Cummins joins Better Climate Challenge to help reach key GHG goal

Cummins Inc. has been accepted into the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, one of 35 members with the goal of reducing their scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% within 10 years.

Scope 1 emissions include direct emissions owned or controlled by an entity. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling.

“Cummins has benefited greatly from its participation in the department's Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Mark Dhennin, the company’s Director of Energy and Environment for Facilities and Operations. “I’m confident this partnership will help us reach our aggressive carbon reduction goals for 2030.”

Other groups participating in this most recent Department of Energy (DOE) initiative range from Ford and General Motors, to the Deschutes Brewery in Central Oregon, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, which develops affordable housing in San Francisco. 

Any organization with a portfolio of buildings, plants or housing in the United States is eligible to join the DOE challenge provided they are willing to set a portfolio-wide goal of at least 50% emissions reduction over 10 years. In return, they can access technical assistance for reaching their goals through the DOE’s network of national laboratories as well as “peer-exchange” opportunities through conferences, webinars, regional meetings and more.

Terra Carta Seal
Cummins was recently named one of the inaugural recipients of Prince Charles' Terra Carta Seal for the company's commitment to sustainability and decarbonization.


The program builds on the success of the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, which Cummins drew on extensively to achieve intensity reductions of 27% in energy and 41% in GHGs by the end of 2020 from a baseline year of 2010. 

The company has established a new set of 2030 goals to build on the success of its 2020 goals, including several aligned to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to keep global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Among those new goals is reducing absolute GHG emissions from facilities and operations by 50%. The 2030 goals are included in PLANET 2050, the company’s environmental sustainability strategy adopted in 2019.

The Better Climate Challenge will allow the company to draw on both the expertise of other like-minded organizations and the DOE as well as share what it has learned since Cummins established its first public energy reduction goal some 15 years ago.


The company has implemented a number of innovative programs since then, supporting, for example, the expansion of a northwest Indiana wind farm to generate low-carbon power to help offset Cummins' electricity use from more traditional sources.

Cummins also created a trained cadre of employees to look for energy savings in their own particular locations. Finally, the company has now established solar installations at more than 40 locations. 

“Cummins has long believed in the power of partnerships to achieve critical goals,” Dhennin said. “Our partnerships with the DOE have not only produced environmental benefits, they have made our core products more efficient. We also know from experience we can learn a lot from other like-minded companies and organizations. I’m confident the relationships we develop in the Better Climate Challenge will help us reach our important 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 introduces Destination Zero to its employees and other stakeholders

The endgame is clear: Destination Zero. The journey to get there is complex. 

“Climate change is the existential crisis of our time, and we must work together to solve it,” Tom Linebarger, Cummins Inc. Chairman and CEO and Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer wrote in a recent note they co-authored for the company’s employees. “Our ability to deliver on our mission of making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world is threatened by the world’s climate challenges.”  

They further explained that the industry contributes to climate change, and Cummins has an opportunity to be part of the solution by pursuing reductions from both internal combustion engines and new technologies. 

The note from Rumsey and Linebarger introduced Destination Zero. This is the name for the company’s strategy to go further, faster to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) and air quality impacts of its products and reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in a way that serves all stakeholders in a sustainable way for Cummins’ business. This commitment requires changes to Cummins’ products and the energy sources that power them. This work requires collaboration and leadership from governments, utilities, and other industries. 

To reach a world with net-zero emissions, it is necessary to improve the resiliency of the grid and decarbonize it with renewable energy. Developing and growing the hydrogen economy also is essential. Hydrogen can be used as a fuel source to decarbonize transportation as it becomes more available and less expensive. (Cummins’ electrolzyers are helping customers produce green hydrogen.)  

Because these changes will take time, as part of its Destination Zero strategy, Cummins is also focused on improving GHG emissions that come from the internal combustion engines that dominate most industrial applications today. In fact, it’s these reductions, which are projected to provide more cumulative carbon reduction than an alternate scenario of waiting until the grid is green and deploying technology that relies on electric charging. 

Cummins’ Destination Zero strategy lowers carbon and other emissions today, and reduces well-to-wheels emissions by matching technology readiness with infrastructure readiness. (Well-to-wheels emissions include energy use and emissions from the primary energy source through consumption during vehicle or equipment operation.) It drives wide-scale adoption by focusing on affordability, and it achieves zero emissions by 2050. Simply put, it provides the most cumulative emissions reduction for the least cost on society. 

The pace will look different in different applications and regions of the world. Driving factors of the pace of the transition include infrastructure investment, regulatory advancements, and customer requirements. Because so many partners will influence these changes, Cummins employees around the world are working in their communities to partner on these efforts. 

This work builds on the framework of the company’s PLANET 2050 environmental sustainability strategy, which also includes a focus on improving its communities and using natural resources in the most sustainable way. PLANET 2050 includes quantifiable goals for 2030 and visionary, longer-term aspirations for 2050. 

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]

Cummins named to prestigious world ESG index

Cummins plants and facilities made significant greenhouse gas reductions in 2020.
Cummins plants and facilities made significant greenhouse gas reductions in 2020.

Cummins Inc. has returned to the S&P Dow Jones World Sustainability Index, one of the most prestigious sustainability indices evaluating companies’ performance on environmental, social and governance matters.

The company was also named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for a 16th consecutive year. The new ratings go into effect Nov. 22 and are based on 2020 data.

Dow Jones emblem"We congratulate Cummins for being included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the World and North America,” said Manjit Jus, Global Head of ESG Research for S&P Global. “A DJSI distinction is a reflection of being a sustainability leader in your industry. The record number of companies participating in the 2021 S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment is testament to the growing movement for ESG disclosure and transparency."

The Dow Jones announcement follows several recent awards and honors recognizing Cummins’ efforts to play a leadership role on the world’s climate challenges. The company was accepted into the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, one of 35 members with the goal to reduce scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% within 10 years. Scope 1 emissions include direct emissions owned or controlled by an entity while scope 2 emissions include emissions from the generation of purchased electricity.

That followed Prince Charles’ Nov. 3 announcement in Glasgow, Scotland, site of the COP26 global climate summit, that Cummins was one of 45 inaugural recipients of the Terra Carta Seal. The seal recognizes companies from around the world that are taking a leadership role within their industries on sustainability and decarbonization. The Prince of Wales is making a major push for climate action, challenging companies to restructure their business in a way that protects the world’s natural resources.


Cummins is working to improve its traditional products such as diesel engines through improved efficiency and the use of low- and no-carbon fuels, including hydrogen, while bringing to market new low-carbon technologies such as battery and fuel cell electric platforms. The company is also manufacturing electrolyzers critical to producing green hydrogen, a promising no-carbon fuel.

Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger told Forbes magazine during his visit to COP26 last week that the world is running out of time to address its climate challenges, and no single technology is the best answer to reducing carbon emissions in every application.

“It’s just that simple,” he told the magazine. “We are putting carbon in the atmosphere we cannot remove, so we need to get moving on all of them.”

Cummins Vice President Amy Davis, President of the company’s New Power business segment, was also in Glasgow. During an appearance on a panel at The New York Times Climate Hub, she said both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cells offer promising futures. But she also said technologies widely available today like advanced diesel are needed to remove as much carbon as possible now because once carbon is emitted, “we can’t get it back.”

The company has taken a number of steps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from both its operations and by working with customers to reduce GHG emissions from Cummins’ products in-use.

For example, the company achieved 2020 intensity reductions in its plants and other buildings totaling 27% in energy and 41% in GHGs from a baseline year of 2010. Meanwhile, Cummins achieved a cumulative reduction of 21.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from Cummins’ products in-use since 2014, working with customers to use company products more efficiently.

Cummins has also launched Cummins Water Works to help strengthen communities facing climate-related shortages by developing sustainable water supplies. 


While Cummins received high marks from Dow Jones for its work on a variety of environmental matters (96th percentile) in 2020, it also praised the company’s social initiatives (91st percentile) and Cummins’ governance and economics (96th percentile) programs.

On social matters, the company had a strong year in 2020. The number of women and girls impacted by the gender equity law and policy changes resulting from Cummins Powers Women climbed to 17 million since the effort started in 2018. Meanwhile, the company successfully launched Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE), to focus on dismantling institutional racism in the United States following a summer of protests across the country. 

Cummins in 2020 also recorded the lowest Health and Safety Incidence Rate, the rate of recordable injuries at the company, in Cummins’ history. In addition, the company reported significant improvements in gender diversity, especially in the company’s leadership and executive ranks. 

The company’s Board of Directors also saw significant gains in gender as well as racial diversity in 2020 and early 2021. The board met 15 times in 2020 – three times its normal number of meetings, providing important leadership during Cummins’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cummins was dropped from the Dow Jones World Index in 2014 but maintained its place on the North American index. In recent years it narrowly missed returning to the world index.

More than 10.000 publicly traded companies were invited to participate in this year’s S&P Dow Jones sustainability review. Only slightly over 320 made the 2021 world index. Those companies come from more than 20 different countries and more than 20 industries, ranging from automobiles and components to media and entertainment to utilities. Cummins was in the capital goods category.

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 in the spotlight at COP26 thanks to Prince Charles

Prince Charles announces the inaugural Terra Carta seal recipients today in Glasgow.
Prince Charles announces the inaugural Terra Carta seal recipients today in Glasgow.

Cummins Inc. enjoyed a moment in the spotlight at COP26 today, as Prince Charles announced the company is one of 45 inaugural recipients from around the world of the Terra Carta Seal.

The seal recognizes businesses for their commitment to environmental sustainability and decarbonization. Speaking at an art museum not far from the global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the Prince of Wales called on all businesses to take a leadership role in the transition to a more sustainable, no-carbon future.

“The Terra Carta Seal recognizes those organizations which have made a serious commitment to a future that is much more sustainable, and puts nature, people and the planet at the heart of the economy,” Prince Charles said. “We all need to make changes if we are to preserve the planet for our children and grandchildren and these businesses have pledged to make it easier for us all to do so.”

The heir to the British throne is making a major push for climate action, telling world leaders at the Group of 20 summit in Rome last week “it is surely time to set aside our differences and grasp this unique opportunity to launch a substantial green recovery.”

The Terra Carta Seal
The Terra Carta Seal symbolizes the Prince of Wales' efforts to rally business behind climate action.


Inspired by the Magna Carta, the medieval document that remains an important symbol of liberty around the world, the Terra Carta is a recovery plan for the planet that serves as the guiding mandate for the Prince’s Sustainable Markets Initiative. The initiative seeks to establish a global forum for industries to restructure their operations in a way that protects the world’s resources.

Among its 10 principles, the Terra Carta calls for embedding positive and negative social and environmental costs into goods and services to encourage sustainable options, incentives for sustainable alternatives and the elimination of barriers to the transition. Cummins supports carbon pricing to put the power of the market behind the evolution to a low-carbon future and incentives to help customers with the transition.

“As the Terra Carta recognizes, sustaining a vibrant economy while using fewer of the earth’s resources is the challenge of our time,” said Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger. “Our mission of making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world requires a healthier planet, and it will take all of us working together to solve the world’s climate challenges. Being part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative is both a great honor and a great responsibility.”

Cummins is committed to taking a leadership role on the world’s climate challenges and other environmental concerns. In 2019, the company unveiled PLANET 2050, Cummins’ environmental sustainability strategy, which includes science-based goals timed to 2030 that are aligned to the Paris climate agreements. The agreements seek to limit average global temperature rise above pre-industrial levels to 1.5 degrees Celsius.


As part of its approach to environmental stewardship, Cummins aspires to be carbon neutral by 2050. The company is working to reduce the carbon impact of its diesel and natural gas platforms while bringing to market innovative no-carbon technology, including battery and fuel cell electric. Cummins has also quickly emerged as a leader in the manufacture of electrolyzers critical to the production of green hydrogen, a promising no-carbon fuel and has accelerated development of an internal combustion engine that runs on hydrogen.

The company advocates for climate action through its membership in several organizations, including Business Ambition for 1.5°C, the CEO Climate Dialogue, the Business Roundtable and the Hydrogen Council, a global coalition of CEOs working to accelerate the use of green hydrogen. Linebarger serves as co-chair of the Hydrogen Council.

Cummins has been named to the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for North America for 15 consecutive years and qualified for Sustainalytics’ 2021 ESG Industry Top Rated Badge among other honors. 

Other inaugural recipients of the Terra Carta Seal include Bank of America, PepsiCo, Salesforce and Xerox. The Sustainable Markets Initiative expects to add more recipients annually as additional companies join its campaign to meet the world’s climate challenges. 

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 Marine powers hybrid sailing superyacht for reduced emissions

Photo courtesy of Southern Wind Shipyard

When you think of a machine powered by Cummins, our engines working hand-in-hand with wind power to move a vessel is likely not the first thing that comes to mind. Nevertheless, the Cummins Marine 4.5 engine is on course to set sail next summer powering the sailing superyacht. 

The vessel is currently under construction in Cape Town, South Africa, and will be ready to house our smallest marine engine offering in early 2022. The high-performance superyacht, constructed by Southern Wind, will be hybrid powered to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of a classic diesel engine. This ensures an efficient, clean sailing experience regardless of whether the vessel is under sail or motoring. 

Chosen for its compact size and efficiency, the 150hp B4.5 propulsion engine will be combined with BAE Systems’ Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) to provide electric power to both the energy storage system and the vessel auxiliary load. BAE Systems is a progressive technology company working in multiple industrial spaces whose maritime subsidiary has a strong relationship with Cummins, having previously partnered on the Harbor Harvest project. Using BAE’s HybriGen Power and Propulsion technology, the sailboat will, in total, be fitted with an electric motor, two variable speed generators, a lithium-ion energy storage system and a vessel auxiliary power with shore power charging.

Compliant with IMO III standards, the sailing superyacht is a versatile, power dense vessel with deck hardware optimized for both quiet performance cruising and intense offshore racing. The vessel will also be able to operate in Hydrogeneration mode while under sail. In this mode, the propeller and propulsion motor will act as a generator allowing for recharging of the lithium-ion storage cells for a longer zero-emissions experience.

Following its recent launch, the new B4.5 liter engine package is ideal for sailors who prefer a calm, quiet ride thanks to the minimal noise produced by Cummins’ solution. The sailing superyacht is a perfect vessel to house our smallest (but mightiest) solution in the Cummins Marine lineup.

Find out more about the B4.5

Nicki Storey

Nicki Storey

Nicki Storey is a Marketing Communications Placement Student at Cummins. She joined the Marine, Oil & Gas team in July 2021, and is currently studying for a degree in PR & Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University. As a theatre fan, when away from the office you can find her in London watching a West End show.

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