JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) today announced the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) equivalent to up to 21 million pounds of CO 2, part of the LEED certification process for CSX's headquarters building. The RECs will offset emissions from the company's Jacksonville headquarters for two years by supporting carbon reduction projects.
"Combined with implementing operational adjustments, investing in new technologies and building key partnerships, the purchase of these RECs and LEED certification contribute to CSX's focus on lowering emissions and improving environmental sustainability across our company," said Carl Gerhardstein, assistant vice president, health, environment and sustainability. "We're reducing our environmental footprint by setting ambitious goals, supporting carbon reduction projects and implementing sustainable energy solutions at new and existing facilities."
CSX purchased 16,133,690 kWh worth of RECs and 1,361.96 MtC 2Oe (metric tonne carbon dioxide equivalent) in carbon offsets, equivalent to planting nearly 245,000 trees or removing more than 1,800 passenger cars from the road for one year. The RECs were purchased through Renewable Choice Energy, and will be used to encourage further development of the renewable energy market and renewable energy projects. RECs are the industry standard for accounting for renewable energy product; one REC is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy.
The LEED certification process at the company's headquarters is emblematic of efforts across CSX's 21,000-mile network. For example, in Worcester, Massachusetts, two new CSX buildings feature solar panels to heat water and power the building. These facilities also utilize hybrid electric cranes, which run primarily on rechargeable batteries. This practice saves energy, improves local air quality and also reduces noise.At the Jacksonville Intermodal Terminal, CSX installed energy-efficient LED fixtures on high mast light poles, the administration building and the gate canopy. Together, these lights reduce energy consumption by 25 percent. CSX also joined community-owned utility company JEA's InVest Smart Business Energy Updates program, designed to help business make cost-efficient transitions to more environmentally-friendly energy options. CSX's changes resulted in utility credits of nearly $20,000 through the program. Investment in technology, core to CSX's operational philosophy, supports environmental stewardship as well. Solar panels in CSX's Queensgate yard in Cincinnati, Ohio are monitored via an interactive dashboard that catalogs the company's energy usage against historical baselines to gauge operational efficiency. These recent additions continue CSX's commitment to continuous improvement in environmentally-friendly operations. In 2010, CSX met its voluntary goal to lower emissions intensity by 8 percent – nearly one year ahead of schedule. In 2012, the company announced another ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 6 to 8 percent by 2020. The company also continues to incorporate high efficiency, low emission locomotives throughout its network. Shipping freight by rail is three to five times more fuel-efficient than alternative means, as one train can transport one ton of freight approximately 450 miles on one gallon of fuel.