Environmental Governance & Compliance

Managing a company in an environmentally sustainable way doesn’t happen by accident. Our Environmental Management Group, which oversees Union Pacific's compliance with environmental laws and regulations, is strategically integrated into the company’s daily operations. Ensuring that best practices are followed to reduce environmental impact requires planning, coordination and communication – and the hands-on involvement and awareness of every our employees. Union Pacific strategically deploys environmental management specialists who are experts in environmental impact and hazardous materials to key locations. The specialists serve as on-the-ground observers and innovators, and they work with the communities where our trains operate.

An important focus to protect the environment concerns the safe transportation of hazardous materials. Although the tank cars carrying these chemicals belong to our customers, it’s important for us to make sure the cars do not experience malfunctions while on our tracks. That’s why we track every hazmat rail car on our network. If a car carrying hazardous materials is delayed, a dedicated team immediately takes steps to ensure that it reaches its destination safely and in a timely fashion.

Our safety efforts go beyond hazardous materials transportation. We conduct regular inspections of every component of our network that has an impact on the environment. This includes all potential sources of airborne emissions, releases of fuel or oil into the environment from storage facilities or locomotives; and, industrial wastewater and storm water runoff.