Union Pacific Railroad Increases Sustainability Efforts
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Transportation is one of the biggest sources of the carbon emissions that cause global warming, therefore transport companies are under constant pressure to reduce their emissions. Rail companies have a head start in that area, since it is potentially a cleaner form of transport.
Union Pacific Railroad recently saw its carbon mitigation efforts acknowledged as it achieved its best-ever performance in CDP’s Global 500 and Standard & Poor’s 500 climate change 2013 reports. The railroad’s carbon disclosure score is 98, out of a possible 100, and in the top 10 percent of all companies in the Global 500 and S&P 500 samples. This placed Union Pacific in a leadership position on the Global 500 and S&P 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership indexes.
A mix of strategies boosted the rail company’s sustainability credentials. Union Pacific Railroad succeeded in eliminating an estimated 33.5 million tons of greenhouse gases from shipments by customers who move their products by rail instead of trucks. It also purchased 200 new fuel-efficient locomotives, replacing older, less fuel-efficient units. It also diverted from landfills an estimated 75 percent of the company’s waste. “Union Pacific’s annually improving CDP performance indicates our solid understanding of climate change-related issues affecting the company and our continued dedication to taking data-driven actions that reduce our environmental impact,” said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific vice president-Safety, Security and Environment. “Environmentally sustainable business practices are an essential component of Union Pacific’s ongoing commitment to safely deliver the goods American families and businesses use every day.”
The company is the only North American railroad to achieve a place on both indexes and its carbon disclosure score is an 11-point improvement over 2012. The company also attained a B rating in CDP’s performance band.
Last month Union Pacific unveiled its Arrowedge production version, a new employee-designed aerodynamic technology for fuel and locomotive emissions reductions on double-stack intermodal freight trains. The solution is part of the company’s efforts to design, build and implement fuel- and emissions-reducing technologies.
Another rail company to fare well on the sustainability stakes is CN, which recently appeared at the top Transportation and Transportation Infrastructure Industry sector of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI). The company leads the North American rail industry in fuel efficiency, consuming, overall, approximately 15 per cent less fuel per gross-ton-mile than the rail industry average.
Image credit: Union Pacific