Norfolk Southern

Georgia
Transportation

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Caution
Medium Risk

Norfolk Southern scored an 50 on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI). By complying with Human Rights Campaign’s controversial demands, Norfolk Southern increases the risk of dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company uses its reputation, corporate funds, and political influence to support controversial sex and gender ideologies, organizations, and legislation. Norfolk Southern does not donate to faith-based institutions or provide viewpoint protections for its employees. However, it has not publicly terminated business relationships due to views or beliefs. The company also has a supplier diversity program that preferences supplier relationships according to ownership, such as LGBTQ-owned companies. Norfolk Southern supports the Equality Act, and it has donated to the Equality PAC. However, Norfolk Southern has not funded ideological organizations hostile to freedom of expression. For these reasons, Norfolk Southern receives a Medium Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

Norfolk Southern has not publicly terminated business relationships due to views or beliefs.

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Norfolk Southern’s charitable giving guidelines require that organizations abide by its nondiscrimination policy, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, thereby excluding some religious charities. Norfolk Southern does not donate to “religious affiliated organizations that do not support the community at large or discriminate based on religion type” (1).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

Norfolk Souther’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company provides gender transition guidelines for its employees (1)(2). Norfolk Southern does not provide protections against viewpoint discrimination (3).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Norfolk Souther’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company agrees to allow a controversial stakeholder group focused on sexual identity issues to dictate marketing or advertising strategy (1)(2). By doing so, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Norfolk Southern’s CEO signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, which includes a commitment to promote DEI through bias education training in the workplace (3). Moreover, Norfolk Southern preferences “diverse” suppliers such as companies that are LGBTQ owned, African-American owned, and other categories (4)(5). Norfolk Southern is member of the Business Coalition for the Equality Act (6).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Norfolk Southern’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company has pledged philanthropic support of at least one organization or event that promotes sex and gender ideology (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company increases health care costs and risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. There are no publicly known instances of Norfolk Southern using corporate funds to support ideological groups hostile to freedom of expression (3)(4).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

Norfolk Southern’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company publicly advocated for controversial sex and gender ideology through local, state or federal legislation or initiatives (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Norfolk Southern donated $5,000 to the Equality PAC in 2022, but has not used its lobbying for ideological purposes (3)(4)(5).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
February 18, 2024

Company reports are intended for educational use only. Full Disclaimer

Voting History

Date
ESG Category
Proponent
Summary of ResolutionMgmt RecTotal Vote % in Favor
5/12/22GovernanceJohn CheveddenSpecial Meetings - Reduce Ownership Req. to 10%Against44.79%
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