5 reasons Cummins helped an Indiana wind farm expand

A farmer works in a field within the Meadow Lake Wind Farm expansion earlier this year. Cummins helped the wind farm expand in 2018.
A farmer works in a field within the Meadow Lake Wind Farm expansion earlier this year. Cummins helped the wind farm expand in 2018.

Some might wonder why a company perhaps best known for its engines would help a wind farm in northwest Indiana expand? 

But at Cummins it was a perfect fit with the company’s mission and strategy.

“Our mission is making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world,” said Rich Freeland, President and Chief Operating Officer, after a dedication ceremony in July at the Meadow Lake Wind Farm near Chalmers, Indiana. “And, so, a piece of powering a more prosperous world includes the environment. You can’t have a more prosperous world without a healthy environment.”

Here are five reasons the company helped Meadow Lake expand, to go with a new video Cummins is releasing on the project (see above):

1.    Cummins wants to help expand renewable forms of energy.

Expanding renewable forms of energy is included in the company’s 2020 environmental goals. Cummins wants to do its part to address climate change. The company uses solar energy where it makes sense, with large solar arrays in Beijing, China; Phaltan, India; Jamestown, New York, and most recently Juarez, Mexico. Meadow Lake is the company’s first foray into wind energy.

2.    The company wants to offset the energy it uses from traditional sources.

The wind farm expansion Cummins is supporting, known as Meadow Lake VI, has a capacity of 200 megawatts from 61 wind turbines, which are among the tallest in the world at more than 560 feet high (just over 170 meters). The share of the expansion Cummins is supporting is 75 megawatts of capacity. While none of the power will go directly to a Cummins’ facility, its share of the expansion is projected to generate slightly more electricity annually than Cummins uses at all of its Indiana facilities. So, essentially, the greenhouse gases from electricity consumption at the company's Indiana facilities are offset by the renewable power sent to the grid.

A truck passes through the Meadow Lake Wind Farm.
Support for renewable wind power is consistent with Cummins' energy diversity strategy.

3.    Cummins gets a hedge against high energy prices.

Cummins has entered into a 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement, more commonly known in the industry as a VPPA. It guarantees the wind farm a fixed price for the power Meadow Lake VI generates, providing some certainty to the expansion that helped it move forward. The VPPA provides Cummins with a hedge against rising energy prices. VPPAs enable companies that aren’t located in windy areas to support renewable wind power. 

4.    The company gets to learn about VPPAs for possible replication elsewhere.

This project is going to allow Cummins to learn about VPPAs for possible replication elsewhere. The Meadow Lake Wind Farm is owned by a company called EDP Renewables, which operates in markets around the world.

5.    The project fits Cummins’ business strategy and its goal to build stronger communities around the world.

As a global power leader, Cummins is committed to offering a broad portfolio of clean power products to help customers choose the solution that’s best for them. That includes clean diesel, natural gas engines, electrified power and more. Learning about renewable wind power only makes sense.

The wind farm also has important additional benefits beyond producing clean, renewable power. Schools and local governments benefit from the taxes the wind farm pays and farmers benefit from the payments they receive for hosting wind turbines on their land. Cummins has long believed it is only as strong as the communities where it does business. That is true for northwest Indiana, too.
 

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 CEO signs Roundtable’s statement expanding corporations’ commitment

Cummins Chairman  and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks at the company’s annual meeting in May 2019, promoting action on the environment and Cummins Powers Women initiative to help address global inequities facing women and girls around the world.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks at the company’s annual meeting in May 2019, promoting action on the environment and Cummins Powers Women initiative to help address global inequities facing women and girls around the world.

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger has joined 180 other CEOs signing a new statement issued by the Business Roundtable that commits them to leading their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The stakeholders in the new “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” include customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders. The statement reaffirms a practice followed by Cummins for more than 50 years, but it marks a significant change for the Roundtable.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

The Roundtable has periodically issued Principles of Corporate Governance since 1978, but each version has endorsed shareholder primacy, maintaining corporations exist mainly to serve shareholders. The statement released Monday by the Roundtable outlines a broader standard for corporate responsibility that supersedes previous statements.

“Businesses play a vital role in the economy by creating jobs, fostering innovation and providing essential goods and services,” the new statement says. “…While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders.”

The statement concludes saying:

“Each of our stakeholders is essential. We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.”

Other CEOs signing the new statement include Tim Cook, CEO of Apple; Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors; James Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor Co. and Jeffrey Bezos, CEO of Amazon.

CUMMINS’ STAKEHOLDER MODEL

Cummins has been following the stakeholder model of business dating back to longtime CEO J. Irwin Miller and embraced by every company chief executive since. Miller laid out his philosophy in Cummins’ 1972 Annual Report.

“We can in the long run be a healthy company only in so far as we exist and serve within an economically and socially healthy society,” Miller said in that report. “We, therefore, support the involvement of company personnel in both public and private social programs, with funds set aside for general philanthropy.”

Shareholders are still an important stakeholder, under the Cummins’ model. Financial success is critical for companies to have an impact on other areas of society. But shareholders are not the only stakeholder.

Linebarger is an active member of the Roundtable, serving as Chair of the Business Roundtable International Engagement Committee. He has continued the stakeholder model of leadership since becoming Cummins’ CEO in 2012.

Under his leadership, for example, the company started the Cummins Powers Women initiative to help address global inequities facing women and girls around the world. Cummins has also established goals to reduce the energy and greenhouse gases it produces, the water it uses, and increase the amount of waste it recycles. The company regularly reports on its progress in Cummins’ Sustainability Progress Report.

“I think all of us know that in order to continue, in order to thrive a hundred years from now, there will be significant challenges to all industrial companies and certainly a company in the power business, about what impact we’re having on the environment,” Linebarger said at Cummins’ Annual Meeting in May. “We will have to produce wealth for all stakeholders while using less, and it’s just that simple.”
 

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’ 'Gateway' to Shrinking its Environmental Footprint

The winning team from BBC Pump and Equipment Co. Inc. is joined on stage by Cummins' Denis Ford (far left) and Jim Gruwell (second from left) at the first Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway.
The winning team from BBC Pump and Equipment Co. Inc. is joined on stage by Cummins' Denis Ford (far left) and Jim Gruwell (second from left) at the first Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway.

Reid Crandall knew he had just five minutes to make his case and five minutes for questions to explain to a panel of 10 judges why Cummins needs a system that enhances industrial cooling towers by reducing water and energy usage.

It was just enough time, however, for Crandall and the BBC Pump and Equipment Co. Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana, to take home top-honors at the first Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway in Columbus, Indiana, earlier this week.

“I’ve never been a part of something quite like this,” said Crandall, Commercial/Industrial Sales Engineer at BBC. “I’ve worked with a lot of companies, but not many are trying to solve problems they don’t even know they have yet.”

EVERYONE’S A WINNER

There was no time for day-dreaming at the fast paced competition, which is something like those reality television shows where entrepreneurs pitch their best ideas in just a few minutes to a panel of business luminaries, hoping one will invest in them.

Only in this case, businesses and entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to help Cummins meet its environmental goals around water, waste, and energy. It’s also different in that all nine finalists in the Gateway competition could possibly end up working with Cummins to test their ideas.

“Everyone’s a winner in their own right,” said Denis Ford, International Sourcing Leader, who served as the master of ceremonies for the event. “There are no ‘last places.’”

The judges at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway.
The judges included five leaders from Cummins and five sustainability experts from outside the company.

Ford played a key role in the successful development and implementation of the Gateway concept in the United Kingdom, which sourcing leaders now hope to take to other Cummins’ locations around the world. Columbus was the first stop on that journey.

In the weeks leading up to the competition, Cummins received 66 proposals from companies large and small to reduce the water and energy it uses and the waste it produces. Those were narrowed down to the nine finalists who got a chance to make their 10-minute pitch in person April 8 at the Gateway’s Finalist Day.

SOME OF THE IDEAS

The ideas that made it all the way to the finals included re-purposing carbon-containing waste into sustainable energy and chemicals, employing reverse osmosis to reuse the most challenging industrial waste water, and applying advanced analytics to connect building and manufacturing systems to business results.

The latter idea was submitted by a company called Building Clarity and SAS, which won runner-up honors in the competition.

The judges included five Cummins leaders, as well as sustainability experts from Purdue University, Indiana University and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council.

A presentation at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway
The presentation by Building Clarity and SAS took runner up honors at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway.

Marcela Navarro, CEO of Project X Global, an international effort to shift industries to more sustainable sourcing, also served as a judge. She worked with Ford’s team to develop the Gateway concept and said after the competition she believes similar events would work at Cummins locations around the world.

“We are committed to action,” she said.

Brian Mormino, Cummins’ Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance, said the event produces the kind of innovative ideas and partnerships the company needs to fulfill its mission of “Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.”

“Prosperity," he said, "requires a healthy planet.”

 

THE FINALISTS

Here's a brief look at  the nine finalists at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway:

Automotive Insight: Proposed using a nano -fluid called Tool-X as a super lubricant for industrial uses, extending the life of cutting devices. 

BBC Pump and Equipment Co., Inc.: Proposed enhancing cooling tower operations to reduce water and energy usage.

Building Clarity and SAS: Proposed applying advanced analytics to connect building and manufacturing systems to business results.

CrossTek: Proposed using a robust reverse osmosis solution for reusing the most challenging industrial waste water.

enVerde LLC: Proposed re-purposing waste containing carbon into clean, sustainable energy and chemicals.

EPS – Engineered Packaging Systems: Proposed using recycled pulp to reduce packaging material. 

Immersion4:  Proposed using a specialized fluid for computer cooling that can be done without water or greenhouse gas emissions.

RPG Energy Group: Proposed the installation of floating solar arrays to take advantage of under-utilized space to create power.

TORO Sustainable HVAC: Proposed a new business model where cooling is sold as a service, eliminating the first cost of purchase for heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

 

THE JUDGES

Here are the judges at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway:

Morgan Andreae, Executive Director of the Cummins Growth Office

Mark Dhennin, Cummins’ Director – Energy & Environment

Jim Gruwell, Executive Director – Strategic Purchasing at Cummins

Helena Hutton, Cummins’ Director – Global Diversity Procurement

Laura Jones, GIS Facilities Functional Excellence Manager at Cummins

Eli Levine, Advanced Manufacturing Office Leader – U.S. Department of Energy 

Carolyn Mosby – President and CEO of the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council

Marcela Navarro, CEO and Co-Founder of Project X Global

Dr. John W. Sutherland, Professional and Fehsenfeld Family Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University

Jason Whitney, Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation Manager of Strategic Partnerships
 

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.”

Innovation Gateway: Register Now and Submit Your Idea

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.

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]

 

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