7 Ways Cummins Works to Conserve Water

Cummins makes big strides on World Water Day.

On World Water Day (March 22), here’s a look at seven ways Cummins is working to conserve and protect this critical natural resource and educate future generations about its importance.

1. We Set Aggressive Goals

We've increased our 2020 water reduction goal to 50 percent, having cut water use 42 percent, adjusted by labor hours, since 2010.

 

 

Cummins has been setting goals to reduce its water and energy use and to increase recycling for several years, now. The company has seen tremendous success in reducing the water it uses. We just increased our 2020 water reduction goal to 50 percent, having cut water use 42 percent, adjusted by labor hours, since 2010 (see the infographic above). In 2015, our absolute water  use fell from 972 million gallons the previous year to 953 million gallons.

2. Improving Water-Stressed Areas

Cummins worked with villages near its Megasite campus in India to build this dam to increase access to water in the area.

 

 

Cummins is keenly aware of its potential to be a force for good in water-stressed areas. One of the company’s goals is to achieve water neutrality at 15 manufacturing sites where water is in short supply by 2020. Cummins defines water neutrality as off-setting its own water use at a particular location through conservation and with community improvements that either conserve or make new water sources available.

3. Promoting 'Light-Weighting' In Design

Cummins Power Systems’ High Horsepower Structural Analysis Team has had success finding ways Cummins largest engines can use less raw material while maintaining strength and durability.

 

 

Cummins engineers use methods such as Topology Optimization to determine where material needs to stay in an engine to maintain robustness and where it can be removed without affecting durability. “Light-weighting” can make an engine more fuel efficient. It also means less raw material is needed to build it. About 88 percent of the water Cummins uses comes through the extraction of raw material.

4. Building-Specific Features That Save Water

These bioswales at Cummins’ new Distribution Business Unit Headquarters in Indianapolis are designed to help keep 80 percent of the rain water on site.

 

 

All over Cummins there are building-specific features designed to conserve water. The bioswales at the new Distribution Business Unit headquarters in Indianapolis, for example, are part of a system designed to keep about 80 percent of rainwater on the site to use for landscaping. The bioswales collect and save water that would otherwise run into the city’s sewer system. There are plants in India and Brazil that recycle water for non-potable uses and several locations have features like low or no-water toilet facilities to help meet their water-use goals.

5. Water-Saving Technology

The lab operations team stands in front of one of Cummins’ largest regenerative dynamometers at the company’s high-horsepower plant in Seymour, Indiana.

 

 

Cummins uses regenerative dynamometers throughout the company to capture the mechanical energy of engines in test cells. The dynos also reduce cooling load, which allows cooling systems to be smaller and use less water. High horsepower engines especially require a lot of testing and a lot of cooling. While the dynos have saved a significant amount of water, there have been decidedly low-tech savings, too. For example, running water to clean equipment only when needed saved significant amounts of water. And fixing leaks also has been important.

6. Water Savings/Protection Through Community Engagement

Cummins employees in Brazil focus their efforts on the safe harvesting of rainwater in Guarulhos, just outside São Paulo, by distributing safer cisterns to disadvanted residents.

 

 

Cummins’ Corporate Responsibility efforts have three key target areas – Education, Social Justice/Equality of Opportunity and the Environment. Many of the company’s site-based Community Involvement Teams focus their environmental efforts on water, ranging from improving water quality in a lake in China, to improving rain water collection cisterns in Brazil to removing an invasive weed from the banks of a Minnesota stream.

7. Educating The Next Generation

Students at Schmitt Elementary in Columbus, Indiana, have fun building soil water sensors as part of a school project led by Cummins employees. Students learned the importance of using the right amount of water to conserve the natural resource while allowing the trees to thrive.

 

 

From China, to India, to the United States and beyond, Cummins employees have educated young minds over the past five years about the importance of water. In China, company employees worked with a middle school on a project to purify the school’s water supply and teach students about water protection. In India, water protection was one of the key themes of an environmental education effort reaching thousands of students across the country. And in the U.S. in 2016, employees worked with elementary students in Columbus, Indiana to build soil water sensors to ensure they properly watered trees they had planted.

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 Nears 2020 Products-in-Use Environmental Goal

Cummins teams like this one in Seymour, Indiana (USA) are using regenerative dynamometers (behind them) to capture the energy generated testing engines to help power to the company’s plants.
Cummins teams like this one in Seymour, Indiana (USA) are using regenerative dynamometers (behind them) to capture the energy generated testing engines to help power to the company’s plants and meet Cummins environmental goals.

Cummins closed in on its 2020 products-in-use environmental goal in 2017, achieving 97 percent of its target with three years remaining to go.

 

The company's biggest environmental impact is through its products in use by its customers. Cummins has been working with customers for several years to help them operate Cummins’ products efficiently, reducing their environmental impact while saving customers money.

"Our products help to drive the basic foundations of the economy: moving food to store shelves; moving energy so that we can operate in our buildings, etc. But (our) products do impact the environment, that’s a really important thing for us to acknowledge,” Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said in a recent interview with the Environmental Defense Fund for its EDF+BUSINESS blog.

“That’s why we’re constantly asking what the opportunities are for us to innovate, so that we can drive wealth creation for our shareholders and for our customers while reducing the impact we have on the environment,” he said. 

Since 2014, the company’s fuel economy teams around the world have implemented more than 250 products-in-use projects, achieving a 3.4 million metric ton annual run rate of CO2 reduction toward the company’s goal of a 3.5 million metric ton run rate by 2020.

Projects have targeted machine integration, systems optimization and helping customers analyze their operations to reduce things like engine idling.

Cummins wants to cut CO2 emissions by nearly 16 million metric tons, saving customers up to $6.3 billion through greater fuel efficiency by the end of 2020. Cummins expects to work with about 20 percent of its customer base, touching nearly 2 million engines as it tailors engine specifications to customer applications.

Here’s a quick look at Cummins’ performance on other environmental goals:

WATER

Since the goal’s baseline year of 2010, water use adjusted for hours worked is down by 44 percent. The company’s goal is a 50 percent reduction by 2020.

Cummins’ water neutrality work is also progressing. Eight sites have now been validated as water neutral toward the company’s 2020 goal of 15. They are off-setting their water use with community improvements that either conserve water or make new sources available.

ENERGY AND GHG

Cummins has so far achieved about a 25 percent reduction in energy intensity (energy use adjusted by hours worked) toward its 2020 goal of a 32 percent reduction at its facilities.

The company had a number of challenges in maintaining progress on its goal, including several new buildings and distributor locations that were part of the Distribution Business segment’s North American consolidation

WASTE

Cummins in 2017 recycled 90 percent of the total waste the company generated, a slight increase over 2016. The company’s goal is to recycle 95 percent of its waste by 2020.

Ten sites have been certified as zero disposal sites – seven in Europe and one each in North America, the Asia-Pacific region and China – toward the company’s goal of 30 by 2020.

Eighteen additional sites are approaching zero disposal, but face challenges such as regulatory barriers in India and China, and the absence of vendors to help with hard-to-recycle wastes.

LOGISTICS

In 2017, Cummins changed its transportation management system provider. By the end of 2019, 80 percent of the Cummins network will be using an optimized transportation solution.

The change is expected to result in more accurate data, but the company will be unable to report its progress until the baseline data is stable, which is expected in 2018.

You can learn more about Cummins’ performance on its environmental goals by going to the Environmental section of the 2017 Sustainability Progress Report starting on page 14.

 

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]

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