Thanks for joining us on a virtual ride on the green side of transportation by taking a look at Norfolk Southern’s 2015 Sustainability Report. Whether your interest is curiosity about a single initiative or a serious study of our commitment to economic, environmental, and social corporate responsibility, this report covers the broad spectrum of Norfolk Southern’s sustainability journey.
Norfolk Southern’s quest for industry leadership in sustainability shares three traits common to other journeys: a point of origin, milestones indicating progress along the way, and a destination to be reached.
While Norfolk Southern and its predecessor companies have a proud history of operating environmentally responsibly and doing the right thing, the company’s formal sustainability initiative began in 2007, when we appointed the rail industry’s first corporate sustainability officer. In the company’s inaugural sustainability report in 2008, I noted that we have a “responsibility to conduct our business in accordance with sustainability practices that will help to provide ongoing opportunities for our people, our communities, our customers, and our investors.” That responsibility is just as relevant today.
We have worked hard since that first year and have achieved measurable progress along the way. By enhancing locomotives to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and by improving rail corridor infrastructure that creates jobs and provides competitive transportation advantage, we have strengthened our own performance while providing benefits to the communities we serve. Among other milestones, we have adopted a carbon mitigation strategy through reforestation, and we have preserved endangered habitat and ecosystems. In the process, we have forged strong connections with communities and with business and environmental partners.
Our destination is a goal: to achieve industry leadership in fuel conservation, emissions reduction, efficient energy use, recycling, use of renewable materials, and environmental partnerships. Our journey requires long-term commitment. With close to two centuries of service to customers and communities, we are dedicated to sustainable business practices for the long haul for the benefit of future generations.
Executive Chairman of the Board