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UP recognized for carbon emissions disclosure; BNSF issues 2014 sustainability report

Union Pacific Railroad has been named a national leader for disclosing climate change information in CDP, an independent organization that advances sustainable business practices, the Class I reported late last week.

UP achieved a carbon disclosure score of 99 out of a possible 100. The company remains among the top 10 percent of companies in the S&P 500 sample, securing a position on the S&P Climate Disclosure Leadership index, UP officials said in a press release.

"Detailing emissions and energy data, Union Pacific is committed to participating in global discourse on the most effective approaches to addressing climate change, while supporting a thriving economy," said Joel Strafelda, UP's general manager-environmental management. "Our environmental sustainability initiatives reinforce how we adapt and innovate to safely meet the nation's dynamic freight transportation needs."

Meanwhile, BNSF Railway Co. last week unveiled its 2014 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report, which outlines the Class I's environmental, economic and social performance. The report updates BNSF's work toward reducing carbon emissions, protecting the environment and participating in the communities where it operates.

“We believe it is good business and good citizenship to minimize our impact on the planet and to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the communities we serve,” said John Lovenburg, BNSF's vice president of environmental, in a press release.  "Rail is, by far, the most sustainable means of long distance surface transportation, and we are proud of the role we play in safely and efficiently moving millions of tons of goods across our country every day."

In its report, BNSF cites highlights such as:
• reducing the total carbon emissions of its customers by 32 million metric tons when compared with other surface transportation modes;
• adding 600 new energy-efficient locomotives to the fleet;
• achieving another record year of employee safety;
• delivering safety training to 8,500 local emergency responders on how to respond to incidents involving hazardous commodities;
• deploying $5.5 billion in capital investments — up from $4 billion in 2013 — for expansion and maintenance of its rail network and infrastructure; and
• donating more than $10 million to communities through scholarships and other forms of funding.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/4/2015