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Cummins outlines climate change strategy

Cummins has announced new environmental sustainability goals timed to 2030, and aspirations for 2050, to do the company's part in addressing climate change and other global environmental challenges.

Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said the company's new PLANET 2050 strategy includes science-based goals for products and facilities in 2030 aligned to the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Science-based goals are designed to limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century. 

PLANET 2050's longer-term aspirations include powering customer success through carbon neutral technologies that address air quality and designing out waste in products and processes. 

Cummins' support for an expansion at the Meadow Lake Wind Farm in northwest Indiana is one of the creative ways the company has increased its use and promotion of renewable energy.

Linebarger said the PLANET 2050 strategy is both an environmental and a business imperative. He has long maintained companies that can grow while using fewer of the world's resources will be the most successful in the future. 

"Our communities and our business depend on our collective response to improve the health of the planet while creating prosperity for all," Linebarger said. "It's clear that government, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and communities must unite behind swift, decisive action to address the environmental threats we face." 

The new strategy builds on the success of goals announced in 2014 and timed to 2020 to reduce the company's energy and water use as well as carbon dioxide from its products. The company will continue to work on those targets through the end of next year. 

Crews earlier this month began work on a solar array at the second building at the Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant in Beijing, China. The site is already home to the largest array within Cummins.

Goals for 2030

The company's eight 2030 goals relate to its parts, products and company-managed facilities and operations. They are divided into two categories: Goals addressing climate change and air emissions, and goals for the use of natural resources in the most sustainable way. 

Company leaders say progress on the 2030 goals will be periodically evaluated and communicated, including consideration of whether more can or should be done in line with global energy and environmental challenges.

The 2030 goals are:

Climate change and air emissions 

  • Reduce absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from facilities and operations by 50 percent (science-based target)
  • Reduce absolute lifetime GHG emissions from newly sold products by 25 percent (science-based target).
  • Partner with customers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from products in the field by 55 million metric tons.
  • Reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds from paint and coating operations by 50 percent.

Using natural resources in the most sustainable way

  • Create a circular life cycle plan for every part to use less, use better, use again
  • Generate 25 percent less waste in facilities and operations as a percent of revenue.
  • Reuse or responsibly recycle 100 percent of packaging plastics and eliminate single-use plastics in dining facilities, employee events and amenities.
  • Reduce absolute water consumption in facilities and operations by 30 percent.
About 23% of the Cummins Technical Center's energy needs are covered by power captured from the engine testing that takes place at the facility.

Company facilities include all consolidated operations and joint ventures that are part of the Cummins Enterprise Environmental Management System.

The company's strategy also includes addressing environmental needs in the communities where Cummins employees live and work and where the company does business.

Those goals are under development.

Cummins leaders say the strategy's goals and aspirations will not be easy to reach and require outside action to achieve. 

Aspirations for 2050

The strategy's aspirations are a first for the company. The 2050 targets are organized around the same categories as the 2030 goals:

2050 – Climate change and air emissions   

  • Customer success is powered by carbon neutral technologies that address air quality. 
  • Carbon neutrality and near zero pollution in Cummins' facilities and operations.

2050 – Using natural resources in the most sustainable way

Nothing is wasted: 

  • Design out waste in products and processes. 
  • Use materials again for next life. 
  • Reuse water and return clean to the community

2050 – Improving communities: 

  • Net positive impact in every community where Cummins operates. 
  • Near zero environmental footprint.

The company says it will continue to report its progress on the environment in Cummins' annual Sustainability Progress Report.

"Our vision for 2050 is a world where Cummins powers the world's really important work with carbon neutral products and operations," said Brian Mormino, Executive Director Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance. "Since our communities and business depend on a healthier planet, we will take strong action on climate change and work toward a future where we waste nothing and ensure that our communities are better because we are there."

Company info

Box 3005
Columbus, IN
US, 47202-3005


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