Cummins’ ESG efforts lauded in multiple ways as 2022 draws to a close

Cummins employees at the Columbus Engine Plant unload waste paint at a community recycling day at the plant earlier this year.

Cummins Inc. is ending the final quarter of the year with a flurry of awards and recognition for the company’s work on sustainability and ESG excellence.

The global power technology leader, for example, recently saw its ESG Rating from MSCI upgraded from AA a year ago to AAA last month, the highest rating possible. MSCI stands for Morgan Stanley Capital International. The firm is a leading provider of support tools and services for the investment community.

MSCI said the upgrade was driven by the presence of new members on the Board of Directors, strong workforce management and health and safety programs, as well as efforts to reduce waste and emissions at plants and facilities.

The MSCI ratings upgrade followed other strong ratings for environmental, social and governance excellence earlier in 2022, including a gold medal for sustainability achievement from EcoVadis, a leading provider of business sustainability ratings, and a “Low Risk” ESG Risk Rating from Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG research and data. 


Also in November, Cummins received the Frost & Sullivan Institute’s Enlightened Growth Leadership Best Practices Award for its work on climate action and other sustainability issues.

The award goes to companies at the forefront of “Innovation to Zero,” a phrase first coined by Bill Gates to describe innovation to achieve zero emissions. The institute says it recognizes companies “moving the world in the right direction.”

“We identify companies that demonstrate the commitment to embrace emerging technologies and protocols and generate opportunities for all while sustaining continued growth and highlighting best practices for sustainable development,” said David Frigstad, Chairman, Frost & Sullivan and the Frost & Sullivan Institute.

Frost & Sullivan is a leading global market research company, offering growth strategy consulting and corporate training. The award was announced Nov. 11. This is the second consecutive year Cummins has received the award.

“With a mission to build a more prosperous world with cleaner air, adequate water supplies, less waste and reduced levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, Cummins Inc. strives toward sustainability goals through outstanding initiatives to promote greater social and environmental responsibility,” the institute said in announcing the award.


In October, the company was named to Investor’s Business Daily’s fourth annual 100 Best ESG Companies list for 2022. 

Cummins finished No. 27 in the 2022 rating, which was based on the company’s environmental, social and governance score from the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Indices along with a review of publicly available data and media coverage of each company.

“In the rough and tumble stock market of 2022, the top companies on our list stand strong,” the publication said in announcing its list Oct. 24. “They maintained their commitment to ESG in a punishing economic environment, and still delivered notable financial performance when compared to other companies.”

Cummins is committed to playing a leadership role on the global effort to reduce carbon emissions while also initiating programs to promote gender equity around the world and address institutional racism in the United States.

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]


More than 140 tons of waste saved from landfills


E-waste is the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream, according to the United Nations; yet, less than 18% of electronics are collected and recycled. Community recycling days are helping to change that by limiting what ends up in landfills, incinerators and other means of waste disposal. Once a year, however, Cummins Inc. provides the place, manpower, and funding to oversee the proper, safe disposal of hard-to-recycle items like waste paints and electronics through Cummins’ Community Recycling Day.

The Columbus Engine Plant (CEP) is one of several Cummins plants to hold this event during Environmental Month. The combination of community involvement and responsible environmental practices supports CEP’s internal Cummins certification of Zero Disposal (zero landfill) for the site, which it acquired in June of 2018.

Zero disposal and landfill status

One of the Cummins requirements for attaining zero landfill status is that a site has to successfully recycle 100% of its waste and can prove four consecutive quarters of zero waste. Keeping materials out of the landfill and conserving natural res

urces whenever possible has been important to CEP as it falls in line with the overall Cummins commitment to environmental stewardship. It’s also part of PLANET2050, a Cummins strategy to reduce emissions, water and waste, and reuse or recycle responsibly. 

Plant goals of zero landfill status have extended to surrounding communities too, which have consistently participated in properly disposing their waste during Cummins Community Recycling Day. As proof, the popularity of Cummins Recycling Day has grown from 150 cars lined up to drop items off at its inception in 2010, to over 1,500 cars participating last year. 

Through this event held in Columbus, Ind. (U.S.) and another at the Jamestown Engine Plant (JEP) in Jamestown, New York (U.S.), CEP and JEP have overseen the responsible disposal of more than 370 tons of household waste over a five-year period. That’s waste equivalent to 92 elephants – imagine over 7 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of waste.

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With the help of partners – hundreds of Cummins employee volunteers, vendors, organizations, and local residents – these plants have combined a positive impact on their communities they serve, aligning with Cummins core mission and PLANET2050 targets. And they’ve done it while diverting batteries, tires, paint, electronics and more from settling in landfills, saving countless people and wildlife from serious health risks that can result from toxic, corrosive chemicals and substances such as mercury, lead and cadmium leaching into the soil and ground water.

“One of the items that got my attention and the attention of many of our volunteers was the number of old TVs we saw with the cathode-ray tubes,” said David Wehrkamp, former Health, Safety and Environment Leader at CEP. “There were some of the big heavy ones with the wood paneling. I didn’t think people still had them, but they do.”

Older TVs with cathode-ray tubes typically hold lead, cadmium-based phosphorus and other toxic chemicals that make them potentially dangerous and hard to recycle. Many places in the United States charge a few for handling them, which underscores the importance of events like this which take them at no cost.

So, how many tons of waste will Cummins’ recycling day divert from landfills this year? Stay tuned to find out.

Learn more about Cummins’ Planet 2050 and Destination Zero strategies.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

Cummins leads on gender equality as company celebrates International Women’s Day


The Cummins Powers Women program to promote gender equality has now served more than 27 million women and girls around the world, having invested $23 million in the effort since its inception in 2018.

The company released new statistics on the program as it celebrates both the fifth anniversary of Cummins Powers Women and International Women’s Day March 8 with a range of activities both inside and outside the company.

“I am so proud to work for a company that believes in advancing women everywhere,” said Mary Chandler, Vice President of Community Relations and Corporate Responsibility at Cummins. “Yes, building a diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce is vital to Cummins’ success, plain and simple. But we’ve taken that commitment another huge step forward with Cummins Powers Women.

"When we started this program five years ago, we could not have predicted the incredibly important ways Cummins has positively impacted the lives of girls and women around the world, from helping to reduce the scourge of child marriage and domestic violence, to bringing curriculum into schools to teach boys about gender equality so they can later carry the torch of change in their communities," she added. "It’s remarkable.” 


Cummins Powers Women partners with 10 global nonprofits in 18 countries to accelerate gender equality in educational attainment, economic empowerment, personal safety and legal rights.

The commitment has more than 1,300 Cummins employees engaged as Cummins Powers Women Ambassadors, and it has also gotten support from many of the company’s Employee Resource Groups aligned along different dimensions of diversity. In addition, more than 24 leaders around the world have been engaged in the effort. 

As part of Cummins’ focus on gender equality, it has long put a spotlight on International Women’s Day, held annually on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievement and raise awareness about the discrimination they face. This year’s theme, #EmbraceEquity, underscores the fact that gender equality needs each of us to play a role by actively supporting and embracing equality in our own areas of influence.


To kick off the week, Cummins President and CEO Jennifer Rumsey, along with Karen Quintos, Cummins Board Member and retired Chief Customer Officer of Dell Technologies, led an interactive discussion on March 6 to talk about work critical to achieving gender equality, both internal to the company and external to communities.
Next, Rise Up conducted a virtual panel on March 7 where its leaders shared impactful stories. Rise Up is one of the 10 global Cummins Powers Women nonprofit partners dedicated to advancing gender equality. It joins with visionary local leaders to provide training, funding and networks for meaningful and lasting change.  

Thirty-six organized events are taking place throughout the week in the seven regions of the world where Cummins has a presence. Employees can sign up to attend, either in person at local sites or virtually from all over the globe, to listen to and interact with leadership on varying topics such as young women enrolled in trade schools, future female leaders, embracing equality and more.

While Cummins is pleased by the success of Cummins Powers Women and other efforts, the company knows there is much work to be done and remains committed to its focus on creating a more prosperous and equitable world.

5 years of impact
Click the image to see the impact of the Cummins Powers Women program.


Tamra Knudsen smiling

Tamra Knudsen

Tamra Knudsen is a Brand Journalist for Cummins with extensive experience in the Capital Goods sector, serving over 20 years in various corporate communications roles. She began her career in accounting, moving into numerous positions within finance, marketing and administration, until she discovered her niche in the field of communications. Her passion is to create transparent and meaningful content that educates, informs and engages readers on a variety of topics for both external and internal audiences. 

Tamra graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, with a BS in Business Administration and Management.

Sustainability initiatives shape manufacturing of 6.7 turbo diesel engine and local community

Caps gathered were sent to recycling facilities that used them to create new products like benches.

As wildfires, floods, and rising temperatures become more frequent, the need for sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions in manufacturing grows. With stricter regulations and EPA industry standards, it’s important for OEMs, fleets and customers to know their products, diesel engines to hydrogen engines, are manufactured with a smaller carbon footprint.

Cummins Inc.’s Columbus Mid-Range Engine Plant (CMEP) is taking key steps towards environmental goals, one sustainable initiative at a time. As Cummins continues to work towards key targets and 2030 goals included in its PLANET 2050 environmental sustainability strategy, promoting sustainability both in facilities and the community has proven impactful.

Here are five key ways Columbus Mid-Range Engine Plant’s sustainability team is implementing green initiatives, and educating others along the way.

No. 1 E-waste recycling collection

Electronic waste (e-waste) is the world's fastest-growing waste stream. As our lives become more intwined with the latest tech gadgets, the more we discard our electronic devices as they near the end of their useful life.

In 2019, over 53.6 metric tons of e-waste was generated across the world. E-waste is increasing at an alarming rate, at almost two metric tons per year. E-waste poses health risks for humans from open air burning and exposure to harmful toxins like lead and mercury. This risk extends to the impact on our environment.

To recycle current technology and promote the continuation of e-waste recycling, Columbus Mid-Range Engine Plant organized a Columbus, Indiana community-wide recycling collection event. Over 860 pounds of electronic waste was diverted from landfills, ultimately avoiding leaking hazardous and toxic chemicals into the environment.

No. 2 Plastic caps competition

The production of plastic components is a growing concern for our environment. Nearly 400 million tons of plastics are produced every year. Caps on plastic bottles is one such plastic. While the entire bottle is an issue, caps pose an increased hazard as they are small enough to be ingested by wildlife and leave behind microplastics in the environment as they degrade.

Aiming to gather as many plastic caps as they could, the plant arranged a “caps competition.” Over the duration of June, which is Environmental Awareness month, plant employees helped collect a total of 250 pounds of plastic caps. Caps gathered were sent to recycling facilities that used them to create new products like benches.

With the hopes of encouraging young students in the Columbus community to recycle, the bench was donated to Mount Healthy Elementary School as a feature in their playground.

No. 3 Vote with your (cigarette) butts

The top form of litter in the entire world? Cigarettes.

It’s estimated that nearly 750 million to 1.5 billion pounds of tobacco waste is generated every year, equating to roughly 4.5 trillion cigarette butts disposed improperly, despite a global decline in smoking rates.

Cigarettes are often made with harmful chemicals like arsenic, cellulose acetate, lead and other heavy metals. It can take anywhere from two to 25-years for a cigarette to decompose, during which, toxins leach into the ground and contaminate air and water resources. Cigarettes are one of the largest sources of marine litter, not to mention a problem for urban fires and wildfires due to a lack of fire-safe disposal receptacles.

Throughout the plant’s campus, “Ballot bins” are stationed to promote the proper disposal of cigarettes in fire and nature-safe receptacles. To encourage Cummins Midrange Engine Plant to recycle, the ballot bin allows them to vote on their favorite competitors using their cigarettes (Coke or Pepsi? cats or dogs) without littering.

No. 4 Paint elimination

For 30 years, CMEP has been assembling the RAM 6.7-liter diesel engine and coating it in clear paint for protection. However, in November 2021, the plant eliminated its paint process after conducting lengthy assessments that reduced waste within the plant while maintaining the quality and durability of the engine itself.
Since eliminating their paint process, not only has the plant reduced the use of 265 gallons of paint and countless plastic caps, stickers, and covers shielding components from paint. The plant has also saved 10,000 gallons to 14,000 gallons per day of water waste and reduced their natural gas usage by 88%.
Having a sustainably manufactured product is important, especially for fleets seeking to lower their carbon footprint and adhere to the strict regulations and standards set by the EPA. Paint elimination has contributed towards Cummins’ key 2030 goals including reducing volatile organic compound emissions from paint and coating operations, and reducing absolute water consumption in facilities and operations.

The plant also received the Indiana Governor’s award the plant for their paint elimination strategy.

No. 5 Nitrile glove lifecycle

In April of 2022, CMEP became the first Cummins plant in North America to implement a nitrile glove recycling program to divert waste from landfills.
Nitrile gloves are a standard PPE practice in many food, industrial, and chemical lab environments. Made from the compound nitrile, these synthetic, rubber gloves are particularly popular due to their chemical and abrasion resistance. For plant employees, nitrile gloves work as a second barrier to protect employees from exposure to harmful chemicals and injury as they inspect the 6.7-liter diesel engine. They also protect residue employees may have on their hands from contaminating products. In one year, 800 employees can go through over 530 cases of nitrile gloves, equating to roughly 875,000 gloves. 

Kimberly-Clark Professional, one of the first manufacturers to offer a recycling program for non-hazardous PEE, partnered with the plant to recycle and repurpose their biodegradable nitrile gloves. The plant fills gaylords full of nitrile gloves every two weeks and ships them to be sorted by a non-profit organization in western Virginia that provides jobs for disabled and disadvantaged workers. Used, non-contaminated gloves are then converted into plastic pellets and made into new products like storage bins, shelves, and lawn chairs. In the end, the plant has created a lifecycle for nitrile gloves while simultaneously creating jobs.

Since the program launch, CMEP gathers on average 320 pounds of nitrile gloves every two weeks. If they continue to use an average of 530 cases of gloves they typically go through in a year, the plant could expect to divert almost 3.75 tons of waste from landfills each year.

CMEP continues to fulfill key 2030 goals, like creating life cycles for materials, reducing their scope 3 absolute lifetime greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water consumption in their facility and operations, as a part of Cummins’ PLANET 2050 environmental strategy. Throughout their initiatives, the plant strives to not only improve the surrounding environment with crucial sustainability practices, but also bring the community along with them. 

Learn more about Cummins’ PLANET 2050 strategy and the nine, key 2030 goals.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

Cummins starts 2023 with ESG-related recognitions

A truck powered by a Cummins' hydrogen fuel cell.

Cummins Inc. has received several sustainability-related awards and recognitions for 2023, including high marks from two prominent ESG rankings.

The global power technology leader finished No. 35 in Newsweek’s fourth annual ranking of America’s Most Responsible Companies, and first in the Automotive and Components industry. Cummins received its highest marks for the company’s work on the environment followed by its corporate governance score and its social score.

The 2023 ranking of 500 of the country’s largest companies is based on more than 30 key ESG performance indicators and an extensive survey among U.S. residents regarding the corporate social responsibility reputation of each company reviewed. Cummins’ overall ranking was unchanged from 2022.

JUST 100

Meanwhile, the company returned to JUST Capital’s Just 100 list of America’s Most Just Companies for 2023 after falling off the list in 2022. Cummins ranked No. 67 in the most recent ranking of America’s largest publicly traded companies and first among 23 companies in the Commercial Vehicles and Machinery category.

In individual areas, the company ranked highest for how it invests in workers and how the company minimizes its environmental impact. The ranking polls Americans on what matters most to them when it comes to business behavior and then evaluates companies on those behaviors, using publicly available data. Cummins ranked No. 99 in the 2021 Just 100.

The company also received recognition for 2023 for its work on supplier diversity and diversity, equity and inclusion.


Cummins was one of 66 companies honored as America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises in 2023 for the way it does business with women-owned businesses. The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) honors corporations that have a sustained commitment to the inclusion of women-owned businesses in their supply chains. 

The group’s honorees have “successfully implemented world-class diversity and inclusion programs that enable growth and innovation, while breaking down barriers for women entrepreneurs.” The recognition is based on company surveys that are reviewed and evaluated by WBENC.


The company has also been recognized as a 2023 Military Friendly Employer, receiving the group’s bronze designation for its success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for the military community.

The honor is designed to provide veterans with a resource enabling them to make a good choice for major life decisions like where to work or go to school. The organization, founded in 2003, evaluated companies based on the 2023 Military Friendly Company Survey available on its website.

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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