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NS announces purchase of renewable energy sources

ATLANTA — Norfolk Southern Corp. announced that it will purchase 100% renewable energy to power the company’s operations in the Altoona and Reading regions through agreements with Penelec and Met-Ed utilities.

Shipping by rail instead of truck lowers carbon emissions by 75% on average, relieves traffic congestion and reduces the wear on public infrastructure, according to a corporation press release.

All electricity purchased by Norfolk Southern in its regions served by the Penelec and Met-Ed utilities will be generated from renewable sources, including wind, solar, geothermal, biomass or hydroelectric. Specifically, these agreements will offset emissions produced from the electricity used to power Norfolk Southern offices and facilities in the regions, known as Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, Norfolk Southern will use renewable energy sources for approximately 28% of its electricity consumption in Pennsylvania.

“This is a first of its kind partnership for our company, but shows we are committed to sustainability when we purchase the energy that powers our facilities. Where there’s an opportunity, we want to do the right thing for our company, the environment and the local communities where we operate,” Panos Kokkinos, director of facilities services at Norfolk Southern, said in a statement.

The agreements will help Norfolk Southern toward its goal of renewable sources comprising 30% of its total energy usage across the 22-state network by 2030. The Class I freight railroad identified in its 2021 ESG report that it nearly doubled renewable energy usage to 18% in deregulated markets as of May 1. These clean energy purchases will be spread over one three-year and one four-year contract, amounting to nearly 59,000 megawatt-hours — enough to power approximately 5,900 average American homes for one year.

“This renewable energy partnership showcases how we continue to live our values and honor our commitments as a responsible corporate citizen. The clean energy market is ripe with opportunities and renewable energy will be a big focus area to help Norfolk Southern achieve sustainability goals going forward,” Josh Raglin, chief sustainability officer at Norfolk Southern, said in a statement.

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