recycling bins for cardboard, paper, and plastic in the lunch room and offices. “It makes recycling convenient,” she said. “If it’s convenient, it works.”
Each day, Hunter collects the recycled items and makes sure the bins aren’t overflowing. A private waste management company picks up the paper, plastic, and cardboard every week.
“Right now it’s a Conway mechanical initiative,” Hunter said, “but as we complete construction of a new locomotive shop, we are looking forward to expanding our recycling there.”
She hopes to double the shop’s recycling efforts in 2013. Presently, the Conway shop recycles about two bales of crushed cardboard, two bins of paper, and five bins of plastic bottles a month. The bins measure 36 cubic feet.
“I want to research what else we can recycle,” Hunter said. “NS has been so supportive. The company has supplied the recycling bins, they allow me to print posters advertising the recycling efforts, and they give me time to work on it.”