FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Charting the railroads’ path to net-zero
DETAILS: The railroad industry is a critical component of a net-zero freight future. How are rail operators planning to decarbonize operations? What technologies and fuels of the future will be implemented and when? Josh Raglin, chief sustainability officer at Norfolk Southern, chats with Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence for FreightWaves, about how railroads are on track to meet their emission reduction targets.
SPEAKER: Josh Raglin, chief sustainability officer, Norfolk Southern
BIO: Raglin leads efforts to transform Norfolk Southern’s sustainability strategy. He champions initiatives that integrate sustainability practices into daily operations to achieve efficiencies, control costs, generate revenue and reduce environmental impacts. These efforts include close collaboration with department leaders companywide and with external stakeholders such as customers, investors, government and communities. Raglin was awarded a Regional Director’s Conservation Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for outstanding contributions to conservation for his work on land conservation and endangered species recovery. He has twice been Norfolk Southern’s nominee for the North American Railroad Environmental Excellence Award.
KEY QUOTES FROM RAGLIN:
“One thing that really stands out on our carbon calculator is that you’ve got 75,000 choices of origins and destinations across the United States, and we’re going to expand this to North America as well. It’s a great tool not just for the Norfolk Southern network — it’s going to be for the entire Class I network across North America.”
“We have seven Class I railroads in North America, and we have all committed to a science-based target for emissions reduction. So, it’s really taking an industry look and an industry approach.”
“What’s interesting is that [the rail freight industry has] got a number of things in the works at the same time, which is great because it’s going to take multiple solutions. I don’t think there’s going to be one thing that’s totally going to replace diesel when we think about the rail freight industry. I think it’s going to be multiple things: It’s going to be dependent on location; it’s going to be dependent on fuel availability.”
“Sustainability is not against business. Sustainability is pro-business, and you’ve got to have the two working together in order to achieve results.”