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.

CEO says climate challenges are Cummins’ ‘moment to shine’

Cummins' Corporate Office Building

Cummins Inc. President and CEO Jennifer Rumsey says the climate challenges facing the planet and society will be the company’s “moment to shine.”

Speaking at Cummins’ Annual Meeting earlier this month, Rumsey said the company is well positioned to take a leadership role on climate action, helping customers in the transition to cleaner power sources.

PLANET 2050, Cummins environmental sustainability strategy, has product, facility and community goals timed to 2030 and aspirations timed to 2050. Cummins also has established Destination Zero, the company’s strategy to achieve its product decarbonization goals.

Together, they provide a path for Cummins’ aspiration to achieve zero emissions by 2050.

Cummins President and CEO Jennifer Rumsey
Cummins President and CEO Jennifer Rumsey

“Cummins has a history of turning challenges into opportunities, and this is a challenging time for our planet and society,” Rumsey said, speaking to the company’s shareholders and other stakeholders at the virtual meeting. “I believe this moment of truth will be Cummins’ moment to shine as we face the need to decarbonize our planet and continue to serve the critical applications our customers perform.”


The company’s wide-ranging product portfolio powers customers engaged in everything from on-highway trucking, marine and rail, to agricultural and construction equipment as well as generators providing emergency power to hospitals, data centers and schools.

Rumsey, named President and CEO in 2022, said decarbonization is a growth opportunity for Cummins. She said four key focus areas are critical to the company’s plans for climate action while delivering strong earnings:

•    Investing in innovation to power customer success.
•    Understanding customers’ needs.
•    Understanding how the company serves those needs today.
•    Delivering the right solution at the right time to better serve customers moving forward.

Rumsey, a nearly 25-year Cummins employee whose past roles included Chief Technical Officer and Chief Operating Officer, said having the right people is critical to all of these focus areas and she has vowed to keep people at the center of everything the company does. 

Cummins has consistently invested $1 billion or more annually in recent years to support research, development and engineering expenses.  Rumsey pledged a continued commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to create dynamic work environments where a variety of ideas and perspectives can be brought to bear on customers’ challenges.

She said Cummins will also keep investing in developing great leaders who can uphold Cummins’ Leadership Culture of “inspiring and encouraging all employees to achieve their full potential.”


Finally, she said Cummins will remain committed to building stronger communities, recognizing that any company is only as strong as the communities where it does business, and its employees live and work.

“We will leverage our expertise to develop more sustainable solutions that support our customers’ success, positively impact our communities and protect our planet for future generations,” Rumsey said. “We'll continue to realize growth and strong returns by executing this strategy and delivering results for all of our stakeholders.

“It's an incredible opportunity and a responsibility,” she added. “And as CEO, I believe there's no company better positioned than Cummins to make a positive impact.”

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’ solar project honored by energy department

The solar farm at Cummins' Rocky Mount Engine Plant in North Carolina.

Cummins’ most recent solar installation to go on-line has been honored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The 3.62 megawatt (MW) solar farm at Cummins’ Rocky Mount Engine Plant (RMEP) in North Carolina was recognized with a 2023 Better Project Award. The recognition highlights projects in the energy department’s Better Buildings/Better Plants initiative for accomplishments in implementing and promoting practices, principles and procedures around sustainable energy management.

“Partners in the Better Plants Challenge are sharing their success and innovation to accelerate their energy efficiency,” said  Carolyn Snyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at the DOE. “The Better Project awards highlight unique efforts to make meaningful headway in reducing energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions.”  

Cummins has been part of the Better Plants Challenge since 2011.

As part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, the Better Plants program works with leading manufacturers to boost their competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency and emissions reductions. More than 270 industrial companies representing nearly 14% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint partner with the DOE and commit to reducing their energy intensity, typically by 25% over 10 years across all their U.S. operations.

Crews install the solar panels at Cummins' Rocky Mount Engine Plant.
Crews install the solar panels at the Rocky Mount Engine Plant, which arc and track the sun as it rises and sets.


The solar installation at Rocky Mount went on-line in September of 2022. Located on 14 acres adjacent to the plant, it is capable of producing around 5.6 million kilowatt hours of energy annually, which goes to the manufacturing facility to reduce electricity purchased from the grid.

The renewable energy generated by the solar installation is equivalent to carbon sequestered by 1,946 acres of U.S. forests annually. A solar installation in Beijing, China, is the only solar array larger than Rocky Mount's within Cummins.

Unique to RMEP, the project uses solar tracking panels allowing the panels to arc and track the sun as it rises and sets. This increases system efficiency without having to install more panels. The tracking panels were installed with ground mounts due to the project having available space and the ability to maximize system size for optimal exposure.


Cummins has been putting a major push on including solar in the company’s energy mix to help meet the goals in Cummins’ PLANET 2050 environmental sustainability strategy. The strategy includes the 2030 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from facilities and operations by 50% as well as the aspiration to achieve zero emissions in the company’s operations and products by 2050.

To date, Cummins has completed 65 solar array installations at 49 locations around the world, from Australia to North America. Thirty-nine of these projects have been completed since 2019, with 18 installations in India, where Cummins has its largest solar footprint.

“We’re very proud of the work that has been accomplished at Rocky Mount and around the world,” said Laura Jones, Cummins’ Director of Eco-Efficiency for Facilities and Operations. “But we also know we have a lot of work remaining to reach our 2030 goal, and improving energy efficiency will be key.”

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]


How Cummins honors Earth Day and its goal of environmental action

Cummins Corporate Office Building

Cummins is committed to doing its part to make the planet a better place.

As the world prepares to celebrate Earth Day Saturday, here are five of the many ways the company is working to improve the environment: 


PLANET 2050 logoUnveiled in 2019, the company’s environmental sustainability strategy includes nine goals timed to 2030 and the aspiration to completely power customer success with zero-emission products by 2050. The strategy’s 2030 goals include partnering with customers to reduce Scope 3 lifetime greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from products in the field by 55 million metric tons and producing net water benefits that exceed Cummins’ annual water use in all company regions.


Cummins’ strategy for product decarbonization, aligned to PLANET 2050, was rolled out to employees in 2022.  The strategy calls for making meaningful reductions in carbon emissions through advanced internal combustion technologies widely accepted by the market today, while continuing to invest in and advance zero emission technologies ahead of widespread market adoption.

Accelera fuel cell truck
Accelera by Cummins is a leading producer of low- and no-carbon technologies.


Accelera by Cummins is the new brand for Cummins’ former New Power business segment, launched in March 2023. Accelera is an energy technology leader committed to securing a sustainable future for the industries that keep the world running. Its diverse portfolio of zero-emission solutions includes battery systems, fuel cells, ePowertrain systems and electrolyzers critical to producing no-carbon green hydrogen.


Cummins in 2022 unveiled the industry’s first unified, fuel-agnostic internal combustion powertrain platforms. This technology helps fleets reduce carbon emissions today by enabling vehicles to run on low- to zero-carbon fuels. The platform utilizes the internal combustion engine technology that fleets are already familiar with while also applying a high level of parts and integration commonality across fuels including diesel, natural gas, hydrogen and other fuel applications.

Oyster bed project in Louisiana
Cummins leaders visit an oyster bed restoration project in Louisiana the company is supporting to improve water quality.


This July, the multi-million dollar Cummins Water Works program will celebrate its second anniversary of addressing the global water crisis by advancing water security in the communities where Cummins employees live and work. In partnership with leading water experts like The Nature Conservancy and, Cummins Water Works has helped more than 500,000 people around the world, providing about 6 billion gallons in annual water benefits to communities.

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 makes ethical companies list for 16th consecutive year

Cummins' Corporate Office Building

Cummins Inc. has been named to Ethisphere’s 2023 list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for a 16th consecutive year.

The list honors companies demonstrating business integrity through best-in-class ethics, compliance and governance practices. Ethisphere is a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.

“Ethics matter," said Ethisphere CEO Erica Salmon Byrne. “Organizations that commit to business integrity through robust programs and practices not only elevate standards and expectations for all but also have better long-term performance.”

“We continue to be inspired by the World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees and their dedication to making real impact for their stakeholders and displaying exemplary values-based leadership,” the Ethisphere leader added. “Congratulations to Cummins for earning a place in the World’s Most Ethical Companies Community.”

Cummins was one of 135 honorees, spanning 19 countries and 49 industries. The list is grounded in Ethisphere’s proprietary Ethics Quotient, the World’s Most Ethical Companies’ assessment process, which includes a more than 200-question survey on the company’s ethical and social practices regarding environmental, social and governance matters.

Ethics and the importance of ethical behavior have been emphasized at Cummins since the earliest days of the more than 103-year-old global power technology leader. Today, the Cummins Code of Business Conduct guides employees on ethical behavior around issues ranging from diversity, equity and inclusion; to competing fairly and honestly and avoiding conflicts of interest.

Employees worldwide are required to comply with the code, which is built around 10 ethical principles starting with “We will follow the law everywhere” and ending with the 10th principle, “We will create a culture where employees take responsibility for ethical behavior.”

Employees can report potential code or policy violations in multiple ways. They can use Cummins’ external Ethics website, call the company’s Ethics Helpline, send an email to the Ethics and Compliance function or simply talk to their supervisor, Human Resources representative or a member of the company’s Legal function.

The company has a strict no-retaliation policy for employees reporting potential code violations in good faith.

Cummins’ Ethics and Compliance Function in 2022 oversaw mandatory ethics training on 10 different areas, including anti-bribery, avoiding conflicts of interest, preventing money laundering and more.

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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