CEO Letter

Since the 1830s, Norfolk Southern has been an integral part of the American transportation landscape. From our earliest beginnings, our commitment has always been to deliver our customers’ freight safely, efficiently, and economically, and in doing so to provide fair returns to our shareholders and a desirable workplace for employees.

Today we understand that everything we do must respect the planet. We understand that everything we do is connected. And we understand that environmental sustainability is smart business.

The 2014 Sustainability Report highlights our pursuit of better ways of doing business – ways that, whenever possible, benefit the environment. This report explains how NS integrates sustainability into the fabric of the corporation.

There is no getting around the fact that rail freight transportation requires the consumption of tremendous amounts of diesel fuel. Manufacturers are steadily improving locomotive efficiency, but rather than just waiting for others to move ahead, NS is going beyond by developing our onboard technology, LEADER, to give engineers real-time feedback on how to operate trains with maximum fuel efficiency. By the end of 2013, LEADER was installed on more than 60 percent of our road fleet, and it promises to deliver measurable progress toward reducing our carbon emissions.

Recognizing that diesel or some fossil fuel is part of our foreseeable energy supply, NS has extended its carbon mitigation strategy through the efforts of sustainability partners in order to minimize or offset our impacts. Through carbon sequestration and watershed protection, forest habitats are important to the planet’s health, and they represent opportunities for NS to contribute toward a better environment. Leveraging experience with our Brosnan Forest conservation property, NS is participating with GreenTrees in planting hardwood forests on previously cleared land in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The project is well ahead of its initial timetable to plant 6 million trees on 10,000 acres by 2016. We support the woodlands sustainability projects of other organizations as well, including The Longleaf Alliance, The Nature Conservancy of Virginia, and the American Chestnut Foundation. Collaboration with effective partners such as these helps sustain their work while supporting the economies and ecosystems of our rail service territory.

NS shares sustainability ideas, because doing so augments and sharpens our own thinking. Working with host partner GE Transportation, we co-sponsored our third annual railroad sustainability symposium in 2013. Attendees from 25 companies offered insights on a range of topics, including natural gas as a fuel alternative. For our fourth symposium in 2014, we welcome a new host partner, BNSF, as sustainability grows in significance across the rail industry. Additionally, as one of the first transportation companies to commit formally to sustainable business practices, we find ourselves in a position to share our experiences with smaller domestic railroads and carriers from other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand.

Norfolk Southern is proud of its long-term leadership in corporate responsibility and invites your review of the efforts outlined in this report.

Wick Moorman

Chairman and CEO

A leader in railroad innovation

CEO Wick Moorman began his railroad career as a co-op student in 1970 on the Southern Railway, a Norfolk Southern predecessor railroad whose motto was “Give a green light to innovation.” Since becoming Norfolk Southern’s CEO in 2005, Moorman has continued to promote that philosophy.

In 2013, the rail industry trade magazine Progressive Railroading presented Moorman with its Railroad Innovator Award, which recognizes an individual’s outstanding achievement in the rail industry. In an October 2013 cover story announcing the award, the magazine’s editor, Pat Foran, had this to say about Moorman:

“During his nearly eight-year run as chairman and CEO, Charles Wickliffe (Wick) Moorman has charted what’s shaping up to be a unique course for Norfolk Southern Railway. As constructively as any of his Class I counterparts, he’s embraced the link between technology, operating efficiency and productivity. He’s leading the charge to inculcate a safety culture change at his railroad. And he continues to push the partnership envelope in strategic rail corridors, brightening the railroad’s intermodal future and paving the way for new opportunities along the way.

“Ultimately, Moorman has prepared NS for what's next, and that includes ensuring the railway is well-positioned for growth and service improvements. And he's done it in his own way, in his own style.”

Read the full article here.