4 ways Cummins’ 2020 goals are helping the environment

The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant (above) in Beijing, China, is the largest of Cummins’ 12 completed solar installations. Work will begin soon on the plant’s second building (upper right).
The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant (above) in Beijing, China, is the largest of Cummins’ 12 completed solar installations. Work will begin soon on the plant’s second building (upper right).

Skeptical when companies announce goals for reducing their environmental impact? Cummins’ 2020 goals, announced in 2014, have driven positive changes both for the company and the environment.

Cummins announced new environmental sustainability goals Nov. 15 to guide the company through 2030. They will have a big impact if the company’s 2020 goals are any indication. Here’s a quick look back: 

1.    RENEWABLE ENERGY 

Significant strides have been made since the company announced its 2020 goal to increase its use and promotion of low-carbon, renewable energy sources.

A farmer works near the Meadow Lake Wind Farm expansion
A farmer works near the recent Meadow Lake Wind Farm expansion supported by Cummins through an innovative purchase agreement.

The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company (BFCEC) in Beijing, China, is the largest of Cummins’ 12 completed solar installations, producing about 15% of the energy consumed at one of its two buildings. Work will soon begin on a new array of about equal size at the site’s second building.

 The Beijing plant is one of 16 Cummins locations where work is taking place on new solar installations – 12 in India, alone. Arrays are planned at another nine sites including Cummins facilities in Nigeria, Romania and Australia. 

Not every site at Cummins is a good fit for solar, however. The company’s work to help an Indiana wind farm expand could prove to be a great alternative to promote low-carbon, renewable energy.

Cummins entered into a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement to help the Meadow Lake Wind Farm expand in 2018. While the power doesn’t go directly to a Cummins facility, the company’s share of the expansion will send slightly more renewable electricity to the grid than the company uses at its Indiana facilities.

That amounts to offsetting about 28% of Cummins’ global energy consumption annually with renewable power, almost 10 times the electricity generated by the company’s solar arrays.

2.    IMPROVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Cummins is on pace to achieve a 32% energy intensity reduction, energy use adjusted by hours worked, compared to a baseline year of 2010.

Regen Dyno team at the Seymour Engine Plant
Cummins employees stand before one of the regenerative dynamometers at the Seymour Engine Plant. 

The company has been making efficiency improvements at many facilities - upgrading lighting, heating and air conditioning systems - and replacing inefficient equipment discovered by employees trained as Environmental Champions.   

One of the company’s most impactful investments: regenerative dynamometers or “regen dynos” for short. The technology captures energy generated by test engines and turns it into useful power. Cummins uses a lot of fuel when it tests new engines and components.

The Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana, gets about 23% of the total electricity it uses from regen dynos, said Mark Dhennin, Director – Energy & Environment. At the Seymour (Indiana) Engine Plant, where Cummins builds some of its largest engines, two dynos are providing about 17% of the site’s electricity, Dhennin said.

3.    CONSERVING WATER

Since 2010, direct water use is down 16% at Cummins despite a significant increase in employees and buildings. Water use intensity, direct water use adjusted by hours worked, has been reduced by 50%.

The company has undertaken projects ranging from repairing leaks and improving water use practices to using heating and cooling systems that recirculate water rather than dispose it. The regen dynos mentioned earlier reduce cooling load, which allows the cooling tower systems used with test engines to be smaller and use less water.

A Cummins employee checks on water use at the company's plant in Chongqing, China.
A Cummins employee checks water use in Chongqing, China.

There are also many building specific features across Cummins to conserve water. Some facilities are focusing on upgrades to reuse wastewater. The company’s Rocky Mount Engine Plant in Rocky Mount, N.C., for example, initiated a project to reclaim 15 million gallons of water per year for use in a cooling tower at the plant.

A similar project is being conducted at Cummins’ Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, N.Y. The potential savings of 15 million gallons per year there will be reused in the facility’s cooling towers and deionized water system. 

There are many smaller efforts ranging from the bioswales at the Distribution Business Headquarters in Indianapolis, which keep about 80% of rainwater on site for landscaping, to plants in India and Brazil that recycle water for non-potable uses.

4.    WORKING WITH CUSTOMERS TO REDUCE CO2

Cummins fuel economy teams across the world have implemented nearly 300 projects since 2014 to improve the efficiency of the company’s products in use. 

In 2018, Cummins surpassed its 2020 goal of working with customers to achieve an annual run rate reduction of 3.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), reaching 4.3 million metric tons of CO2 in 2018. CO2 is a key contributor to greenhouse gas.

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger announces the company's 2020 environmental sustainability goals during a visit to Purdue University in 2014.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger announces the company's 2020 environmental goals during a visit to Purdue University in 2014.

Projects included retrofitting buses with stop-start technology, so the engine shuts down when stopped on a route; creating a way to easily shift a truck engine to a fuel efficiency setting and ensuring a customer uses the right-sized engine for a job so fuel isn’t wasted.

Cummins expects to work with about 20% of its customer base by the end of 2020, touching nearly 2 million engines as specifications are tailored to specific customer uses.

Editor's note: This story was updated Nov. 18, 2019 to reflect the announcement of Cummins' new environmental strategy goals.
 

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 moves up in Journal’s Management Top 250

The Management Top 250 ranking came amid a number of awards and recognition for the company in the 4th quarter of the year.
The Management Top 250 ranking came amid a number of awards and recognition for the company in the 4th quarter of the year.
Cummins jumped 24 spots in the Wall Street Journal’s most recent Management Top 250, finishing No. 64 in the 2020 ranking of publicly traded U.S. companies developed by the Drucker Institute for the newspaper.

The company finished third in the Automotive/Industrial sector behind Ford (No. 19) and General Motors (No. 46).  

The Drucker Institute is named for the late professor, author and longtime Wall Street Journal Columnist Peter Drucker. The ranking is based on five measures of corporate performance: customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility and financial strength. The analysis used 33 data inputs provided by 14 third party sources.

COMPANY STRENGTHS

Cummins received five out of five stars on social responsibility and four out of five stars for engagement and development and for innovation. The five areas used by the institute are weighted almost equally in the ranking.  

More than 800 companies were included in the Drucker Institute’s review. Companies had to be part of the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index or the S&P Composite 1500 index. Each was assigned scores in the five key areas with a typical range of 0 to 100 and a mean of 50. The scores were then grouped into categories of stars ranging from zero to five. 

Technology firms took eight of the first 10 places in the review led by Microsoft.

OTHER HONORS

The Management Top 250 concludes a successful 4th quarter for Cummins in terms of awards and recognition. Other honors include:

  • Cummins in December was named to Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2021. The company ranked No. 24 overall, and second in the automotive and components category, in the review, produced in partnership with Statista.
  • The company in November was named for a 15th consecutive year to the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for North America, one of the premier measures of corporate sustainability.
  • Cummins in October was one of 21 companies named a “Culture Champion” by a partnership between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Glassdoor, one of the world’s leading recruiting websites. The company received high marks for creating cultures of integrity and respect and ranked first in the study’s category for promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
  • Also in October, the company was named to Investor’s Business Daily’s 2020 Best ESG Companies, Environmental Social & Governance list. The company ranked No. 37 on the list, up from No. 48 the previous year.
  • Cummins was also named in October to Forbes’ 2021 Just 100 ranking of America’s Most Just Companies, done in partnership with JUST Capital. Cummins finished No. 99 in the review, which is based in part on a survey of Americans to glean what they want from good corporate citizens. 
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 a “Culture Champion,” praised for diversity efforts

Cummins' efforts at establishing a culture of diversity and inclusion were highly ranked in the new study.
Cummins' efforts at establishing a culture of diversity and inclusion were highly ranked in the new study.

A partnership between a leading university and one of the world’s largest job and recruiting websites has named Cummins a “Culture Champion,” ranking the company first in its review for employers promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston (U.S.) and Glassdoor also found Cummins ranked No. 7 for a culture of integrity, where employees “consistently act in an honest and ethical manner,” and No. 18 for a culture of respect, where employees “demonstrate consideration and courtesy for others.”

The Culture 500 study looked at more than 500 employers loosely overlapping the Fortune 500. Just 21 were named “Culture Champions,” representing “the very strongest cultures of large American employers.” MIT researchers analyzed over 1 million employee reviews on Glassdoor, using a groundbreaking artificial intelligence tool developed by an MIT-born company to make sense of employees’ words over nine key cultural values. 

Using this approach, researchers could measure how positively and frequently employees in different companies discussed cultural values, enabling comparisons between the different employers.

CUMMINS DELIVERS ON DIVERSITY

Culture Champion Logo"At a time when many large American employers are struggling to deliver on these values, employees speak about Cummins’ diverse culture 3.2 standard deviations more positively than the average company in the Culture 500," say the study’s authors, Donald Sull, Charles Sull and Andrew Chamberlain.

While pleased by the findings, Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger says there is more the company can do to create a successful work culture.

“Cummins has been working on diversity and inclusion for many years and it’s ingrained in our corporate values and culture,” Linebarger said, addressing the company’s top ranking in the study. “We have done, I think, some really good things. But there is still much more that we can do and we’re taking aggressive steps to get there. We know that a diversity of people, working styles and ideas is critical to our company’s success.”
 

The study by the MIT Sloan Management Review focused on the values of agility, collaboration, diversity, execution, innovation, integrity, performance and respect.

“A growing body of research by financial economists has shown that a good corporate culture is correlated with high profitability and returns to shareholders,” the study says. “Companies listed among the best places to work based on their corporate culture, for example, delivered nearly 20% higher returns to shareholders than comparable companies over a five-year period.”

AN EMPHASIS ON VALUES

Noting that a separate study identified more than 60 distinct values that companies listed in their corporate values statements, the authors said measuring across dozens of values would be overwhelming. So, they narrowed their list down to nine values they said are cited most frequently in creating great corporate cultures, which they call “the Big Nine.” 

“Culture is often about tradeoffs,” said Donald Sull, the Lead Researcher for the project and a Senior Lecturer at MIT. “But Culture Champions buck this trend, excelling across multiple cultural dimensions at once. They win medals in multiple sports.”

Cummins puts a major emphasis on corporate culture, identifying five key corporate values: integrity, diversity and inclusion, caring, excellence and teamwork. The company has an extensive diversity and inclusion program, including employee resource groups, special conferences for employees from under-represented demographic groups and targeted recruiting initiatives to bring diverse people into the company.

The company’s Ethics and Compliance team also strives to create a just and ethical workplace, the target of Cummins’ Treatment of Each Other at Work policy and training. The company was named in 2020 one of the  World’s Most Ethical Companies for a 13th consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute, a leader in advancing ethical business practices.

Other companies designated Culture Champions in the MIT-Glassdoor study range from institutional investor BlackRock to media provider Netflix and Trader Joe’s grocery stores.
 

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]

 

Company honored for initiatives on the environment, veterans and creating a great place to work

Cummins' Columbus Engine Plant was honored by Indiana's governor for its continuous improvement on the environment.
Cummins' Columbus Engine Plant was honored by Indiana's governor for its continuous improvement on the environment.

Cummins has been recognized for its efforts on the environment, providing opportunities for veterans and creating a great place to work from a trio of organizations.

The company's historic Columbus Engine Plant (CEP) was recognized by Indiana (U.S.) Gov. Eric Holcomb for a range of initiatives to save energy, conserve water and reduce waste. The company was also named a 2021 Military Friendly Employer® for providing opportunities to veterans and their spouses. Finally, Forbes and Statista named Cummins to its 2nd Annual America’s Best Employers by State list for Indiana.

GOVERNOR’S ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

CEP was one of six Indiana organizations and government agencies honored for its work on the environment as part of the governor’s annual awards for environmental excellence.

“By using innovative environmental practices, they have reduced waste, saved money, and contributed greatly to environmental protection efforts for Hoosiers,” Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Bruno Pigott said of the honorees.

The Cummins plant was specifically recognized for five years of continuous environmental improvement, including an upgrade to more energy efficient LED lighting in 2017, an energy-saving manufacturing controls project started that same year enabling CEP to convert a continuously running coolant system to on-demand service, and engine test cell improvements saving 3.4 million gallons of water per year in the system to cool engines undergoing testing.

CEP also achieved Zero Disposal status under Cummins’ environmental management program, and the plant's popular Community Recycling Day for residents in the company’s headquarters city of Columbus diverted some 740,000 pounds of material from reaching area landfills.

“To have a successful environmental management system, it takes every department, every team and every individual working together to create change,” said David Wehrkamp, CEP’s Environmental Supervisor. “This recognition is the result of their hard work and dedication.”

MILITARY FRIENDLY EMPLOYER

Military Friendly employer logoCummins was also one of 240 employers recently named to the 2021 Military Friendly Employers list for its work in the U.S. to create opportunities for veterans and their spouses both through employment and supplier initiatives. 

“Companies that have earned this designation have invested in substantive programs to recruit, retain and advance veterans within their organizations,” said Josh Rosen, who leads the organization that puts the list together. “To them, hiring veterans isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s good for business.” 

Employers are evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Established in 2003, the Military Friendly Employers list provides a comprehensive guide to veterans and their families. In addition to Cummins employment efforts for veterans, the company has a very active employee resource group dedicated to veterans and veterans are also included in Cummins’ supplier diversity initiatives.

The recognition as a Military Friendly Employer follows the company’s designation in July as a Top-Scoring Company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index, a national benchmarking tool that offers business an opportunity to evaluate their disability inclusion policies and practices. Companies scoring 80% or higher are recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” 

BEST EMPLOYERS BY STATE 2021

Finally, Cummins was named to the 2nd annual list of America’s Best Employers by State 2021 for the company’s headquarters state of Indiana.

The list is prepared by Forbes magazine and Statista, which specializes in consumer and market data. It is based on an independent survey of more than 80,000 U.S. employees working for companies employing at least 500 people in their U.S. operations. The surveys were administered using a series of online panels selected to get a representative sample.

Cummins is one of 80 top employers on the list for the state, ranking only behind Salesforce in Indiana. Other highly ranked employers include Eli Lilly and Company (third) and the Indiana University School of Medicine (fourth).  
 

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 a Top-Scoring Company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index

Cummins has been named a Top-Scoring Company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index® (DEI), a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to self-report their disability inclusion policies and practices. Companies that score 80% or higher are recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” Cummins scored 80% on this year’s index.

Cummins has been named a Top-Scoring Company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index® (DEI)

“I’m so pleased to see Cummins’ progress on the DEI,” said Mark Smith, Vice President – CFO  and the Executive Sponsor of the company’s disability inclusion initiative.  “Last year, we participated in this survey for the first time and found that we had a good deal of work to do to ensure we’re creating an environment that enables people with disabilities.  I’m extremely proud of all that has been accomplished over the last several months.”

From 2019 to 2020, the Cummins Disability Inclusion initiative, led by Dennis Heathfield, made great strides in the following DEI survey categories:

  • Internal and external communications 
  • Leadership engagement
  • Employee Resource Group network and alignment
  • Recruiting practices
  • Facilities accessibility

Going forward, the work will be focused on improving technology and web accessibility, designing and implementing a global workplace adjustments system, and supporting site-specific disability inclusion efforts.

The Disability Equality Index is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN. It was first launched in 2015 and is acknowledged today as the most comprehensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates. This year, 247 corporations used the DEI to benchmark their disability inclusion efforts.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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