Environmental Governance & Compliance

Managing a company in an environmentally sustainable way happens with dedicated employees implementing a well crafted plan. Our environmental team, which oversees Union Pacific's compliance with environmental laws and regulations through our Environmental Management System, 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 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. Union Pacific performs a programmatic environmental risk review every other year. The review is facilitated by an independent auditor who examines information prepared by the Management Program or Issue Team for risk evaluation and scoring. The company then allocates resources to address those risk.

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 throughout our network to assess any impact on the environment. This includes potential sources of airborne emissions, releases of fuel or oil into the environment, and industrial wastewater and storm water runoff.