In a report published on its website Norfolk Southern said it is working to achieve cleaner-running locomotives, greater energy efficiency, support for safer communities, fewer workplace injuries and a more diverse workforce.
Those goals were outlined in the company sustainability report titled “What Efficiency Looks Like.”
The report touts key achievements that NS made in 2015 and provides details about its progress toward reaching a healthy balance between its business imperatives as a publicly traded company and its environmental and social commitments as a responsible corporate citizen.
“Efficiently moving freight trains across our 22-state network is a cornerstone of sustainability at Norfolk Southern,” said NS CEO Jim Squires in the report. “It’s about turning challenges into daily opportunities – keeping our people and communities safe, providing unequalled customer service, and being a good steward of the resources that contribute to our success.”
Among the highlights that NS cited achieving in 2015 were:
Rolled out a new class of low-emission Eco locomotives at rail yards in Atlanta and Chicago.
Introduced a custom plug-in engine-heating system at rail yards that reduces unnecessary locomotive idling in cold weather.
Adopted a five-year goal to improve locomotive fuel efficiency, which will contribute to the company’s goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
In the matter of economic performance, NS said it:
Returned more than $700 million in dividends to shareholders, representing a 6 percent increase in dividends per share for the year.
Supported the location of 61 new industries and 32 industry expansions along NS rail lines, representing $4.2 billion in customer investment and more than 6,100 new customer jobs.
Contributed more than $13.7 million in combined Norfolk Southern Foundation, corporate, and business giving in communities served by the railroad to support human service needs, arts and culture, environment and education.
In the area of social performance, NS said it:
Recorded a 13 percent decline in employee reportable injuries.
Hired a record number of female employees: 28 percent of management trainees and 7 percent of conductor trainees were women.
Formed local employee diversity and inclusion councils in each of the railroad’s 10 operating divisions.
Helped train more than 4,800 local emergency responders in safe response to potential incidents involving transport of product regulated as hazardous material.