Railroad company Union Pacific announced today a new climate commitment, with the company targeting net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The company also announced the publication of its climate action plan, detailing the initiatives and actions the company will take in order to achieve its GHG emissions reduction goals.

The new goal long-term goal adds to the railroad’s 2030 target to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from its operations 26% by 2030. Union Pacific announced in February that its 2030 goals had been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Lance Fritz, Chairman, President and CEO of Union Pacific, said:

“As the world takes action to address climate change, Union Pacific is taking thoughtful and deliberate steps to improve our environmental footprint. We experience first-hand the effects of climate change and are urgently working toward our shared sustainable future.”

Some of the actions outlined in the newly released plan include improvements in operational efficiency through investments in a more efficient locomotive fleet and energy management technology, the promotion of rail as the environmentally preferable surface transportation solution, and the exploration of emerging supply chain circularity opportunities. Union Pacific stated that it has already invested around $3.4 billion since 2010 to purchase more than 1,300 new locomotives, and has retired 2,500 less fuel-efficient locomotives.

The company said that it will also increase the use of low-carbon fuels, targeting 20% of total diesel consumption by 2030, and will participate in policy development initiatives with industry groups on climate change and sustainability. Union Pacific also recently launched Planet Tracks, an employee-led business resource group to engage the company’s workforce on sustainability issues.

Fritz added:

“We continue to work with our supply chain partners to develop sustainable solutions, and we are engaging others in the rail industry to solve these difficult problems. Union Pacific intends to be a significant contributor to the overall solution.”

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