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CSX, Canadian Pacific lauded for efforts to reduce GHGs

Also, CP, Wabtec and Greenbrier detail sustainability achievements

CSX, Canadian Pacific and others describe and achieve sustainability targets. (Photo: JIm Allen/FreightWaves)

Two Class I railroads have earned kudos for their efforts to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) and Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) garnered a spot on the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America this month. The index, a partnership between Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM Sustainability Assessments, scores companies on their ability to meet environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. 

“We are extremely pleased the DJSI continues to recognize CSX as an industry leader in sustainability,” said CSX President and CEO JIm Foote in a Nov. 15 statement. CSX has been on the list for 11 consecutive years. “We remain focused on building upon this success to further expand the sustainability benefits CSX offers to our customers, employees, and other stakeholders. Our efforts have improved upon the emissions advantage rail provides as the most fuel-efficient mode of land-based transportation. We continue taking action to further reduce emissions for the freight already moving on CSX and are committed to driving additional reductions through converting incremental volumes off the highway and onto CSX.”

This is the second consecutive year marking CP’s inclusion in the index.

“We are proud that DJSI is recognizing CP’s commitment to being a sustainability leader in the transportation sector,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel. “We continually look for innovative, impactful ways to advance our objectives and to embed sustainability in all levels of our organization.”

CP said it has published a climate strategy report that tracks how the railway plans to reduce GHG emissions. The report includes how CP will meet science-based emissions reduction targets. Some of the initiatives that CP has already undertaken include installing a large solar farm at its Calgary, Alberta, headquarters and expanding the hydrogen locomotive program. CP also supports the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which seek to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the railway said.

Seeking sustainability

These accolades come as CP and other rail companies released their annual sustainability reports in October and November:

Canadian Pacific said highlights of the year included:

  • The establishment of science-based GHG emissions reduction targets covering 100% of scope 1 and 2 emissions.
  • Investments in areas such as cold wheel detection technology, broken rail detection and remote safety inspections to further improve network velocity, resiliency and safety.

Wabtec (NYSE: WAB) said highlights of the year included, among other items: 

  • The completion of its first comprehensive ESG Materiality Assessment that included stakeholder involvement from employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, business partners and industry associations to identify material ESG issues.
  • Third-party verification of Wabtec’s scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions data, as well as water consumption data in water-scarce areas, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.

Greenbrier (NYSE: GBX) said its highlights for the year included:

  • An increase in recycled steel content from 47% in 2020 to 51% in 2021.
  • The incorporation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals targets that are specific to Greenbrier’s ESG approach.

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Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.