The most environmentally-friendly way to move goods over land may not be what you expect. It’s rail.
Compared to a truck. a locomotive releases three times less nitrogen oxide and particulates. according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Thinking in terms of tonnage moved and miles per gallon, Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX Corporation can transport a ton of freight nearly 500 miles on just one gallon of diesel fuel.
As a provider of rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck trans load services, CSX plays an even bigger role in the move toward sustainability. It transports the very biofuels and wind power turbines needed to help diversify the country’s fuel consumption.
Sustainability a Priority
CSX has invested more than $1.5 billion to upgrade its fleet with the technology needed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The company has upgraded more t han 1.200 locomotives so far, and as a result. efficiency is up 90 percent since 1980.
Carl Gerhardstein, CSX assistant vice president of environmental systems and sustainability says that the company has made sustainability a major priority: “We’re excited to be the first transportation company that has inventoried our greenhouse gas emissions. voluntarily set a goal to reduce those emissions. and accomplished our goal a year early.”
Reduced Emissions, Improved Efficiency
After setting a high goal to reduce its emissions by 8 percent by 2011, CSX achieved the milestone in 2010. Last year, the company joined the Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps, a program in which an MBA student works with companies to improve energy efficiency. The student, along with CSX employees, identified 1.5 million kWh of electricity and 940 metric tons of C02 that could be removed with upgrades. In 2010, the company obtained its first LEED green building certification from the U.S. Green Business Council.
“We’re looking at ways to improve efficiency in all of our buildings and facilities. and looking to improve our wastewater treatment facilities that operate at our locomotive servicing centers,” Gerhardstein says.
Green Goes Social
In addition to promoting environmental initiatives internally, CSX engages in efforts to promote climate change projects externally. Through the Tree for Tracks program with the Alliance for Community Trees, CSX will be planting one tree for every mile of operation. It also leveraged the power of social media and hosted The Tomorrow Moves Project on Facebook to encourage individuals to submit ideas for protecting the environment.
CSX promotes recycling and waste minimization at the corporate level and encourages suppliers to use recyclable containers when shipping items via rail. Customers use CSX’s online carbon calculator to determine the carbon dioxide emissions savings for specific rail shipments compared to other transportation choices. As part of CSX’s week-long Earth Day celebration. the company recognizes customers committed to a green supply chain through the Environmental Awards.
“I think that companies want to do business with like-minded companies that are aware of their impact on the environment,” Gerhardstein says.
To find out more about CSX’s environmental stewardship initiatives, visit csx.com
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.