Bamboo Project Reshapes Rural India

Besides being the preferred dinner for pandas, bamboo is the ecologically preferable source for high-end flooring, soft towels and ...buildings stronger than steel.

Employees at Cummins Research and Technology India (CRTI) in Pune put their engineering skills to work so people in rural areas could have a lower cost alternative for building materials.

The result was an Environmental Challenge winner, receiving special recognition as the Best Technical Project.

In India, 72 percent of the population lives in rural areas where steel is the most commonly used construction material. In order to provide a reliable and cost-effective alternative, the CRTI India Community Involvement Team (CIT), led by Rajesh Kale, turned to bamboo.

“Bamboo has a higher tensile strength-to-weight ratio than steel, is widely available across India, and is resistant to moisture and rotting,” Rajesh said. “Additionally, bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth.”

The CIT partnered with the foundation arm of a local pharmaceutical company, Dr. Reddy’s Foundation. The foundation has been working to improve the livelihoods of people living in rural areas by creating small poultry sheds made of bamboo and then training local carpenters on the process.

This effort stalled, however, when the foundation needed engineering expertise to increase the size and sophistication of the structures. Using analysis-led design and experimental testing, the CIT offered its engineering skills and launched a Community Impact Six Sigma project to develop bamboo structures that could replace steel structures, thus providing an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for rural, small-scale industries.

Bamboo wasn’t always easy for the team to work with. There are more than 200 species of bamboo in India alone. The diameter and thickness vary from one species to another, as well as within a single bamboo shoot. The structural properties also were not consistent, and no data existed around the creation of bamboo joints.

Despite these challenges, the team developed a modular design that required no on-site machining and was easy to transport to rural areas. This design led to a 65 percent cost reduction over steel structures and resulted in savings of 900 kg of CO2 emissions per structure. Now, instead of only using bamboo to create small poultry sheds, it can be used to build homes, schools, greenhouses, grain storage units, fencing and more.

The team took the design to two already existing Corporate Responsibility initiatives around Cummins’ Megasite in Phaltan, India, where the structures are now in place: a school cafeteria at the ITI-Phaltan school and the cow and poultry sheds at the village of Nandal, part of the Megasite’s Model Village program.

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

Cummins Employees Support Diversity and Inclusion at Indy Pride Parade

Cummins employees gather before the parade starts in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA).
Cummins employees gather before the parade starts in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA).
Cummins employees made a strong showing Saturday (June 9) at the Indy Pride Parade and Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA), joining a number of other companies in the city demonstrating their support for the LGBTQ+ community as well as diversity and inclusion in general.

The event drew thousands of people downtown on a brilliant sunny day interrupted briefly by a spring storm. Cummins employees are also marching in pride parades in Charleston, South Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota and Nashville, Tennessee in the United States as well as Vancouver and Calgary in Canada, Brazil, India and Asia Pacific.

“This is important to me because, first, I’m the co-sponsor of the Pride Affinity Group and it’s a wonderful group that I’m proud to support,” said Thad Ewald, Vice President – Corporate Strategy, shortly before he and the rest of the Cummins’ contingent marched in the Indianapolis parade. “But more importantly it’s a chance to show support for all of our LGBTQ+ employees and the LGBTQ+ community at large. This is just such a great turnout.”

Jasmine O’Conner, Marketing Specialist Sr – Senior Associate MSDP, and the lead organizer of Cummins’ parade involvement in Indianapolis, said about 400 employees signed up to participate in the parade and festival.

“It’s easy to classify the words diversity and inclusion as buzzwords; so many companies are using them nowadays,” said O’Conner, between passing out t-shirts and making sure the Cummins crowd stayed safe under the hot and humid conditions. “So, I’m happy to work for a company that puts actions to those words.”

Jasmine O'Conner at Indy Pride Parade
Jasmine O'Conner revs up the Cummins contingent at the Indy Pride Parade.

O’Conner, a member of her site’s Local Diversity Council, noted that Cummins’ mission, vision and values include both support for diversity and inclusion and a commitment to doing what you say you will do.

“It brings me so much joy to lead our company’s participation in an event that allows employees to celebrate who they are and feel the love and support from their counterparts, friends and family,” she said.

The participants from Cummins ranged from interns to senior leaders. Marchers included Amy Adams, Vice President – Strategic Initiatives; Mark Osowick, Vice President – Human Resources Operations; Jim Schacht, Executive Director – Marine and Oil and Gas Markets; Marina Savelli, Executive Director – Market Intelligence and Strategy, and Ian Kohen, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Diversity & Inclusion for Cummins Engine Business.

“I’m here because I’m a huge ally for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Kohen, who in addition to his work at Cummins serves on the Columbus, Indiana Human Rights Commission. “I’m here to show support for a huge population that hasn’t gotten a lot of support in the past.”

Many in the Cummins’ contingent said they have experienced the benefits of diversity and inclusion first hand and welcomed the chance to demonstrate their support in a fun setting outside of work.

“I’m here with my family because, for one thing, it’s a heck of a lot of fun,” Osowick said. “But the bigger reason is I believe in diversity and inclusion and what better way to show your support for our employees and the LGBTQ+ community than to come to a wonderful event like this. Who wouldn’t want to be part of this?”

The Cummins contingent at the Indy Pride Parade
The Cummins contingent marches at the Indy Pride Parade.


 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

They Are Still Manufacturing Jobs – Just Different

The plant floor at the Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (USA).
The plant floor at the Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (USA).
Manufacturing advances like robotics do not mean the demise of well-paying manufacturing jobs, but do require different skill sets and a commitment to lifelong learning, Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said Thursday (June 7) at a forum on advanced manufacturing and logistics.

New technology still has to be manufactured, maintained and programmed, which often requires workers develop new skills as technology evolves, Linebarger said at the forum in Indianapolis, Indiana (U.S.A.) The resulting efficiencies, however can translate into higher wages.

While a high school degree was once enough for a successful career in manufacturing, “it hasn’t been that way for a long time,” he said, citing the need for workers with two and four year degrees in manufacturing related studies.

Linebarger was participating in a panel discussion at the event sponsored by Conexus Indiana, a group dedicated to bringing manufacturing and logistics jobs to Indiana, and the Indianapolis Business Journal.

He was joined on the panel by Henry Maier, President and CEO of FedEx Ground; Brandye Hendrickson, Acting Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration; Lee Bauer, Vice President, Mobility Architecture Group, Aptiv; Darcy Bullock, Director of the Joint Transportation Research Program at Purdue University and Joe McGuinness, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Advanced Manufacturing Breakfast
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (center) at the Advanced Manufacturing & Logistics panel discussion, with Brandye Hendrickson, Acting Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (left) and Henry Maier, President and CEO of FedEx Ground (right). 

INNOVATION VS. INFRASTRUCTURE

The panel discussed innovations such as driver-less vehicles, “platooning,” where trucks use smart technology to safely drive close together to increase fuel economy and decrease carbon dioxide, and alternative fuels such as electrification.

Linebarger, however, said infrastructure may be as big an issue as the advances themselves. A technological advance can be achieved by a single company relatively quickly, he said, but the infrastructure necessary to make it work effectively can require broad public support. Take roads, for example. There are many competing voices for the tax dollars necessary for road improvements.

Many of today’s innovations hold the promise of a cleaner, safer and more efficient world. Linebarger said sustainability is a key issue. Anything that uses more of the world’s resources isn’t likely to be successful.

“We have to have less impact on the world,” he said. “There’s just no question about it.”

Joe wins award
Former Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Loughrey (center) is presented the Andre B. Lacy award.

LOUGHREY HONORED

Former Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Loughrey was honored at the forum with the inaugural Andre B. Lacy Vanguard Award, named for the late Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist.

Loughrey retired from Cummins after 35 years in 2009. He was the founding Chairman of Conexus Indiana and serves today as Chairman of the Board of the Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based foundation focused on increasing opportunities for learning beyond high school.

In a video message, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb paid tribute to Loughrey’s leadership, saying he has had “an enormous impact on our state.”

The Lacy award honors outstanding leadership in advanced manufacturing and logistics in Indiana.

 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

Cummins Posts 2017 Sustainability Progress Report

The 2017 Cummins Sustainability Progress Report includes a host of statistical data on the company's commitment to its stakeholders.
The 2017 Cummins Sustainability Progress Report includes a host of statistical data on the company's commitment to its stakeholders.
Cummins posted its 15th annual Sustainability Progress Report today, updating stakeholders on its performance in eight areas during 2017 including the environment, corporate responsibility, health and safety, and diversity and inclusion.

The 50-page report includes a host of statistical information, ranging from how the company is doing relative to its environmental goals and the number of people served by Cummins’ community engagement efforts to key safety rates, the percentage of women leaders at the company, the record number of global patents the company received in 2017 and much more.

“We think that the communities in which we live and work and operate need to be stronger and more prosperous as a result of us being there,” Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger recently told the Environmental Defense Fund’s Fred Krupp for the group’s +BUSINESS blog. “Therefore, we can't just take and use resources – we need to be people who, while we create wealth, also sustain and contribute to those communities.”

Cummins is helping an Indiana wind farm expand
Cummins helped an Indiana wind farm expand in  2017, eventually producing enough energy to offset all of the electricity used at the company's Indiana facilities.

Some of the key takeaways in the 2017 report include:

  • Cummins moved within three percentage points of its products in use environmental goal, partnering with customers to reach an annual run rate reduction of 3.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. The company’s goal is to reach a 3.5 million run rate reduction by 2020.
  • Cummins’ Corporate Responsibility initiatives touched an estimated 3.3 million people, primarily through employee-led efforts addressing education, the environment and equality of opportunity.
  • Nearly 1,000 ergonomics improvements were made across the company in 2017.
  • Just over 23 percent of Cummins’ leaders are women, up from 16.42 percent in 2010.
  • The company has invested more than $700 million annually in research and development in four of the past five years.
  • Cummins new 1-800-CUMMINS customer support line fielded more than 380,000 calls in 2017.
AEOS shot at sunset
Cummins unveiled AEOS in 2017, a fully electric, heavy-duty demonstration truck that will help the company study electrification.

The Sustainability Progress Report is just one of the company’s reports regarding Cummins’ sustainability. The company is also working on the Cummins GRI Data Book, which follows the format of the United Nations’ Global Reporting Initiative. The company also makes public its CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) water and climate filings. Those reports will be posted in June and July, respectively.

Cummins finished 25th in Newsweek’s 2017 Green Ranking of U.S. Companies and was named to the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America. Cummins has been on that list since 2006.
 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

Cummins CEO Sees Benefits in a Different Approach to Health Care

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks to the American College of Preventive Medicine in Chicago.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks to the American College of Preventive Medicine in Chicago.

Cummins has seen impressive results using lifestyle medicine with some of its employees, and is now looking for ways to reach those most in need of help, Cummins CEO and Chairman Tom Linebarger told the American College of Preventive Medicine at its annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois (U.S.A.).

“Cummins is an organization deeply committed to continuous improvement by getting to the root cause of a problem and then devising a solution,” Linebarger said, delivering the Katherine Boucott Sturgis Lecture at the meeting Wednesday (May 23). “So there was a definite synergy to be found in an approach to medicine centered on getting to the root cause of ailments.”

Frustrated by growing health care costs and unsuccessful outcomes, Cummins opened the LiveWell Center in its headquarters city of Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.) in 2016. The 28,000 square foot center for employees and their families offers a broad range of services to get to the root of health issues, treating the cause of disease rather than simply its symptoms.

Patients learn to prevent disease by addressing lifestyle choices such as what and how much they eat and how much activity they get. In addition to traditional doctor’s appointments, the center offers everything from massage to cooking classes to help patients improve their health and wellbeing.

The response to the center has been overwhelming, Linebarger said. Nearly 2,000 visitors attended an open house for the center, scheduling more than 500 appointments during the event. By this point in the center’s operations, the company expected to serve about 22 percent of the 18,000 employees and family members who live within 20 miles of the center. Linebarger said utilization is closer to 50 percent for a variety of center services, which are fee based. A primary care visit costs $30.

Five patients have seen a complete reversal of their type 2 diabetes. One employee was able to completely reduce $700 per month of medication. More than 1,000 employees have signed up for the Cummins Health Improvement Program, a lifestyle training, education and support group. The chef at the center provided more than 500 healthy cooking consultations in 2017.

Cummins' LiveWell Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.)
Cummins' LiveWell Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).

Linebarger said there are several challenges ahead. He wants to spread lessons from the LiveWell Center across the company, which has more than 58,000 employees around-the-world. He envisions LiveWell becoming a center of excellence, potentially working with occupational health centers across the globe and using technology to roll out programming.

He also said LiveWell has to reach all employees facing chronic health conditions – not just those who are motivated to adopt healthier lifestyles.

“Columbus is one community,” Linebarger told the health care group. “There are many more in a global company of our size.”
 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

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