Wed, Apr 21, 2021 12:13 PM
Happy Earth Day!
It is essential now, more than ever, to take responsibility for our environment. While freight rail transportation remains among the most efficient and environmentally friendly forms of moving goods, rail companies are also focused on innovating technologies, investing in equipment and pioneering new ways of efficiently running operations to mitigate climate change and protect the environment for future generations.
According to the Association of American Railroads’ (AAR) 2020 Climate Change Report, many AAR members voluntarily report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to various environmental, social and governance disclosure organizations. For example, at Norfolk Southern, a “Trees to Trains” program that focuses on creating a carbon-mitigation strategy that reforests thousands of acres in environmentally vulnerable areas to offset the company’s carbon footprint has been established. BNSF is testing the first battery electric locomotive in the U.S. and Canadian Pacific is participating in a pilot project to test hydrogen fuel cell locomotives. These are just a few exciting and innovative developments in the freight transportation industry this past year.
As a global company, Greenbrier believes in leading by example by driving the best practices that serve our communities and environment. Greenbrier remains committed to pursuing sustainable practices and innovations that allow for more eco-friendly approaches to manufacturing marine barges and freight railcars.
Greenbrier’s 2020 ESG report highlights some of the important work done to minimize Greenbrier’s impact on the environment:
Natural Recourse Utilization:
Greenbrier focuses on natural resource utilization when purchasing steel, one of the most used commodities in production. In 2020, 47% of all steel purchased by Greenbrier was recycled.
Energy usage is an important measure to track Greenbrier’s environmental impact. We are developing the data needed to demonstrate overall energy use improvements.
Hazardous Waste Management:
Greenbrier works to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated over time. Less toxic materials are substituted in our manufacturing process as it becomes available. For example, we eliminated the use of toluene to clean paint equipment in favor of water-based paints at key locations.
Greenbrier has kept daily emissions at extremely low concentrations that have minimal impact on the environment. Greenbrier’s average Nitrous Oxide emissions are less than 10% of the EPA’s size of a Major Source.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
Greenbrier has been tracking GHG emissions since 2015 and has upgraded processes for collecting information and calculating those emissions over time.
Greenbrier has kept water usage to a minimum using 20 million gallons per year, which is equivalent to the usage of a large high school in the U.S.
Greenbrier is dedicated to doing our part in creating a more sustainable future. As the world continues to make strides in green technology, Greenbrier pays close attention and incorporates these advances into our operations. As we mobilize and focus on environmental issues, we will continue to explore creative ways that we can make a difference in communities around the world.
 Freight Railroads & Climate Change, Association of American Railroads (2021) www.aar.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AAR-Climate-Change-Report.pdf
 2020 Environmental, Social & Governance Report, The Greenbrier Companies (2020) https://www.gbrx.com/media/2776/gbx_esg20_report_103020_final.pdf