Tuesday, December 08, 2009

NS joins U.S. Green Building Council

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Norfolk Southern has joined the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit, membership-based organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for the nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

Through its latest public-private partnership initiative, the Crescent Corridor Intermodal Freight Program, NS will capitalize on the inherent efficiencies of rail transportation to substantially reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the Crescent Corridor program, NS has committed to submitting buildings from three of its proposed intermodal terminals in Birmingham, Ala., Greencastle, Pa., and Memphis, Tenn., for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification.

Norfolk Southern is USGBC's first Class I railroad member.

"Railroads are the most environmentally friendly means of moving the goods that move the economy," said NS CEO Wick Moorman. "Norfolk Southern's goal is to lead the industry in emissions reduction, efficient energy use, and environmentally focused public-private partnerships."

"LEED certified buildings are environmentally responsible and healthier places to live or work," Governor Ed Rendell said. "Pennsylvania has been in the forefront of developing high-performance buildings - second only to California in the number of LEED certified projects. Our Energy Independence Strategy will help us do even more for our environment. This component of Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Program adds further value to this smart and environmentally friendly infrastructure investment."

"Now as America and the world begin making a historic transition to a green economy, we look to make Alabama a leader in science and technology." said Governor Bob Riley. "Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Program is one such project that will connect Alabama to the global markets, promote economic development, and protect the environment. Alabama will continue to be an active partner in these collaborations that foster an environment of progress, competitiveness, and innovation. "

"We need to continue building on existing clean energy policies in Tennessee and support broader clean energy efforts," Governor Phil Bredesen said. "Tennessee is truly positioned to be a leader in the development of regional and national energy solutions that can provide economic and environmental benefits to our citizens. Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Program will provide a clean, environmentally friendly future for Tennessee and the nation, while further enhancing our competitiveness and spurring economic growth."

"By becoming a member company of the U.S. Green Building Council, Norfolk Southern is demonstrating its commitment to our shared goal of a more sustainably-built environment," said Chris Smith, USGBC's chief operating officer.

The LEED certification system rewards current best practices and provides an outline for buildings to use less energy, water, and natural resources while improving the indoor environment - with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. The process for obtaining LEED certification is based on accumulating points in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. NS actively has been incorporating LEED standards into its building and planning designs and is committed to achieving these standards.

Norfolk Southern also is implementing sustainable operations throughout its facilities, including the use of the state-of-the-art low emission cranes and tractors that will reduce the particulate emissions by 90 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 45 percent. NS is experimenting with new methods to reduce truck idling, and implementing improved strategies for reducing electricity usage at all of its facilities as well.

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