NS: ‘Green’ Adds Up With Improved Green Machine Environmental Calculator

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern Corp. has enhanced its online carbon footprint analyzer, enabling rail customers to estimate the value of carbon offsets in addition to calculating the environmental benefits of shipping by rail.

The “Green Machine,” available on the Norfolk Southern Web site at www.nscorp.com/footprints, features a new carbon offset calculator that computes an estimated monetary value of carbon offsets generated by switching freight from truck to rail. Type in the freight tonnage and length of haul, and the user-friendly calculator does the rest, based on the current market price of carbon offsets.

“We unveiled the Green Machine more than a year ago, and it has been an effective tool for demonstrating the environmental benefits of shipping by rail,” said Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer. “With this enhanced edition, we now can measure the potential monetary benefits of carbon offsets for existing and potential customers. Our goal is to continue enhancing the product to provide meaningful tools for our customers.”

The Green Machine calculates the total emissions reductions achieved by switching freight from truck to rail, and it puts the reductions in perspective by showing the equivalent number of trees planted and cars removed from the road. In 2008, the average Norfolk Southern customer shipped 42,640 tons of freight 576 miles. Using those numbers for the “truckload to rail” comparison, the Green Machine calculates that each customer reduced emissions an average 1,909 tons last year, with the equivalent environmental benefits of taking 1,717 cars off the road or planting 10,629 trees. The average value of carbon offsets was $3,151 per customer, based on a carbon offset price of $1.65.