Norfolk Southern issues $500 million of green bonds to fund sustainable business initiatives
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) today closed a $500 million green bond offering to fund investments to reduce the company’s carbon emissions and help customers reduce their supply-chain emissions. Norfolk Southern is the first Class I railroad in North America to issue green bonds.
Norfolk Southern last month committed to establish a science-based target to lower its carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Today’s announcement is an important step in the company’s plans to reach that goal.
“Green bonds will enable us to deliver for our customers and the environment,” said James A. Squires, chairman, president and CEO. “In recent years our customers have avoided 15 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually by shipping their goods and materials with Norfolk Southern. Now we are committing to do even more to help customers reduce their carbon footprint, promote cleaner air, and drive long-term value for shareholders.”
Norfolk Southern today can, on average, haul a ton of freight 440 miles on a single gallon of fuel. Rail currently moves 45% of all freight ton miles for long-distance shipping in the US and only produces 7% of freight carbon emissions. Moving freight by rail lowers overall transportation emissions, relieves highway congestion, and reduces wear on the publicly funded interstate highway system.
As outlined in the company’s Green Financing Framework, projects that can be funded with proceeds from the green bond offering include:
- Improving the fuel efficiency of Norfolk Southern’s locomotive fleet;
- Investing in intermodal terminals that promote the shift of freight from trucks to trains;
- Powering company operations with cleaner energy;
- Increasing the use of energy-efficient buildings and technology; and
- Supporting reforestation projects that restore natural landscapes and offset carbon emissions.
“Green bonds challenge us to reduce our environmental impacts and evaluate not only where we have been, but where we want to go,” said Josh Raglin, chief sustainability officer. “Through innovation and collaboration with our many partners, we aim to be the transportation industry leader delivering the low-carbon economy.”
Norfolk Southern was recently recognized on the Wall Street Journal’s 2020 list of the 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies in the World.
About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies, moving the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Norfolk Southern connects customers to markets and communities to economic opportunity, with safe, reliable, and cost-effective shipping solutions. The company’s service area includes 22 states and the District of Columbia, every major container port in the eastern United States, and a majority of the U.S. population and manufacturing base.