Cummins U.K. Finds New Ways to Shrink Carbon Footprint

Antonio Leitao (right), Vice President – Cummins Europe, and Denis Ford, Cummins’ International Sourcing Leader for Europe and Asia (left), participate in a panel deciding on the best ideas from entrepreneurs to reduce Cummins’ carbon footprint in the U.K.

The event featured a group of ambitious entrepreneurs, each ready to make their pitch to a panel of business leaders with a lot on the line. But this wasn’t a television show. It was the Cummins Environmental Gateway project.

Cummins leaders in the U.K. invited suppliers in to pitch new ideas that could help the company reach its goals for reducing water and energy use and producing less waste. The result was more than 100 submissions, 28 finalists and 12 winning ideas that will now be tested at Cummins’ sites around the country.

“We are excited to move to the next phase of the Cummins Environmental Gateway,” said James Johnson, Cummins’ Environmental Project Lead for the U.K. initiative. “We are inspired with the potential savings and environmental benefits we could achieve with this program.”

The initiative was launched about a year ago to help connect the company’s supply chain in the United Kingdom to Cummins’ efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Organizers asked for innovative submissions from suppliers whose goods and services could help the company reach its environmental goals (to learn more about the company’s goals, go to http://social.cummins.com/cummins-achieves-key-environmental-goals/).

Project organizers worked to make the initiative diverse and inclusive with a focus on ideas that were innovative but not cost prohibitive. They held a Finalist Day March 2 at Cummins Generator Technologies in Peterborough where suppliers pitched their ideas to a panel of seven leaders including Antonio Leitao, Vice President – Cummins Europe.

The winning ideas included capturing low gas waste heat from the engine testing process and converting it into energy that could be used on site, equipment that would support the efficiency of cooling towers and chillers, a wood chipper to reduce the movement of waste and increase recycling, and waterless urinals.

If the company were to implement all of the ideas presented by the finalists, organizers estimate Cummins could save £640,000 ($802,065), reduce energy consumption by 2,080,183 kwh; cut water use by 19.7 million litres (5.2 million gallons); save 17,818 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and recycle an additional 1,000 tonnes of waste.

“The impact of scaled innovations is potentially even more significant,” said Denis Ford, Cummins’ International Sourcing Leader for Europe and Asia and a member of the panel hearing the pitches. “It’s been an inspiring journey.”

“I have had many great experiences working for Cummins, but to be part of this process has been a real honor,” said Richard Keane, a member of the leadership panel and Functional Excellence Director of Cummins’ Global Integrated Services Facilities. “It was a great day to see the passion people have for the environment and the clever people we have in the U.K. working to make it better.”

WINNING IDEAS

The 12 winning innovators and their ideas:

  • Arborea – Algae tiles that capture carbon from a site using photosynthesis.
  • Augean – A wood chipper that would reduce the movement of waste and increase recycling. Beetech – Bees and wildflowers that would capture carbon from the atmosphere.
  • Energenie – Energy efficient plugs.
  • Epicam –Technology for cryogenic energy storage as liquid air and power regeneration
  • Envirowater – Waterless urinals.
  • Exergyn – Capturing low gas waste heat from the engine testing process and using it to shape memory alloys.
  • Raise Energy Solutions – Equipment that supports the efficiency of cooling towers and chillers.
  • Rype Office – A furniture refurbishment service.
  • Savortex – Energy efficient hand dryers.
  • Tidy Planet – A food composting service
  • Waterblade – Plastic nozzles for taps to reduce water flow.

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]

Favorable Winds Behind Cummins Strategy to Expand Low Carbon Energy

Visitors to the Meadow Lake Wind Farm in northwest Indiana look at one of the first wind turbines to go up at an expansion Cummins is supporting through a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement. When complete in early 2019, the expansion will include more than 50 wind turbines and a capital investment of about $340 million.
Visitors to the Meadow Lake Wind Farm in northwest Indiana look at one of the first wind turbines to go up at an expansion Cummins is supporting through a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement. When complete in early 2019, the expansion will include more than 50 wind turbines and a capital investment of about $340 million.

Cummins’ environmental officials celebrated American Wind Week in a big way Tuesday, touring the beginning of construction of the Meadow Lake VI wind farm in northwest Indiana (USA). The company is supporting the expansion through a financial arrangement known as a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA).

The first turbine towers and blades are beginning to go up some 500 feet into the air, although the potential for storms and windy conditions precluded any lifting Tuesday by the two giant cranes on the construction site. Cummins is supporting the wind farm expansion as part of its goal to encourage the development of low carbon energy.

“We’ve been working to make this project happen with EDP Renewables for two years now and it’s finally coming to fruition,” said Mark Dhennin, Cummins’ Director of Energy and Environment, speaking at a small gathering of invited guests and state and local officials at the wind farm. Representatives from Mortenson, the project manager, and Vestas, the manufacturer of the turbines, also attended the event.

 “This is a big moment for us," Dhennin added. "This is a huge part of our energy sustainability plan at Cummins and it was really important to do it right, with the right project, in the right location, with the right developer.”

Cummins Mark Dhennin
Director of Energy and Environment Mark Dhennin speaks to a local television station at the event Tuesday marking American Wind Week, Aug. 5 to Aug. 11.

The Meadow Lake VI expansion will eventually generate about 200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, enough electricity to power about 52,000 Indiana homes. Cummins’ support covers about 75 MW. Nestle and the Wabash Valley Power Association are also purchasing energy generated by Meadow Lake VI.

The first phase at Meadow Lake was built in 2009. With the completion of Meadow Lake VI in early 2019, the capacity of all six phases will exceed 800 MW, making it the largest wind energy project in the state with enough capacity to power more than 200,000 Indiana homes.

The electricity generated by Cummins’ share of the expansion is roughly equivalent to all of the power used at Cummins’ facilities in Indiana and about 50 percent of the electricity consumption at the company’s U.S. facilities. However, the power will go to the grid and not directly to Cummins. That’s where the VPPA comes in.

Wind week proclamation
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a proclamation celebrating American Wind Week. Indiana is the 12th largest producer of wind energy in the U.S. The proclamation was read by State Sen. Brian Buchanan, who represents the area.

Under Cummins’ 15-year agreement with EDP, it guarantees the wind farm a fixed price for its share of the electricity Meadow Lake VI generates, providing some certainty that helped the expansion move forward. Cummins benefits in that the VPPA provides a hedge of sorts against rising energy prices – the company pays or receives the difference between the contract price and the market price of energy. Cummins also receives something called renewable energy certificates (RECs) to demonstrate its greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

Dhennin said EDP’s expertise and strong relationship with state and local officials as well as landowners was critical to the partnership.

“The developer we found through extensive interviews and evaluations has the same values that Cummins has,” he said. “They care about the community, they are responsive to landowner concerns and that was a huge concern to Cummins.”

Kelly Snyder, EDP Renewables Senior Origination Manager, said EDP has a strong team and Meadow Lake is an excellent site for a wind farm. The area is primarily agricultural, which co-exists nicely with harvesting power from wind.

“EDP Renewables is also pleased to partner with Cummins to help in meeting its admirable sustainability goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Snyder said.

 

Truck drives by a turbine at Meadow Lake
Expanding the production of low-carbon forms of energy is one of Cummins’ environmental goals.

TO LEARN MORE

To learn more about Cummins' strategy to promote the development of low carbon energy through wind, look for a case study to be posted soon by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a member-based group that works to streamline and accelerate corporate procurement of off-site, utility-scale wind and solar energy.

 

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]

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