At Cummins, Corporate Responsibility is not philanthropy. It is about playing our rightful role as a responsible citizen of society in a way that is also beneficial to the company. Far more than money, it needs to involve the passion, time, expertise, talents and active involvement of our employees on a consistent basis in various meaningful, sustainable initiatives in our three focus areas of Higher Education, Energy & Environment and Equality of Opportunity.
Caring, one of our core values 'powers' all our corporate responsibility initiatives in our communities and the long-term impacts they are intended to have. Caring comes alive for us in our commitment to understanding the unique challenges our communities face, working with them to provide sustainable solutions and driving outcomes to ensure that our communities are stronger because of Cummins' presence.
A form of enlightened self-interest as noted by former CEO J. Irwin Miller, who understood the importance of Corporate Responsibility decades ago. He said, "Business has a very large stake in the quality of the society within which it operates. We flourish only as we are rooted in a society which is healthy, orderly, just and which grants freedom and scope to individuals and their lawful enterprises".
The key question facing Cummins isn't so much whether the Company should engage in Corporate Responsibility, but how Cummins should engage to have a sustainable impact given the myriad of challenges facing our communities, our country and the world at large. We believe that, if one takes a long-term perspective, there is an economic payoff for behaving responsibly. The fact that it may be difficult to measure precisely or to prove conclusively does not make it any less real.
The concept of 'Daan' is an age old one in Indian civilization. It is a privilege to be in a position to serve the less fortunate in our communities. We live in a country where the needs in our three corporate responsibility focus areas are tremendous. There is an immense sense of fulfillment and joy one experiences when one is involved in community development. Being involved in community development dramatically improves our attitudes to being positive and leads to the realization that despite all the problems that we perceive are ours, we are actually extremely fortunate - the fortunate few.
It is our responsibility to evaluate the impact of our business decisions by including how they affect the communities we want to help. And at Cummins we always seek a higher standard of corporate citizenship by always acting ethically and with integrity.
I feel very fortunate that Cummins gave me this platform of being able to contribute to our society in significant ways. Please join me in devoting ourselves as seriously and passionately to the task of community development in our three focus areas, as much as the task of delighting our customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders.