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CSX Sustainability Report: Water Consumption Jumps 39%

Rail company CSX’s water consumption jumped 39 percent from 2010 to 2011, from 1,010,919 to 1,412,637 Kgal, according to its 2011 corporate sustainability report.

The company says it is implementing programs to track water use and recognizes the need to evaluate how water use can be reduced company-wide. In one location it has installed a rainwater harvesting system which uses collected water for dust suppression. It has also installed a water recycling unit at another site to cut down on the amount of potable water is uses, the report said.

CSX’s normalized greenhouse gas emissions rose 5 percent between 2010 and 2011, from 23.96 to 25.16 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per million ton-mile. However the 2011 figure includes emissions from CSX’s corporate subsidiaries, whereas earlier years’ figures did not include such emissions. In 2010, the company met its goal of an 8 percent reduction in carbon intensity against 2006 levels a year ahead of schedule.

CSX is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions intensity by a further 6 to 8 percent by 2020, although the report does not list a baseline year against which this figure will be measured.

The company’s total scope 1,2 and 3 emissions rose from 5,491,282 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2010 to 5,746,061 in 2011. Some 89.7 percent of CSX’s emissions came from its locomotives in 2011, down from 91.7 percent in 2010. In terms of purchased electricity, CSX bought 25 percent more electricity in 2011 than 2010. In 2011 the company purchased 539,091 MWh of electricity.

Its fuel efficiency decreased around 2.5 percent year-on-year, from 468 to 456 revenue ton miles per gallon of diesel consumed. Similarly, the company’s overall diesel use increased 2.5 percent year on year, from 491 million gallons to 503 million gallons.

Over the past decade, the company has invested over $1.75 billion in new locomotives and technology that help to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, the report says. In 2011, CSX joined the EDF’s Climate Corps program. The program places MBA students in corporations with the aim of finding energy efficiency improvements. CSX’s 2011 fellow evaluated energy use of its rail yard air compressors and data center, identifying savings of $1.2 million and preventing 3,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report.

CSX locomotive operators are trained on locomotive simulators, where CSX says they learn best practices and improve their awareness of fuel efficient train handling. The company also uses locomotive Event Recorder Automated Download technology that provides feedback to engineers on how to improve fuel efficiency, performance and safe operations. Over the past four years, ERAD has contributed to the saving of over 20 million gallons of fuel. In 2011, ERAD saved 5.4 million gallons of fuel.

One thought on “CSX Sustainability Report: Water Consumption Jumps 39%

  1. It’s extremely important that we take the time to really assess where our water use comes from. Many don’t realize that fresh water is actually a scarce resource. a 39% jump is significant, but with some assessing you could definitely find more efficient water use and decrease your utility expenditures while being more environmentally friendly.

    It’s a win-win! Kudos for taking the initative.

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