Cummins honored for enlightened leadership on global challenges

A Cummins employee works at the company’s Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technology Campus in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada).
A Cummins employee works at the company’s Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technology Campus in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada).

Cummins Inc. has been recognized for creating foundations for stable growth, combining business sense with the imperative to address the planet’s well-being.

The Frost & Sullivan Institute’s Enlightened Leadership Award Best Practices Recognition honors companies adopting business practices to “innovate to zero,” addressing global priorities like climate change while securing sustainable growth.

The institute has honored more than 30 companies and counting with the recognition in 2021, including DuPont, FedEx, the Ford Motor Co. and IBM.

“Frost & Sullivan strictly reserves this recognition to companies at the innovation to zero and growth forefront in their respective industries,” said David Frigstad, Chairman of Frost & Sullivan and the Frost & Sullivan Institute. “These companies demonstrate proactivity in utilizing business practices to ‘innovate to zero’ and address global priorities while securing sustainable growth.”

For more than six decades Frost & Sullivan has been helping investors, corporate leaders and government officials navigate economic change, disruptive technologies and more to achieve success. The Frost & Sullivan Institute is the non-profit organization extension of the company dedicated to the use of business practices to address global priorities. 

Innovating to zero was a phrase first coined by Microsoft Co-founder and Philanthropist Bill Gates to describe the process necessary to reach his vision of a world with zero carbon emissions, zero inequalities, zero crime, zero accidents and carbon-neutral cities. He popularized the phrase during a 2014 TED talk that has generated more than 3 million views on YouTube.

For the Enlightened Growth Leadership Award, Frost & Sullivan analysts independently evaluate companies in terms of one or more global priorities that form the institute’s seven pillars: the environment, education, infrastructure, healthcare, security, human rights, and economics.

The analysts cited a range of Cummins' initiatives, including the company’s effort to develop low-carbon battery and fuel cell electric power platforms while improving Cummins' traditional power technologies; the company's use of wind and solar power, and  Cummins' community engagement initiatives such as Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity.

“Climate change and environmental degradation are among the greatest challenges faced by governments and companies,” the institute said in announcing the award. “Cummins Inc. is a leader in empowering an emission-free future through its renewable energy efforts. Additionally, its outstanding reputation has also allowed the company to secure strategic partnerships with leading companies to deliver innovative solutions set to transform the market.”

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger has called growing the economy while using fewer of the world’s resources the challenge of our time. He says companies figuring out how to accomplish both will be the most successful moving forward.
 

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]

 

Leaders say Cummins ‘uniquely positioned’ to lead on climate action

President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Rumsey meets with Cummins employees.

Cummins Inc. leaders used this week’s Annual Meeting to tell stakeholders the company is ready to lead in the effort to address the world’s climate challenges and other environmental issues.


 

Cummins is embracing the opportunity to be part of the solution addressing climate change by pursuing reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from both the company’s internal combustion engines and new technologies. President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Rumsey pointed to Cummins’ Destination Zero initiative, the company’s strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in a way that serves all of Cummins’ stakeholders and is sustainable for the company.

“Our industry plays a significant role in contributing to climate change – both the problem and the solution,” said Rumsey, who addressed Cummins’ climate strategy during the May 10 meeting. “We will lead our industry in the path to net-zero emissions because it is critical for our planet and future generations, and because it is a growth opportunity for us.”

There are five key capabilities, Rumsey said, that make  Cummins “uniquely positioned” to lead on the transition to a net-zero emission economy and decarbonization:

  • First, the company is a leader in the key technologies for reaching zero tailpipe emissions in commercial and industrial applications as well as the “transition technologies” that lower carbon emissions from engine-based solutions broadly available today.
  • Second, after more than 100 years in business, Cummins is a trusted partner in providing power solutions to leading original equipment manufacturers and customers, which “brings us visibility to opportunities and product plans, and economies of scale in production and service,” Rumsey said. 
  • Third, the company knows its customers and applications, “each of which has unique technical, performance and service demands,” Rumsey said. “We have thousands of highly-skilled engineers who know how to adapt existing and new technologies into products our customers can actually use and afford.”
  • Fourth, Cummins is building a combination of business segments “that have both the capability to serve the industry and the agility to pivot our product offerings depending on changes in regulations and infrastructure, advancements in technology and end user preference.”
  • Finally, Rumsey said the company has invested significantly to attract and build the best talent and to “create an environment for innovation and long-term success that will increase shareholder value.” 

Diversity, equity and inclusion is critical to the company’s efforts to develop the kind of work environment that can lead the energy transformation.

“For us to win on the journey to decarbonization, we also need to create an inclusive environment to spur innovation, attract and build the best talent, and develop our next generation of leaders,” Rumsey said.

“…Diversity and inclusion is a core value at Cummins, and our leaders believe that diversity creates a strong, more competitive work environment that enables all employees to contribute fully, and ultimately, helps us attract and retain top talent,” Rumsey added. “To achieve that goal, we have implemented systems and processes to mitigate potential bias and ensure equitable hiring and advancement of all talent. By making room for everyone to succeed, we will win with the power of difference.”

Cummins has set the stage for success not just through Destination Zero but also PLANET 2050, the company’s environmental sustainability strategy, which includes science-based targets aligned to the Paris Climate Accords, with the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Sustainability is core to achieving our mission of making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world,” Rumsey said. “It’s what we’ve always done – we were the first company to embrace more stringent emission standards in the U.S. – and how we will keep operating.”


 

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 discusses men's role in achieving gender equality

Mary Chandler moderating a panel with Tom Linebarger and Gary Barker, CEO of Promundo-US

Cummins Powers Women unites leaders and employees around the world in finding solutions to gender inequality in our communities, reinforcing Cummins’ commitment to the advancement of women everywhere. Recently, Cummins Powers Women hosted a town hall for employees featuring Mary Chandler, Vice President – Community Relations and Corporate Responsibility, moderating a panel with Tom Linebarger, Cummins Chairman and CEO, and Gary Barker, CEO of Promundo-US. Their conversation highlighted the importance of lifelong learning for boys and men to progress gender equality.

Promundo-US is a global leader in advancing gender equality and preventing violence by engaging men and boys in partnership with women, girls and individuals of all gender identities. Cummins Powers Women partners with the organization in Europe on its Global Boyhood initiative, which involves young boys and their caregivers in after-school programs to address cultural and social norms about masculinity.

Linebarger and Barker shared their personal stories and the significance of gender equality in their lives by chronicling some of their most memorable experiences that have shaped their thinking. Linebarger discussed the urgency of achieving gender equality sooner. 
“Even outside of business, I think we can all agree that gender equity is better for everyone,” Linebarger said. “It’s time to make significant progress and find a solution for all of us to experience gender equity.” 

Their conversation focused on false views of masculinity, societal violence that plagues men and women, non-gender binary company policies for caregiving, and creating healthier forms of masculinity. “All men play a critical role in serving as allies and helping to find the solution for gender equity,” said Barker. “We, as men, live better when we become part of the solution.”  

Top 5 takeaways: 

  • Gender equity benefits everyone. 
  • Men have a place as allies working alongside women to achieve gender equity.
  • Companies with non-gender binary policies have better retention. 
  • Managers should provide a safe space and open conversation for employees who need to take parental leave or provide caregiving.  
  • Everyone plays an equal role in breaking the cycle of gender-based inequities and helping to find a solution for gender equity. 

Cummins Powers women seeks scaled solutions wherever possible by partnering with a network of global nonprofit organizations that have existing, outcome-based programs focused on areas where significant barriers exist to the advancement of girls and women. While this discussion highlighted the importance of lifelong learning for boys and men, the program also focuses on educational attainment, law and policy changes, economic empowerment and personal safety. 

Watch the full event below! 

Chauncey Cox

Chauncey Cox

Chauncey Cox is the Project Manager for Cummins Powers Women. Chauncey joined the Company in 2018 as a Marketing and Communications Specialist.

Cummins celebrates Earth Day with BCSC students

Cummins engineers teaching students about Cummins powered products

Earth Day was a great reason for Cummins engineers to show the next generation some of the company’s “next generation” technology.

On Friday, April 22, more than 100 students from Central Middle School and CSA Lincoln Elementary in Columbus, IN met with Cummins engineers around a 2020 Blue Bird All American Electric Type D School Bus, with an 84-passenger capacity; a Kenworth T680 with a Cummins ISX12N near-zero emissions natural gas engine; and a 2021 Freightliner Cascadia Semi running on a Cummins X15 Efficiency diesel engine. The lesson of the day was climate change, Destination Zero, and the important role that technology can play in reducing emissions.

Cummins employee teaching student about Cummins products

“Cummins engineers explained the different types of fuels and energy we have on the road today, teaching the kids empathy for the environment and offering them a better understanding of green energy and sustainability. This event is part of our STEM activities we do in partnership with Cummins throughout the year and we really appreciate it,” said Mr. Jeffery Fant, Science Teacher at Central Middle School.

Cummins began its relationship with Central Middle School in the 2019-2020 school year after Cummins engineer Jason Major volunteered his time in his daughter’s science class. He soon recruited several of his colleagues to engage the middle school science students on such topics as the scientific method, creative innovation, team building and artificial intelligence. Today’s event was the largest to date, with several more in the works.

"We are fortunate to have wonderful community partners who engage our students in experiences like visiting the newest technologies being utilized at Cummins to reduce emissions. Our students enjoyed the time they spent learning about the semi-trucks and electric-powered school buses,” said Brett Findley, Ed.S. Principal, CSA Lincoln Elementary.
 
Learn about Cummins’ commitment to Destination Zero

Catherine Morgenstern - Cummins Inc.

Catherine Morgenstern

Catherine Morgenstern is a Brand Journalist for Cummins, covering topics such as alternative propulsion, digitalization, manufacturing innovation, autonomy, sustainability, and workplace trends. She has more than 20 years of experience in corporate communications, holding leadership positions most recently within the Industrial Capital Goods sector.

Catherine began her career as a marketing writer for a biotechnology company, where she learned to take complicated and highly technical information and make it accessible to everyone. She believes the concept of “storytelling” is more than a trendy buzzword and loves to find ways for her readers to make personal connections to her subjects. Catherine has a passion for technology and innovation and how its intersection can make an impact in all our lives.

Catherine recently moved back to her hometown in the Hudson Valley, New York after a several decades in Los Angeles and Chicago. She is a graduate of UCLA and enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and three children.

Company makes progress on goal to use less, use better and use again

The Material Science Lab at the Cummins Technical Center.

It is among the most challenging of the 2030 goals in Cummins Inc.’s PLANET 2050 environmental sustainability strategy: create a circular lifecycle plan for every part to use less, use better, and use again.

This goal is focused on waste minimization through material efficiency, the company’s biggest water and waste footprint in the value chain. It’s such a big challenge because there are thousands of parts in Cummins’ broad range of product offerings, which power everything from trucks, trains and marine vessels to construction equipment, farm machinery, generators and more

“You’re really talking about reducing natural resource use by design, from the raw materials we use, and how they are processed, to ensuring the raw materials can be used again for another life,” said Karen Cecil, Cummins’ Director of Environmental Sustainability. “Waste minimization requires a new mindset, tools, and partnerships.” 

The goal is critical to PLANET 2050’s mission to address both the world’s climate challenges and natural resource availability. 

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The world’s supply of natural resources, including, in a cruel twist of cosmic fate, the rare earth metals used in many no and low-carbon technologies needed to power the future, are being diminished at an alarming rate.

The Global Footprint Network estimates in 2022 the world will use the resource equivalent of 1.75 earths, which is faster than the earth can replenish those materials. It projects the world will need resources equivalent to two earths by 2030 and then three earths by 2050, if resource use doesn’t slow or get replenished. 

So, in theory, the world could solve its climate challenges only to face resource shortages for no-carbon technologies just as crippling. 

In some cases, procuring a resource can impact another resource. For example, Cecil said Cummins’ single largest use of water stems not from any manufacturing process but from the harvesting and processing of the raw materials used in the company’s products.

Cummins officials hope the company’s lifecycle planning goal will optimize its resource use, as well as enable Cummins’ low-carbon transformation, while powering customer success and maintaining the economic benefits society depends on.

Material Science Laboratory at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus
The Materials Science Laboratory at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana, gathers in-depth information on materials used in the company's products. 

ESTABLISHING A STANDARD

In 2021, the company took several important first steps toward meeting its lifecycle planning goal. In addition to building support for the goal across Cummins and establishing the employee committees designated to lead the effort, the company accomplished two critical steps.

First, Cummins established a Circular Lifecycle Design Standard. Design standards serve as a sort of roadmap for engineers as they put together part designs before going into production.

The new standard includes important lifecycle principles, such as review by Cummins’ Materials Science function to ensure a part uses the most appropriate materials and processing from an environmental sustainability perspective. 

Other principles include minimizing how much material is used in a part while still achieving the necessary strength and durability, and ensuring a part’s design takes into account remanufacturing, reuse or recycling. The standard also addresses whether a design has been evaluated for minimizing scrap during production.

If a design can use fewer raw materials, less material must be mined or harvested, which saves natural resources and reduces the energy used to gather and process material for a new part. Less energy used translates into lower greenhouse gases (GHGs).

Extending a part’s life through remanufacturing also requires less energy and natural resources than making a new part. And minimizing the materials processing necessary to produce a new part saves energy and by extension reduces GHGs.

PROVIDING THE NECESSARY TOOLS

In addition to establishing the standard, Cummins created an optimization center with the tools engineers need to answer questions like where strength and durability are especially important in a design and where parts may be able to use less material without compromising performance and durability.

Cummins engineers have been working for several years with powerful computer software to answer those and other questions, which in itself saves energy by limiting the number of parts that have to be manufactured to test different designs.

Julie Wagner, Engineering Knowledge Management Leader, and David Genter, Product Design Functional Excellence Leader, were part of the team that put the design standard together.

Genter said establishing the standard as a cross-functional initiative that applies to every business unit at the company was a critical first step. Wagner said it was also important to get tools established before the company begins reporting its progress against the 2030 goal.

FUTURE CHALLENGES

While there is significant work ahead on the goal, Todd Weiland,  Director of Research and Technology in Cummins New and ReCon Parts function, is confident the lifecycle planning goal can be accomplished. Weiland is part of the team working on important questions still to be resolved like where the lifecycle plans will be stored and what form they will take.

He said it is important to remember that the goal is optimization – not every part is a candidate for remanufacturing or recycling in exactly the same way. As for the number of parts, he said many are similar and will be able to share plan elements, easing the burden on design engineers.

Weiland believes the biggest challenge may be identifying those parts that are uniquely difficult to handle, and developing plans for them.

“We’re doing a lot of this work now, but perhaps not as effectively and efficiently as we could,” he said. “Establishing these plans will make us much better stewards of the resources Cummins depends on.” 
 

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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