Vintage photos of freight trains often feature billowing plumes of smoke generated by coal-burning steam engines. But rail operator Norfolk Southern Corp. says those plumes are a thing of the past, noting that today, rail is far and away the most fuel-efficient—and low-carbon—way to move freight.
Now, the Atlanta-based company is looking to go even greener. In May 2021, it issued nearly $500 million in “green bonds” to raise funds for further emissions-reduction initiatives, a move it described as the first such offering by a Class I railroad in North America.
Last month, the railroad issued a report on the projects funded by that cash and their expected environmental and social benefits. According to the report, the company has already allocated $496 million of the green bonds’ proceeds to various eco-initiatives. The allocations included: