Our Approach to Environmental, Social & Governance

Building a Sustainable Future 2030

Union Pacific trains traverse through metropolitan cities, cozy communities and lands where only wildlife can be heard. From the terrain our rails touch to communities worldwide, it’s important we act as stewards to support the transition to a more sustainable future. One that fosters diverse and inclusive environments, provides innovative economic solutions, ensures clean air and plentiful water supplies, and improves the quality of life for every resident. At the beginning of this new decade, Union Pacific is reinforcing our commitment by introducing our new environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy: Building a Sustainable Future 2030.

The COVID-19 pandemic taught the world about the importance of resiliency, and, in many cases, businesses like Union Pacific reacted faster than governments to support employees, supply chains and communities. As a critical part of America’s infrastructure, Union Pacific played a key role ensuring continuity of functions to support public health and safety, as well as delivering materials to power hospitals, stock grocery store shelves, purify water, make medicine and feed livestock. These responsibilities and our ability to be agile in responding to evolving customer and community needs will continue to be critical long into the future as we face the impacts of climate change, social injustice and other global crises.

Built on four areas of concentration – Engaging Employees, Sustainable Solutions, Protecting the Environment and Strengthening Communities – our new strategy addresses the evolving needs of our stakeholder groups over the next decade and is more inclusive of the overall impact we can have. It takes into account our most material issues and aligns with our commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while keeping safety as our No. 1 priority. Within each pillar we have measurable targets, and we will report our progress annually in the Building America Report.

Today, Union Pacific moves a ton of freight 444 miles on a single gallon of fuel and rail remains the most environmentally responsible way to move freight, cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 75% compared to commercial trucks. While this ESG strategy supports Union Pacific’s corporate strategy to be the best freight railroad in North America, it leverages our expertise and enables further sustainable growth across our supply chain.

Over the next 10 years, we envision:

  • New initiatives to recruit, develop and retain a diverse workforce that better reflects the world around us and prepares employees for the jobs of the future, allowing Union Pacific and the U.S. to compete for global business.
  • A seamless customer experience, and opportunity for large and small companies to leverage rail, making Union Pacific the go-to source for long haul goods movement.
  • Mandated GHG emissions targets, zero waste initiatives supporting a circular economy, and ongoing habitat loss and water shortages due to the growing population and urban sprawl.
  • Increased support of minority- and women-owned businesses that strengthens local economies, as well as philanthropic aid that leads to safe places to live, family-supporting jobs and vibrant spaces that inspire people to live their best lives.