CN Releases Sustainability Report – Rail Age

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Written by

Marybeth Luczak, Editor-in-Chief

Pictured: Hope Patrick, Engine Hostler, CN, Winnipeg, MB. (Photo courtesy of CN)

CN has published its eighth “Responsible Sustainability Report” describing its ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance.

The 76-page report for 2020 (download below) “is part of our commitment to be open about our business and to communicate our progress with focus, clarity and comparability,” CN said.

Produced every two years, the report covers five principles that “anchor” CN’s commitment to sustainability. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Environment: “In order to keep the increase in global temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures, we have revised our science goal to reduce our carbon intensity by 43% by 2030 on the base of 2019 levels ”, depending on the class. I Railroad, which announced in November 2021 its commitment to “achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050”. Additionally, CN said it delivered its “best locomotive fuel efficiency to date – 4% better than the previous record set in 2019 – avoiding approximately 275,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions”; establishing a short-term, year-over-year rolling target of 2% sustainable renewable fuel consumption for its Canadian locomotive fleet; the purchase of a Wabtec FLXdrive battery electric freight locomotive; and the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Lion Electric for the acquisition of 50 zero-emission trucks for use in intermodal terminals in urban areas.

“We are raising our level of ambition to ensure a sustainable future,
make a significant difference to our employees, our customers and the many
communities where we operate, ”CN said.

2. Security: In 2020, CN said it had invested approximately $ 2.9 billion in its capital program to support safety, increase capacity, enable growth and increase operational efficiency. About $ 1.6 billion has been allocated to maintain track and rail infrastructure. In addition, the railway has health and safety committees that focus on “engaging employees, resolving safety issues and making concrete improvements”, and it uses inspection portals. automated systems to improve fleet inspection, investing in predictive data analysis, incorporating online training on electronic lane occupancy permits and digitization processes for more efficiency.

3 people: CN conducts “regular pay equity reviews and sets a roadmap to address identified gaps,” and targets 30% for gender diversity among executives by 2022. Currently, out of 34 leadership positions currently, six (18%) are occupied by women.

4. Community: In 2021, CN created an Indigenous Advisory Council, “an independent body made up of Indigenous peoples from across the country, to advise the CN board of directors and the company’s president and CEO.” Additionally, in 2019 and 2020, CN continued its partnership with Tree Canada, “by engaging in tree planting and mass reforestation projects across the country.” Since 2012, through our EcoConnexions programs, CN has planted more than two million trees.

5. Governance: In 2020, 43% of CN’s board members were women, and in early 2021, the board set a new goal of 50% gender diversity among its directors by 2022. In addition, at In recent years, “we have aligned our practices with the United Nations Global Compacts and worked to make our processes more robust,” CN said. “We continue to conduct high-level due diligence assessments across our value chain to identify, address and mitigate potential human rights issues. “

CN also noted accomplishments such as:

• Recognized in 2021 “for leadership in corporate governance, ranking # 1 in the Globe and Mail Report on Business’s annual comprehensive assessment of the 220 members of the S & P / TSX Composite Index.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of CN, Robert Pace

• Listed in 2021 on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the 10th consecutive year.

• Listed in 2021 on CDP’s Global Climate A List, recognizing leadership in carbon disclosure.

• Ranked 10th in the world on the Corporate Knights 2021 Global 100 index of the most sustainable companies.

“As we look forward to the next great chapter in our company’s history, we are committed to implementing new ESG initiatives that reflect best practices and strengthen our status as a leader among North American railways. class I and throughout the transport sector. CN Chairman Robert Pace said in the report.


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