The company's progress is detailed in its fourth annual sustainability report on its environmental website, Footprints, at www.nssustainability.com. The 2011 report describes the strategic efforts involved in reducing the company's carbon footprint and tracks ongoing initiatives to achieve industry leadership in fuel conservation, emissions reduction, efficient energy use, recycling, use of renewable materials and environmental partnerships.
"We recognize that our continued ability to thrive as a business is connected to the health of our communities, our environment, our employees and our economy," noted CEO Wick Moorman. "In acknowledgement of this common future, we are strengthening our connections with communities and the environment to ensure that the impact we leave, social, economic and environmental, will be a positive one for years to come."
Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer, wrote that the company made gains in its four areas of primary focus. Chief among them was reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.9 percent per revenue ton-mile of freight in 2010. The goal is to lower emissions by 10 percent per revenue ton-mile by 2014, with a focus on improving the fuel economy of its locomotive fleet, the railroad's largest source of emissions. In addition, the company improved the energy efficiency of its office and railroad facilities, saw an increase in employee-led recycling programs and launched an initiative to plant more than six million trees in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, which will serve as a model for future carbon mitigation efforts.
Moorman praises employees for the sustainability advances.
"Our corporate success, whether in safety, service or sustainability, is a reflection of the dedication, talent and hard work of our people. They are the connections that make our network strong now and for future generations."