Unleashing the Power of Cummins to Benefit Customers and the Environment

Cummins India sets goal to improve product efficiency and fuel economy

To see how important fuel economy is to Cummins’ Amol Wairagade and his team in Pune, India, one only has to look at their extensive “project hopper.” The list of initiatives the team wants to tackle over the next few years includes 24 projects related to helping customers get better fuel economy.

The ideas range from developing stop-start technology for bus customers to creating a fuel economy switch that enables heavy-duty truck drivers to easily change to a fuel efficiency setting.

“We want our customers to be the market leaders on fuel economy,” Wairagade said. “We know how important fuel costs can be to their profitability.”

Improving fuel efficiency, of course, also means a corresponding decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2), a key contributor to global warming and the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Improving fuel economy is both a win for the environment and a win for Cummins’ customers, too.

“Amol’s fuel economy team in India is doing outstanding work,” said David O’Brien, Cummins’ Fuel Economy Leader. “Their work demonstrates that fuel efficiency is a critical issue not just in North America, but all over the world. We have a tremendous opportunity to help our customers globally and improve the environment at the same time.”

Cummins has set a goal of partnering with its customers worldwide to improve the efficiency of its inproducts in use, reaching by 2020 an annual reduction of 3.5 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 and saving 350 million gallons of fuel. Emissions from the company’s engines and generators in use represent 99 percent of Cummins’ CO2 footprint.

O’Brien is the point man on reaching that goal, working with teams around the world like Wairagade’s to help customers achieve both better fuel economy and CO2 reductions.

Wairagade was working on fuel economy before the goal was officially established in 2015 because one of the company’s strategic partners in India was asking for it as way to differentiate itself from its competitors.

He says helping customers get better fuel efficiency with their Cummins’ products has some bottom line benefits for the company, building brand loyalty that will pay off when customers choose their next engine, generator or component.

“Customers have been very appreciative of our efforts,” Wairagade said. “There is no doubt in my mind that this is good for Cummins, too.”

Wairagade’s team meets monthly with O’Brien’s team to share the lessons each group has learned. Bill Kendrick, Fuel Economy Senior Engineer and a member of O’Brien’s team, said the meetings are invaluable.

“We find that everyone benefits from these meetings,” said Kendrick, an expert on fuel efficiency. “We discuss the work being performed by all regions of the world to help generate new ideas and see how others have solved problems.”

The team in India hopes to have the fuel economy switch available by early 2016 and the stop-start technology, which saves fuel spent idling by stopping the engine when the vehicle is at rest and then restarting it to move forward, before the end of 2016.

Wairagade believes the stop-start technology might be especially useful in cities in India where traffic is frequently congested. O’Brien said what’s learned in India could be applied in China and other locations where similar traffic conditions exist.

“Every market is a little bit different regarding emissions standards and other factors,” O’Brien said. “But if we collaborate with our customers and with our Cummins employees all around the world working on fuel economy, we can develop solutions that fit the unique aspects of a particular market better than our competition and deliver these same economic and environmental benefits."

Wairagade agrees.

“We want to unleash the full power of Cummins to win for our customers and win for the environment, too,” he said. “Our hopper list is long, but this is a very exciting time to be working in this area.”

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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