Norfolk Southern's commitment to sustainable transportation: key takeaways from Chief Sustainability Officer Josh Raglin

Last week, Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the state of Georgia’s technology business incubator, hosted a Sustainable Transportation event. Hosted by Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, a crowd gathered to explore new ways to decarbonize and improve efficiency in transportation.

Norfolk Southern Chief Sustainability Officer Josh Raglin gave a keynote presentation, highlighting the company’s longstanding commitment to sustainability and its positive impact on the transportation industry. Norfolk Southern’s partnership with ATDC is a unique one; the company sponsored the creation of the incubator’s Sustainability Technology Program, which formally launched in January 2023.

Here are the key takeaways from Raglin’s presentation:

Customer-Centric Approach: Norfolk Southern is committed to helping its customers achieve their sustainability goals by providing innovative solutions to reduce carbon emissions. The company's next generation Carbon Calculator offers increased transparency in measuring supply chain emissions, enabling customers to make informed shipping decisions and meet their Scope 3 targets. “Decarbonizing the supply chain is better for our communities, and it’s better for our customers,” Raglin said.

Sustainability Milestones: Norfolk Southern has achieved significant sustainability milestones, including reducing carbon emissions by 10% per revenue ton-mile by 2014 and receiving environmental awards for its commitment to emission reduction. The company has implemented various initiatives, such as the "Eco" locomotives with low-emission engines, locomotive modernization programs, and wetland restoration projects, showcasing its dedication to environmental stewardship.

Decarbonization Initiatives: Norfolk Southern is actively accelerating freight transport decarbonization through data-driven strategies and partnerships. The company has released a Climate Transition Plan and established science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 42% by 2034, focusing on biofuel adoption, fuel efficiency improvements, and renewable energy utilization.

Industry Leadership: Norfolk Southern is recognized as a leader in sustainable transportation, with a focus on fuel efficiency, low carbon fuels, renewable energy, and biodiversity enhancement. The company's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint aligns with industry standards and positions it as a key player in driving sustainable practices within the transportation sector.

Collaborative Partnerships: Norfolk Southern emphasizes the importance of partnerships in achieving sustainability goals and is dedicated to strengthening existing relationships while building new ones. The company's collaborative approach extends to its Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards, recognizing customers and suppliers for environmental stewardship, innovation, and efficiency.

For more information on Norfolk Southern's sustainability initiatives and commitment to sustainable transportation, visit