Cummins is a partner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, which is the industrial component of the Better Buildings Challenge. The challenge is a national leadership initiative that calls on chief executive officers, university presidents, and state and local leaders to significantly reduce energy use and share the results of their energy reduction strategies.
The goal of the Better Buildings Challenge is to make American commercial and industrial buildings at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. As a partner, Cummins has committed to a 25 percent energy efficiency intensity reduction from 2005 to 2015, which equates to a 27 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.
This GHG figure differs from the Company’s previously announced goal of 40 percent due to the sale of a business in which the Company had significantly eliminated GHG. The business, and its associated GHG reduction, was removed from Cummins’ 2005 baseline inventory, consistent with accepted GHG inventory accounting, and therefore from the Company’s 2015 goal accounting.
In 2012, global absolute energy consumption at Cummins dropped by 2 percent compared to 2011, and greenhouse gas emissions fell by just over 3 percent. During the same time period, the Company’s global energy intensity (total energy/total revenue) increased by almost 2 percent and GHG emissions intensity (total GHG/total revenue) increased by about 1 percent.
Cummins has a comprehensive investment plan designed to achieve the Company’s 2015 energy and GHG intensity goals. Cummins is focusing its efforts in four areas:
- Improve existing facilities: Cummins has reduced the energy intensity of the Company’s facilities by almost 34 percent from 2005 to 2012 by targeting high-return opportunities. Additional improvements will be more difficult and expensive to implement. Cummins has allocated $20.7 million in capital over 2013-2015 to install sub meters, expand control systems, and upgrade or replace inefficient equipment.
- Recover test energy: In 2012, the Company’s energy use and GHG footprint improvements were offset somewhat by increased product development testing. This trend will accelerate as Cummins launches high horsepower development programs. To mitigate this impact, the Company has allocated $19.3 million from 2013 to 2015 to install test cell energy recovery systems at tech centers and manufacturing plants.
- New construction: Cummins uses the most stringent locally applicable codes, green building certifications, and ASHRAE 189.1 as the design basis for its new construction. By using this approach with Cummins’ Global Building Standards, the Company expects to improve its new construction energy impact through 2015 by 21 percent over what Cummins would have built just meeting local building codes.
- Energy management: Cummins continues to drive site-level energy efficiency through the Company’s Energy Champions program. Energy Champions and Energy Leaders are trained to find low and no cost energy improvements at their sites. Cummins has launched pilot projects to meet ISO 50001 international energy standards at three sites globally (a fourth is planned in 2014), with a North Carolina plant piloting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Superior Energy Performance program.
Together, these efforts are projected to reduce GHG emissions by 187,000 metric tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per year and reduce energy costs by nearly $16 million per year.
Outstanding energy efficiency performance is recognized through the Cummins energy awards program. Twenty-eight projects entered the 2012 program from nine countries. Eight additional projects were recognized as best practices, ranging from improvements in handling compressed air to implementing geothermal energy systems.