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Union Pacific reports sustainability progress in 2016

Union Pacific Corp. yesterday published its 2016 "Building America Report," which details the Class I's safety, social, economic and environmental progress.

The publication marks the eighth consecutive year that UP has reported its sustainability business practices and goals.

Among the highlights of this year's report is UP's safety record; its use of 91 million fewer gallons of diesel; and its reduced consumption of water by 290 million gallons, according to a UP press release.

"This year's Building America Report illustrates our contributions toward a sustainable economy by delivering value to our employees, customers, communities and shareholders," said Scott Moore, senior vice president-corporate relations. "As we report our progress, Union Pacific continues enhancing efforts to transport the country's goods by rail in a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible manner."

UP discloses its sustainability practices as part of the CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, a nonprofit organization that operates a global disclosure system for businesses to manage and report their environmental impacts. UP was the only Class I to report water consumption to the CDP.

UP used the Global Reporting Initiative's global sustainability reporting standards as a guide in its reporting. The railroad's accomplishments in 2016 included:
• the best annual employee safety performance in its 154-year history;
• increased rail safety awareness through a digital campaign, reaching more than 32 million people;
• an "A" rating on the CDP Climate Change Survey and inclusion in CDP's S&P Climate Disclosure Leadership Index;
• acquiring 160 locomotives meeting the Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 4 emissions standards, which reduce particulate emissions by as much as 91 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by as much as 90 percent, compared to locomotives built prior to EPA standards;
• emissions reductions from fuel saving initiatives and volume reductions; and
• hiring 4 percent more women into its Operating Management Trainee program and continued efforts to attract women to UP.

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