Norfolk Southern is positioned well to provide superior service for its customers and create long-term value for shareholders as economic conditions improve, CEO James A. Squires told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting today.
“We’re now accelerating our implementation of precision scheduled railroading principles to drive the productivity and efficiency of our organization even further, helping us better serve customers, support growth, and drive long-term value,” Squires said.
“Having made significant progress in our company’s transformation, technology remains at the center of our strategy. We are moving quickly to lead the industry in innovation, launching our Digital | NS initiative, and building the digital railroad of the future. We have goals that range from short-term, practical improvements in daily operations to long-term, aspirational ‘moonshot’ projects that will transform our company and the rail industry. Regardless of their scope, these technology investments reflect our company’s pursuit of operational excellence as well as a deep commitment to sustainability as core to our business.
“We are excited to move forward with our transition to diesel-electric hybrid cranes at our intermodal facilities, advance plans to further reduce fuel consumption, and develop our science-based target to reduce emissions consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change. By combining these measures with innovative initiatives such as our industry-first issuance of green bonds, we’re partnering with our customers and investors to reduce our respective carbon footprints and business costs while pursuing responsible growth,” said Squires.
Squires’ full remarks are posted on the Invest in NS section of the Norfolk Southern website under Presentations. In addition, a recording of the Annual Meeting will be posted within the next week to the Invest in NS section under Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
In official business, based on preliminary results, shareholders elected 13 directors for one-year terms expiring in 2022:
- Thomas D. Bell Jr., chairman of Mesa Capital Partners LLC;
- Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., president of Purdue University;
- Marcela E. Donadio, former partner and Americas oil and gas sector leader of Ernst & Young LLP;
- John C. Huffard Jr., co-founder of Tenable Network Security and Tenable Holdings Inc.;
- Christopher T. Jones, former corporate vice president and president of the technology services sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation;
- Thomas C. Kelleher, former president of Morgan Stanley;
- Steven F. Leer, lead director, former CEO and chairman of Arch Coal Inc.;
- Michael D. Lockhart, former chairman, president, and CEO of Armstrong World Industries Inc.;
- Amy E. Miles, former chair and CEO of Regal Entertainment Group Inc.;
- Claude Mongeau, former president and CEO of Canadian National Railway Company;
- Jennifer F. Scanlon, president, CEO, and director of UL;
- James A. Squires, chairman, president and CEO of Norfolk Southern; and
- John R. Thompson, former senior vice president and general manager of Best Buy.com LLC.
In other preliminary results, shareholders ratified the appointment of KPMG LLP as independent auditors for 2021, approved an advisory resolution on the compensation of executive officers, and rejected a shareholder proposal regarding revisions to ownership requirements for proxy access.
A shareholder proposal requesting that the company issue a report on how its lobbying activity aligns with the Paris Agreement on climate change received support from a majority of the shares voted at the annual meeting.
“Our board of directors will determine appropriate next steps, but it’s important to note that sustainability and political transparency are already areas of strength for our company,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Vanessa Allen Sutherland. “We have committed to set a science-based target for emissions reductions consistent with the Paris Agreement, and recently issued $500 million in green bonds to fund investments in sustainable business practices. We also have been consistently recognized as a leader in corporate political transparency by such organizations as the Center for Political Accountability.”
About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies, moving the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Norfolk Southern connects customers to markets and communities to economic opportunity, with safe, reliable, and cost-effective shipping solutions. The company’s service area includes 22 states and the District of Columbia, every major container port in the eastern United States, and a majority of the U.S. population and manufacturing base.
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