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With the 41st anniversary of Earth Day quickly approaching, organizations and corporations all over the world are focusing on new initiatives to promote environmental awareness and conservation - particularly the railroad industry. Of all freight-transportation options, rail is the most environmentally friendly way to move goods over land. In fact, if just 10% of the nation's freight were shifted to rail, fuel savings would approach a whopping one billion gallons annually. Given that pollution and climate change are two of this era's most deliberated issues, we looked at nine CSX freight-rail innovations that encourage environmental prosperity and make our world a cleaner, safer place.
Trees for Tracks
The Trees for Tracks program is a pledge to plant more trees than CSX must remove to maintain clear views of tracks and ensure safe passage. By planting trees, the company is improving air quality, offsetting carbon emissions, creating noise buffers, improving wildlife habitats and adding beauty to the communities they serve.
The EPA estimates that moving freight by rail emits 3 times less NO2 per ton-mile than highway transportation. Shifting 10% of long-haul freight from the highway to rail would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12 million tons.
EDF Climate Corps
EDF Climate Corps and CSX places top MBA students in companies to develop practical, actionable energy efficiency plans that cut costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, CSX and the company's fellow identified savings of more than $160,000, 1.5 million kWh of electricity (enough to power 140 homes), and 940 metric tons of CO2 (equivalent to removing 150 SUVs from the road) annually.
Up to five times more fuel-efficient than trucks, CSX trains are the most environmentally friendly way to move goods on land. Over the last decade, CSX invested $1.5 billion to improve its locomotive fuel efficiency and reduce the corresponding emissions. Efficient use of fuel means fewer greenhouse gas emissions for our planet.
CSX takes great pride in the work that its employees do in their communities. From helping kids learn to read, to rebuilding local parks and community centers, the employee volunteers really do make a difference.
The National Gateway Project
The National Gateway Project is an $842 million public-private infrastructure initiative to create a highly efficient freight transportation link between the Mid-Atlantic ports and the Midwest. Double-stack clearances allow rail carriers to stack intermodal containers atop each other, enabling each train to carry about twice as many cargo boxes. This will reduce truck traffic on already crowded highways, and create thousands of jobs that directly or indirectly support the National Gateway.
In the company's program, cleaners containing chlorinated solvents and low-flash-point mineral spirits are prohibited and replaced with environmentally friendly cleaners. Oil-based paints are in the process of being replaced with water- based low-VOC paints, which are purchased in 300-gallon reusable totes, reducing packaging associated with paint products.
Many materials, including steel from old locomotives and rail cars, batteries, cross ties, paper and electronic equipment are recycled each year. In addition, millions of gallons of oil is recycled annually and--in certain locations throughout the network--reused to heat buildings.