Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS), Norfolk, Va., released its 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility report, highlighting initiatives that support a cleaner environment, promote economic growth and jobs, foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and build stronger communities.

“Norfolk Southern continues to make gains in sustainable freight rail transportation with our focus on service, operating efficiencies, growth and long-term shareholder value,” says James Squires, chief executive officer. “As we reimagine possible throughout our company, we remain committed to industry-best performance for the benefit of our shareholders, customers, employees and the communities we serve.”

Among other achievements detailed in the report:

Environmental performance:

  • Maintained record-level locomotive fuel efficiency for the second consecutive year, conserving more than 47 million gallons of diesel fuel over the past two years compared with 2016 fuel-economy performance.
  • Continued favorable trend of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through ongoing fuel efficiency and emissions-reduction efforts, with absolute GHG emissions decreasing by 2.6% year-over-year.


Economic performance:

  • Began implementing precision scheduled railroading initiatives that drove significant improvements in the first half of 2019, including a more fluid, resilient network and more consistent and reliable service. For example, train speed improved 15% and terminal dwell of rail cars decreased 34% in the second quarter of 2019 vs. full-year 2018 performance.


  • Achieved record financial results, including all-time best operating ratio of 65.4% and record income from railway operations.


  • Donated more than $8.8 million in charitable contributions through the Norfolk Southern Foundation to support the health and vitality of communities where NS employees work and live.


  • Gained more than 60,000 carloads of new business across NS’ rail network through support of economic development efforts that represented more than $1.5 billion in customer investment and creation of nearly 3,000 customer jobs.


Social performance:

  • Continued efforts to reduce serious workplace injuries through a safety program built around peer-to-peer engagement, on-the-job safety briefings, workplace safety checkups and a goal of zero injuries and incidents.


  • Provided training to more than 6,200 local emergency responders on how to prepare for and safely respond to potential rail-related incidents, including visiting 22 communities in 15 states with NS’ safety train, a mobile classroom that offers hands-on training opportunities.


  • Became what is said to be the first Class I railroad to sign the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge, a public commitment to cultivate a workplace environment where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcome and where employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.