Norfolk Southern Named to Inbound Logistics’ 2014 75 Green Supply Chain Partners List

Norfolk Southern Corp. has earned a place on Inbound Logistics’ 2014 75 Green Supply Chain Partners list in recognition of sustainable supply chain, logistics, and transportation practices.

The transportation industry magazine cited Norfolk Southern’s Trees and Trains tree-planting initiative and its investments in track and rail facilities to increase freight rail capacity across the company’s eastern U.S. network.

“Norfolk Southern strives to provide customers with unrivalled service while mitigating business impacts on the environment,” Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer, said in a news release. “We are proud and gratified to be recognized by Inbound Logistics for these efforts. Employees at all levels of the railroad are working hard to be more efficient, less resource-intensive, and innovative in the way we do business.”

In announcing its “G75” list, Inbound Logistics said a company’s corporate sustainability initiatives, collaborative customer-driven projects, and participation in public-private partnerships were considered. Four benchmarks carried weight: measurable green results, sustainability innovation, continuous improvement, and industry recognition.

“We found Norfolk Southern to be one of those companies that is truly ‘walking the walk’ when it comes to supply chain sustainability,” Felecia Stratton, editor of Inbound Logistics, said in a news release.

Norfolk Southern launched Trees and Trains in 2011 with a five-year, $5.6 million commitment to reforest 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Delta with more than 6 million native hardwoods and cottonwoods. The railroad also is working with conservation partners to restore longleaf pines and American chestnut trees. These forest habitats offer carbon sequestration and watershed protection, with the Mississippi Delta initiative projected to generate 1.12 million tons of carbon-offset credits. That is equal to nearly one-fifth of Norfolk Southern’s 2013 carbon emissions, primarily from its diesel-powered locomotive fleet.

In the current year, NS expects to spend $2.2 billion on strategic investments in its rail franchise, including projects to improve capacity and network flow. Inbound Logistics singled out NS’ ongoing investments in its Crescent Corridor public-private improvement project, which spans 11 states and has the potential to ease highway congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting long-haul freight from trucks to trains. More companies are shifting transport of their products from highway to rail to reduce their supply-chain carbon footprint and achieve business sustainability goals.