5 Ways Cummins is Addressing Global Climate Concerns

Cummins employees research ways to improve the company's engines at the  Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).
Cummins employees research ways to improve the company's engines at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).

There’s been a lot in the news lately about climate concerns now that the United Nations’ annual conference on the topic is underway in Katowice, Poland. Here’s five ways Cummins is working to address these concerns:

1)    Improving diesel technology.

Cummins engineers constantly work to improve diesel engine technology. The X15 Efficiency Series engine, for example, gets up to a 20 percent increase in

X15 engine
X15 engine

fuel economy in large commercial trucks compared to the company’s 2012 engines. That translates into a direct savings in greenhouse gas emissions, which are key to climate concerns. It also produces far fewer harmful pollutants when paired with the latest in the company’s exhaust after-treatment systems. Cummins wants to offer a broad portfolio of clean products that also provide customers with economic advantages. That’s why the company is also investing in electrification, natural gas and other technology.

2)    Promoting tough, clear and enforceable regulations.

The company is making the case around the world that tough, clear and enforceable regulations can improve the environment and promote economic growth. Meeting higher standards can encourage the development of new technologies that in turn can drive prosperity. Cummins has consistently supported higher standards in countries such as India and China as well as Europe and the United States, sharing its expertise and experience with government regulators.

3)    Developing new power platforms.

Cummins is working quickly to develop new power platforms, establishing the company’s new Electrified Power business and exploring energy sources such as hydrogen. The company was already a leader in ultra-low emission natural gas engines as well as hybrid engines.

Purolator test truck
Cummins has been working with the Canadian package delivery company Purolator to test an electrified powertrain in one of its trucks.

The Electrified Power business, established in 2017, has pledged to have an all-electric powertrain on the market for urban buses sometime in 2019.

4)    Working with customers on products in use.

The company is working with its customers to help them operate Cummins’ products as

efficiently and with the least environmental impact possible. Cummins’ fuel economy teams throughout the world, for example, have implemented more than 250 products in-use improvement projects since 2014, achieving an annualized rate reduction of 3.4 million metric tons of CO2 toward the company’s goal of a 3.5 million annual rate reduction by 2020. The project is not only reducing the use of fossil fuel but helping customers save money.

5)    Encouraging low-carbon forms of energy.

Cummins’ support is helping a northwest Indiana windfarm expand.
Cummins’ support is helping a northwest Indiana windfarm expand.

As part of its energy goal, Cummins has pledged to promote the development of low-carbon forms of energy. The company announced in 2018 an agreement enabling a northwest Indiana windfarm to expand. The power generated by Cummins’ support will go to the grid – not Cummins. But the amount of electricity annually will be just over what Cummins uses at its facilities across Indiana.

These five examples don’t include Cummins' efforts to save energy and material through the remanufacturing of engines and parts, or the company’s initiatives to reduce energy use and boost recycling at Cummins’ facilities. The company believes environmental sustainability is critical to maintaining and enhancing prosperity around the world. That’s why it’s a key part of Cummins' mission to make people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.


 

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 honored for approach to sustainability and diversity

Cummins employees work in the company’s new Electrified Power business, part of the company’s effort to develop a diverse offering of products so customers can choose what works best for them.
Cummins employees work in the company’s new Electrified Power business, part of Cummins' effort to develop a diverse offering of products so customers can choose what works best for them.

Cummins recently received a trio of honors and awards for the company’s approach to sustainability, supplier diversity and diversity and inclusion.

Barron’s announced this month that Cummins had again made its 100 Most Sustainable Companies list, moving from No. 60 in its inaugural ranking in 2018 to No. 14 in its 2019 list.

The ranking, prepared by Calvert Research and Management for the magazine, analyzes the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., reviewing more than 230 key performance indicators. The indicator topics ranged from greenhouse gas emissions to workplace safety and diversity.

Sustainability across a broad area at the company has been a key goal for Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger.

“Growing the economy while using fewer of the world’s resources is the challenge of our time,” Linebarger says. “I believe companies who become the best at using less will be the most successful.”

Best Buy, Cisco Systems and Agilent Technologies were the top three finishers in Barron’s list, released Feb. 8.

SUPPLIER DIVERSITY

Cummins has also been named one of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The designation recognizes 60 companies having world-class supplier diversity programs in 2018 that reduced barriers and drove growth for women-owned businesses. The list, released Jan. 31, does not include a ranking.

“WBENC’s top corporations set the standard for choosing to integrate policies and programs across their organization that enable the growth and development of women-owned businesses,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation’s leader in women’s business development. “These top corporations are valued partners in our commitment to women’s business development.”

The top corporations on the list collectively spent $39.5 billion with women-owned business enterprises in 2017, up from $39.3 billion in 2016.

“Awards are nice, but the real reason we as a company work so hard at diversity is that it’s good for our business,” said Helena Hutton, Director of Global Diversity Procurement at Cummins. “Practicing diversity and inclusion in everything we do means we achieve better ideas for our customers and we receive better products and services from our suppliers.”

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Finally, Forbes and Statista notified Cummins Jan. 15 that the company was once again recognized as one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity for 2019.

Cummins in 2018 received the Forbes and Statista designation, which recognizes companies that have established cultures that welcome and support all workers.
 

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]

 

Help Wanted: Cummins Looking for Great Ideas to Reduce its Carbon Footprint

Entrepreneur Samuel Walker with a company called Interface makes his pitch at the Innovation Gateway competition in the U.K. in 2017.
Entrepreneur Samuel Walker with a company called Interface makes his pitch at the Innovation Gateway competition in the U.K. in 2017.

A popular Cummins program in the U.K. that asks entrepreneurs to pitch their best ideas for reducing the company’s carbon footprint is coming to North America.

The Innovation Gateway is looking for new ideas that will help Cummins meet its goals around water, waste, energy and recycling.  Those judged to have the best proposals will advance to the gateway finals, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 8 at the Columbus Commons, 300 Washington St., Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).

“This is our chance to listen to ideas we might not have considered to help us meet our goals,” said Jim Gruwell, Executive Director of Strategic Purchasing at Cummins and a judge at the finals. “This initiative worked really well in the U.K. and I can’t wait to see how it works here.”

Loosely inspired by reality TV shows where entrepreneurs and inventors pitch their ideas to potential investors, the gateway competition resulted in several initiatives that Cummins leaders in the U.K. have put into practice to help meet their environmental targets.

Judges confer in the Innovation Gateway
Antonio Leitao (center), Vice President of Cummins Europe Area Business Organization, listens to a presentation at the gateway initiative in the U.K. in 2017.

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 to reduce water flow, implementation of a furniture refurbishment service and energy efficient hand dryers.

“We were really pleased with the ideas the gateway generated,” said James Johnson, Cummins' Innovation Gateway Project Leader, who oversaw the initiative in the U.K. and is now leading the North American version. “It’s really about powering environmental innovation through diversity in thought and partnership.”

Cummins has established a special website where people can create an account and present their ideas in writing. Finalists will be notified by the company and the winners could end up becoming suppliers to Cummins, or pick up additional business if they already have a relationship with the company. People must sign up by March 15 to be eligible for the finals.

The company is asking for ideas with a connection to one or more of the following areas:
 
•    Materials management: Identifying solutions for moving waste streams up the hierarchy. 
•    Capture/recovery: Searching for ready- or near-ready to implement technologies that recover and capture energy and water to reuse. 
•    Controls:  Identify controls and systems that will help to reduce energy consumption. 
•    Manufacturing process efficiency: Identifying solutions and alternatives to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes. 
•    Packaging: Seeking cost neutral, environmentally friendly packaging solutions that are alternatives to plastic and foam and also easily reusable and recyclable. Solutions with corrosion inhibitor capabilities are a bonus. 
•    Other Innovations

Judges for the North American gateway in addition to Gruwell include Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance; Laura Jones, Functional Excellence Manager – Cummins facilities; Morgan Andreae, Executive Director of the Company’s Growth Office and Helena Hutton, Diversity Procurement Director at Cummins.

In addition, Dr. John W. Sutherland, the leader of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University, and Eli Levine, leader of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative at the U.S. Department of Energy, will also serve on the panel.

TO SEE A VIDEO
Not sure what the Innovation Gateway is all about? Check out this video on the project in the United Kingdom.

 

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]

 

Four Answers to Your Questions about Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

N'yu'ti hydrogen bus
N’yu'ti, a hydrogen-powered demonstration bus, can travel more than 200 miles on 38 kilograms of compressed hydrogen

Cummins has joined other industry partners to research how hydrogen fuel cells can power commercial vehicle applications, recognizing that this technology is likely to play a role in the broad portfolio of power solutions Cummins will provide to its customers in the future.

The demonstration project is a transit bus, called N’yu'ti, that can travel more than 200 miles on 38 kilograms of compressed hydrogen in partnership with Ad Astra Costa Rica and others. With limited petroleum resources, Costa Rica is working to develop hydrogen as a power source. That makes it a good place for this research. 

N'y'uti hydrogen-powered bus
To date, N'yu'ti - a hydrogen fuel cell-powered bus - has transported a variety of passengers, from the general public to foreign dignitaries. 

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day is celebrated on October 8 (10.08) in the United States, in recognition of the atomic weight of hydrogen - 1.008. Earlier this year, Cummins joined the Hydrogen Council, a global coalition exploring and promoting hydrogen as a clean energy source to help meet the world’s climate challenges.

Here are the answers to four key questions you may have about hydrogen fuel cell technology:

Q. How does hydrogen fuel cell technology work?

Fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen without combustion, creating zero-emissions. Hydrogen gas is passed through a fuel cell stack where the pure hydrogen mixes with atmospheric oxygen to generate electricity, which is used to create electric power.

Q. What markets are hydrogen fuel cells viable in today? 

Several major automakers offer fuel cell vehicles on a limited basis and fuel cell buses are in service in several states. There are thousands of fuel cell-powered forklifts working around the clock in America’s warehouses and factories, and fuel cells are powering some data centers, communications networks, retails sites, and municipal facilities across the country.  

Q. What is the state of infrastructure to support hydrogen electric vehicles?

Hydrogen still faces technical challenges regarding its production, transportation and distribution, but many in the industry are working to address these issues and to scale up the availability of the technology. A growing network of dozens of hydrogen fueling stations are open for business in California and currently under development in other states in the U.S. More hydrogen infrastructure is needed to support fuel cell electric vehicle commercialization and job growth. 

Q. What’s new with N’yu'ti?

N’yu'ti continues to show hydrogen fuel cells may be viable in commercial vehicles in the future. "This bus is evidence that shows the world that we can strive to be better, to be cleaner. It also reminds the world to not just stop at what works or what is comfortable, but to push further, to find new and better solutions," said Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz, Chairman of Ad Astra.

"In this year, N’yu’ti has transported a variety of passengers. From the general public to foreign dignitaries, to the president of Costa Rica and his cabinet. N’yu’ti has brought many positive things to Costa Rica, and therefore, we would like to continue bringing more buses and developing the infrastructure to provide for a robust hydrogen economy," he continued. 

katie zarich author bio photo

Katie Zarich

Katie Zarich is Manager of External Communications for Cummins Inc. She joined the Company in 2015 after more than a decade working in government and the nonprofit sector. [email protected]

Four Reasons Clean Diesel is in Cummins’ Toolbox to Meet Climate Goals

Cummins' X15 Efficiency Series diesel engine has won praise for its fuel economy and ultra low emissions.
Cummins' X15 Efficiency Series diesel engine has won praise for its fuel economy and ultra low emissions.

Many companies are pursuing electrification as a potential answer to the world’s climate goals, including Cummins. But that doesn’t mean diesel, specifically clean diesel, can’t play an important role, too. 

Here are four reasons clean diesel technology is part of Cummins’ broad portfolio of products designed to help customers meet their environmental sustainability goals:

1.    CLEAN DIESEL IS A PROVEN TECHNOLOGY

The Diesel Technology Forum  (DTF), a group dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel, defines clean diesel  as the combination of today’s ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, advanced engines and effective emissions controls.

Together, these elements result in a highly efficient, virtually smoke-free engine, which can achieve near zero emissions and reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs).Clean diesel technology evolved around the year 2000 and has made a significant difference in air quality. Independent studies show it would take 60 18-wheel trucks produced today to equal the emissions of just one 18-wheeler built before 1988.

Yes, clean diesel uses petroleum-based fuel, but the technology is much more efficient than gasoline engines and much cleaner than pre-2000 diesel engines. According to the DTF, you can find a growing number of new-technology diesels in use today. More than a third of the trucks on U.S. roads are powered by the newest, cleanest, most efficient diesel technology, the group says.

Photo from the Jamestown Engine Plant
Cummins’ Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (USA) has produced more than 2 million engines since the company acquired it in 1974.
 

2.    CLEAN DIESEL IS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW

Cummins and other companies are working hard to make electrified powertrains available for all kinds of trucks as soon as possible. Cummins has pledged to get an all-electric powertrain on the market for urban buses by the end of 2019. 

But it’s going to take time to develop electrified options for the full range of on- and off-highway engines. Products have to be developed. Factories built. Employees trained and supply chains established. 

While great progress is being made in reducing the size and cost of batteries, there’s still a way to go in many markets  Clean diesel is ready now. The plants are built and the supply chains established. Cummins’ Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (USA), recently passed the 2 million-engine milestone. You gain a lot of expertise after building that many engines.

3.    CLEAN DIESEL HAS AN ESTABLISHED INFRASTRUCTURE

Diesel fuel and service is widely available. According to the DTF , 55 percent of retail fuel locations in the U.S. offer diesel fuel, and various truck stop directories list between 6,500 and 7,000 locations across North America – many offering diesel fuel and service. Three out of four commercial vehicles are powered by a diesel engine and almost 99 percent of large Class 8 trucks come with a diesel engine. So finding fuel and service is not a problem.

By comparison, electrification infrastructure is just starting to develop. Plug-ins can occasionally be found for cars in urban areas, and some U.S. cities are experimenting with electric cars for hire. But a lot more has to be built before the majority of buses and delivery trucks go electric, and even more before electric 18-wheelers can travel coast to coast in large numbers. Europe is closer, but even there it’s going to take time.

One of the reasons Cummins is focusing first on electrification efforts for urban buses is the company believes that’s where the infrastructure will develop first. 

A Cunmmins' QSK95 engine is installed in the Siemens' Charger locomotive
Cummins’ ultra-low emissions QSK95 engine is prepared for lowering into one of Siemen’s Charger Locomotives.

4.    CLEAN DIESEL OFFERS A NICE RETURN ON CLEAN AIR INVESTMENTS

Return on investment is a key question as the debate begins in the U.S. over how best to use a $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust, part of the VW settlement, to improve air quality. Some argue these funds can best be used to help build the infrastructure for electrification.

The DTF, however, maintains the fastest and most cost-effective gains can be made by strategically replacing older and larger diesel engines in locations with the greatest potential for air quality gains. Through a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, DTF found that upgrading just one of the oldest, dirtiest tug boats in an urban area would be like taking tens of thousands of passenger vehicles off the road each year. And it says repowering an old railroad switch engine with clean diesel technology can remove the same amount of nitrous oxides (NOx) for about half the cost of other options.

Cummins believes every customer’s situation is just a little bit different. For example, a transit system that has access to a supply of renewable natural gas like the Los Angeles County, California (USA) transit system might choose to use that as a fuel. LA's transit system is using Cummins Westport’s near zero natural gas engines to help power its fleet, essentially taking advantage of a naturally occurring waste product to reduce its use of fossil fuels.

As the only independent engine maker building natural gas, electric and clean diesel engines, Cummins wants to help its customers make the right decision for them. Cummins believes the environment is too important to remove any tool that might make a difference. 
 

 

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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