Ghana Orphanage Founded by Cummins Engineer Takes Shape

An Engineer’s Blueprint of Hope

Six years ago, Kwasi Twumasi, an electrical engineer at Cummins Power Generation, started an orphanage in his hometown in Ghana. It did not begin as a vision, but rather an answer to a desperate question.

Twumasi’s brother-in-law died of HIV/AIDS, and the family soon discovered that his sister had the disease, too. They have four children.

Engineering Team Cummins employees Julie Delago, Kwasi Twumasi, and Steve Prater join Mark Skinner, from outside the Company, on a working trip to Dormaa Children’s Home in July, 2015

 

“It was then that I asked myself: What happens to children in my local community of Dormaa who, through no fault of theirs, become orphans? Who takes care of them? What if their families have no one to support the children?”

Fortunately for Twumasi’s family, they did not have to face these hard questions. His sister is living today through medication and family support. But it was these questions that turned into Twumasi’s vision for the orphanage. That vision soon had land, purchased out of his own pocket. Then a blueprint, which Twumasi drew himself. And now, his vision is even closer to reality as the building is prepared for opening in 2016.

In July, Twumasi, a customer support quality manager, recruited fellow Cummins Power Generation engineers Julie Delago and Steve Prater, and an engineer acquaintance from outside the company, Mark Skinner, to go to the district of Dormaa on the western edge of Ghana.

When it's complete, Dormaa Children's Home will provide shelter and basic education to 50 children in the community.

Dormaa is a town of about 22,000 surrounded by villages. Most residents are illiterate and farm for a living, selling corn, cocoa and fruit such as bananas and pineapples. Many children can be seen with food carts on the side of the road rather than in school. Their parents can’t afford the $10 school uniform, Twumasi explained. So they just don’t go to school.

Twumasi remembers this sense of hopelessness all too well. A broken home. Lack of education. Poverty. But as a teenager, he gave himself a second chance. “I had this realization that I didn’t have any opportunity, nothing. So I should go to school,” he said.

When it’s complete, Dormaa Children’s Home will provide shelter and basic education to 50 children in the community with nowhere else to go within 50 miles. The goal is to support orphans, children with disabilities and other disadvantaged children. The construction of the facility has progressed gradually over the past six years as funds became available through donations, many from Twumasi’s co-workers at Cummins.

TOrphanage frontwo years ago, the roof went up. This year the electrical wiring, plumbing and painting got done. Next on the list is furnishing the orphanage and training local staff to manage it.

The physical transformation, however, is not nearly as great as seeing the community transform. Prater accompanied Twumasi on the roofing trip two years ago and has witnessed the passion of the Dormaa people on each trip. “The neatest thing about the orphanage is how involved people in the community are,” Prater said.

Organized work days bring groups of volunteers from local churches out to clear brush and paint. Twumasi engages with church pastors on the orphanage’s vision and he contracts local skilled labor at each phase of construction.

This is what will stick with Prater, a product software engineer, and Delago, chief technical advisor for global paralleling systems, for years to come – working hand in hand with the community on a blueprint of hope.

“Going to the site every day and working side by side with the Ghanaian volunteers, witnessing a 50-foot-deep well being dug and cemented by hand, watching painters mix five-gallon buckets of paint with their hands – all of these things emphasized how easy my life is and how much I take for granted,” Delago noted.

“I don’t feel like it was my engineering skills I went there to help out with,” Prater said. “It wasn’t like I was going there with all the answers; I went there to help and that’s what we did. They showed us how to do it.”

About the home

Dormaa Children’s Home Inc. is a registered nonprofit organization both in Ghana and the United States.

You can see more about its work at the home’s website: www.dormaachildrenshome.org

Donations can also be made through Global Giving https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/14119/dormaa-childrens-home-inc/info/

GiveMN www.GiveMN.org (Search word: Dormaa)

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 named to 2021 most responsible companies list

Cummins' Corporate Office Building in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.).
Cummins' Corporate Office Building in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.).

Cummins is ranked No. 24 on Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2021.

The list is based on publicly reported data for economic, social and governance performance. In 2020, the company was No. 17 on the magazine’s list of 400 companies.

“Neighbors, family, friends, first responders: we depend on, appreciate, and hope to be helpful to each other,” said Nancy Cooper, Global Editor in Chief. “Many corporations also step up. They care about being good citizens and give back to the communities they operate in.”

NO. 2 IN ITS INDUSTRY

Newsweek’s rankings, released online Dec. 2, are done in partnership with Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer research and data. The analysis was carried out in a four-step process starting with a pool of over 2,000 companies. The research also included an independent survey of more than 7,500 U.S. residents regarding what they expect of responsible companies.

The final list recognizes the top 400 most responsible companies in the U.S. across 14 industries: automotive and components; capital goods; consumer goods; energy and utilities; entertainment; leisure and dining; financial; health care and life sciences; materials; professional services; real estate and housing; retail; software and telecommunications; technology hardware; and travel; transport and logistics.

Cummins ranked No. 2 in the automotive and components category behind General Motors, which finished No. 12 in the overall rankings. Technology and software companies dominated the top five places on the magazine’s list, led by HP. The list will be included in the magazine’s print edition on Dec. 6. 

OTHER RECENT RANKINGS

Newsweek's Most Responsible Companies designation is the second major ranking Cummins has received recently. 

Earlier the company was named to the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for North America for a 15th consecutive year. S&P Dow Jones is based on an exhaustive survey looking at environmental, social and governance performance and strategy.


 

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 named to prestigious sustainability index for 15th consecutive year

An employee works at the Cummins Mississauga Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technologies facility in Ontario, Canada. The facility builds low-carbon fuel cells for multiple applications and electrolyzers that produce hydrogen.
An employee works at the Cummins Mississauga Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technologies facility in Ontario, Canada. The facility builds low-carbon fuel cells for multiple applications and electrolyzers that produce hydrogen.

Cummins has been named to the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for North America, one of the premier measures of corporate sustainability, for a 15th consecutive year.

Launched in 1999, the indices are one of the oldest measures of corporate sustainability. In 2020, only 142 companies made the North American index over nearly two-dozen categories, ranging from automobiles to utilities. Cummins is one of only 10 included from the capital goods sector.

The indices are based on an exhaustive survey covering company performance and strategy in 2019 on environmental, social and governance issues. The index evaluated more than 7,000 companies from around the world in 2020.

2020 Dow Jones LogoIMPROVING SCORES

"A (Dow Jones Sustainability Indices) designation is a reflection of being a sustainability leader in your industry,” said Manjit Jus, Global Head of ESG Research and Data for S&P Global.

“With a record number of companies participating in the 2020 Corporate Sustainability Assessment and more stringent rules for inclusion this year, this sets your company apart and rewards for your continued commitment to people and the planet,” Jus said.

Once again, Cummins narrowly missed the minimum score for inclusion on the world indices. The company, nevertheless, equaled or improved its score in 20 of 22 categories compared to 2019, including significant increases for environmental, social, and occupational health and safety reporting.

A SUSTAINABLE TRADITION

Cummins has a rich history in sustainability, producing a corporate sustainability report since 2003, one of the oldest in the U.S. The company has been especially active in the past 18 months.

In 2019, Cummins adopted a new environmental sustainability strategy called PLANET 2050 to address climate and other environmental issues. Just last week, the company announced an aggressive plan for commercializing low carbon power systems fueled by hydrogen. 

On social issues, Cummins is in the midst of a ground-breaking social initiative called Cummins Powers Women to improve the lives of women and girls around the world, impacting more than 100,000 people since its start in 2018. Late last month, the company launched Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE), another step in Cummins’ intent to take a leading role in undoing systemic discrimination against people of color in the United States.

Cummins has been developing strategies for the company to play a role in four key areas: police reform, criminal justice reform, economic empowerment and social justice in healthcare, housing, workforce development and civil rights.

In governance, the company’s Board of Directors recently added a fourth woman to the 12-member board. Five members of the company's nine-member Executive Leadership Team are women.

Cummins has also taken a leading role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, partnering with two other companies to help produce personal protective equipment. The company also developed a playbook based on lessons it learned during the crisis and shared it with other companies via Cummins’ external website, cummins.com.

The company has an extensive report on its work in sustainability on Cummins’ sustainability website.
 

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 seizes the day to lead on hydrogen technology

Cummins Hydrogen Day - Event Roundup

Cummins laid out an aggressive strategy for hydrogen today, addressing both production of the low-carbon energy source as well as the fuel cell technology to convert it into power for customers.

 

Speaking at the company’s Hydrogen Day, leaders said Cummins has the technical expertise and the manufacturing and customer support capabilities to successfully bring to market a range of hydrogen-related products at a scale for widespread adoption.

“Hydrogen technologies, particularly electrolyzers, will be a fast-growing and increasingly important part of our business over the next few years,” said Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger at the virtual event, which drew a registered audience of more than 3,000 analysts, media members, environmental advocates and others.

“As momentum increases worldwide for the use of hydrogen solutions, we will continue to leverage our industry-leading hydrogen technologies, our deep customer relationships and our extensive service network to enable adoption,” said Linebarger, who serves on the board of the global Hydrogen Council.

Amy Davis, Vice President and President of the New Power business segment, which oversees Cummins’ work on battery-electric and hydrogen-related products, said customers can count on Cummins as they tackle the enormous challenges presented by moving to the carbon neutral future envisioned by the Paris climate accords.

“Our goal is to have the right products to meet customers’ needs at every point of the transition, which is why we have invested in multiple solutions upfront,” she said.

Cummins leaders cautioned, however, that carbon neutrality can’t be achieved without private investment and government support.

“I am encouraged to see government interest in this space increasing in order to support new and less carbon intensive technology,” Davis said.

Germany, for example, plans to spend $9 billion on hydrogen infrastructure this decade, with 5 Gigawatts of electrolyzer capacity by 2030. China and South Korea are developing fuel cell and hydrogen production targets. In the U.S., California expects to have spent about $230 million on hydrogen projects by the end of 2023.

Fuel  cell truck for the California Energy Commission
Cummins' PEM fuel cells can be found in a class 8 truck for the California Energy Commission that not only includes the fuel cell composition, but also the hydrogen storage, battery system and electric drivetrain. You can learn more about Cummins' plans for hydrogen at the company's Hydrogen Day web page.

TURNING GREY TO GREEN

Almost all of the approximately 70 million tons of hydrogen produced today is considered “grey hydrogen,” made using significant amounts of power generated through the use of natural gas.

Cummins expects the world’s initial attention will be given to replacing this “grey hydrogen” with “green hydrogen,” produced primarily through the electrolysis of water using renewable power from wind, solar and hydro-electric sources.

Cummins is already producing a range of electrolyzers to generate green hydrogen, including a nearly complete 20-megawatt electrolyzer system in Bécancour, Canada, that will be the largest in the world.

The company’s electrolyzers employ both Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) and alkaline technologies, and it could be adding to its portfolio soon. Cummins recently received a $2 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to demonstrate the cost, performance and reliability of a reversible fuel cell or R-SOFC.

It can run as a solid oxide electrolyzer cell that can split steam to separate hydrogen and oxygen. In total, Cummins has already delivered electrolyzers for more than 50 hydrogen fueling stations across the globe.

Linebarger said the company’s projections show Cummins’ electrolyzer business alone will have annual revenues of approximately $400 million in 2025, with “demand driven by the transition from grey to green hydrogen.” 

Over time, Cummins expects the price of electrolyzers to decline, leading to widely available green hydrogen at a lower cost. The increased availability of low-cost green hydrogen is projected to drive demand for hydrogen powered fuel cells to convert green hydrogen into low-carbon power for everything from trains to on-highway trucks and buses, to off-highway construction equipment and stationary power applications.

Cummins fuel cells powered the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell passenger train called Coradia iLint in Germany. By 2025, the company expects to have shipped fuel cell systems for at least 100 trains, primarily in Europe.
Cummins' fuel cells powered the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell passenger train called Coradia iLint in Germany. By 2025, the company expects to have shipped fuel cell systems for at least 100 trains, primarily in Europe.

PUTTING HYDROGEN TO WORK

Cummins isn’t waiting to get started on fuel cells. The company already has more than 2,000 fuel cell installations across a variety of on-and off-highway applications.

Cummins’ fuel cells, for example, are powering the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell passenger trains through Alstom, a French rail manufacturer. The company supplied fuel cells for FAUN, a leader in waste collection vehicles and sweepers in Europe, for its electric refuse truck program. 

Cummins is also working with ASKO, Norway’s largest grocery wholesaler, to supply fuel cells integrated into four Scania electric trucks as part of ASKO’s plan to bring more alternative fuel vehicles into its fleet. And the company’s fuel cells are being integrated into more than 60 buses in Zhangjiakou, China, a co-host for the 2022 winter games.

Just last week, Cummins announced it will work with longtime customer Navistar on the development of a class 8 truck powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The truck will be integrated into Werner Enterprises’ fleet of more than 7,700 tractors for local and regional service on a year-long trial basis out of Fontana, California.

“Cummins is unique in that our portfolio has both hydrogen production from electrolysis as well as fuel cells,” said Amy Adams, Vice President – Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technologies. “This enables us to offer a full, differentiated hydrogen solution from start to finish, seamlessly integrated for customers.”

LOOKING AHEAD

How quickly all this happens depends on a number of factors, including government leadership to help make hydrogen products an attractive alternative to less expensive internal combustion technology. But Cummins is moving today to seize the opportunity that awaits. 

“While we know the widespread adoption of carbon neutral fuel cell solutions will take time, Cummins is already leaning into the opportunity now,” Linebarger said. “Our company’s financial strength provides us with the ability to invest in and develop a broad portfolio of technologies across advanced diesel, natural gas, mild and heavy hybrid, battery electric and fuel cells that will move the world towards a carbon neutral future.”

Cummins' Virtual Hydrogen Day Event: Event Recap
 

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]

 

Diesel and the path to a carbon neutral future

Many of the advances  in diesel technology demonstrated in SuperTruck I are in production today to improve fuel economy and by extension reduce greenhouse gases.
Many of the advances in diesel technology demonstrated in SuperTruck I are in production today to improve fuel economy and by extension reduce greenhouse gases.

Diesel engines will continue improving in the coming years, playing an important role in efforts to further reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and atmospheric pollutants, according to a Cummins leader participating in a recent panel discussion on the technology’s future.

Dr. Wayne Eckerle, Vice President – Research and Technology, told the audience at the virtual event sponsored by the Diesel Technology Forum that initiatives such as SuperTruck II are already underway to explore increasing the efficiency of modern diesel engines and long-haul tractor-trailers.

Potential innovations include advances in waste-heat recovery, engine controls, reducing engine friction, aerodynamic vehicle design and much more.

Over time, Eckerle said there will be a growing connection between the entire vehicle and environmental conditions, including advances in “look ahead” technology that enables in-use adjustments for peak fuel efficiency, which translates into reduced GHGs.

“It’s really our equivalent to the space program,” Eckerle said of the SuperTruck program, a public-private partnership led by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and leading companies in on-highway heavy-duty transportation. “That’s how I look at it.” 

SuperTruck I was launched in 2010 with the goal of improving freight hauling efficiency by 50%. It ended up exceeding that goal and many of the initiative’s advances are in mass production today. SuperTruck II aims to increase freight hauling efficiency even more. 

Chart on the progress of diesel
The Diesel Technology Forum says diesel technology is significantly cleaner over the past 30 years (chart courtesy of Diesel Technology Forum).

Additional improvements in diesel technology will build on significant advances over the past 20 or 30 years in emissions control.  

Since around 1990, modern diesel engines have reduced both particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), key contributors to smog, by about 98%, according to the Diesel Technology Forum.

The forum says it would take 60 of today's clean diesel trucks to equal the emissions of one diesel truck sold in 1988.

While diesel could remain the dominant fuel source for on- and off-highway markets for some time, there will be a point when the technology can’t meet the growing demand for zero lifecycle GHGs and zero emissions without some form of electrification, either through battery electric or fuel cell technology or perhaps some new energy source. 

Hybrid engines employing those low-carbon technologies and diesel could be critical on the path to carbon neutrality.

Cummins is developing low-carbon technologies in its New Power business segment as part of the company’s overall strategy to offer customers a broad portfolio of power solutions, so they can choose what works best for their unique sustainability goals.

The company will hold its first Hydrogen Day Nov. 16 to discuss its strategy for the promising low-carbon fuel.

Eckerle is optimistic about the future of diesel in part because Cummins has the powerful tools necessary to do great things.

“I must say that the big enabler in this whole process is our analytical capability, our ability to model the combustion process,” Eckerle said. “We can model the fuel going through the injector into the combustion chamber, combusting it and so forth, and the whole air handling process. It’s really a key to us because we have engines in a lot of different applications.”  

Eckerle appeared on the panel with Carrie Song, Vice President of Renewable Diesel, Neste; and Michael Lefebvre, Worldwide Manager - Marketing, John Deere Power Systems. The Diesel Technology Forum is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology.
 

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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