CSX first US rail firm with emissions goal approved by SBTi

By Sean Galea-Pace
The rail transportation company, CSX, has become the first North American railroad company to have its new emissions intensity goal approved by the SBTi...

The rail transportation company, CSX, has become the first North American railroad company to have its new emissions intensity goal approved by the SBTi.

Science-based Target Initiative (SBTi) sets standards and verifies companies’ efforts to reduce emissions in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius.

It is part of CSX's plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 37.3% between 2014 and 2030. The firm anticipates future transformational technology to facilitate the next level of reductions and is significantly investing in technologies and operational practices to drive maximum achievable efficiencies. 

During 2018, CSX reached its greenhouse gas target to decrease emissions intensity by 6-8% by 2020. CSX has also achieved an 8.1% emissions intensity reduction, while accomplishing the goal set in 2012, two years ahead of plan.


With rail already regarded as the most fuel-efficient method of freight transportation, CSX is accelerating this further by setting fuel efficiency records. The company's target is considered a key way of boosting their competitive advantage in the switch to a low-carbon economy.

So far, CSX is the only US class I railroad to have started operating one gallon of fuel-per-thousand gross ton miles. In addition, the company is also seeking opportunities for additional improvement as part of its commitment to greater sustainable business practices.

Speaking to Supply Chain Dive, Meaghan Atkinson, Manager of Environmental Programmes at CSX, said: “The biggest way for CSX to move the needle is on fuel efficiency. CSX considers any and all technologies that can support fuel efficiency — some technologies include hardware and software changes to how locomotives run. 

“CSX expects that new technologies will come along in the next 10 years that will assist in reaching the new goal. There are advanced technologies that do exist and part of our strategy to help achieve the goal includes investing in these new efforts.”

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