Progress on Environmental Stewardship: Cummins Inc

Cummins Inc is a global power leader serving customers through their network of 500 company-owned and independent distributor facilities in more than 190 countries. Founded in 1919, Cummins revenue stream (2017) was put at $20.4 billion and is a fortune 500 firm (2017 rank:159).

As a frontline provider of power generation systems, components and other services in distributed power generation especially in West Africa, the company’s biggest environmental impact is through its products in use by its customers. Cummins has been working with customers for several years to help them operate Cummins’ products efficiently, reducing their environmental impact while saving customers money.

“Our products help to drive the basic foundations of the economy: moving food to store shelves; moving energy so that we can operate in our buildings, etc. But (our) products do impact the environment, that’s a really important thing for us to acknowledge,”

Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger

Cummins constantly takes advantage of opportunities to innovate, and drive wealth creation for  shareholders and for customers while reducing the impact they have on the environment.

Since 2014, the company’s fuel economy teams around the world have implemented more than 250 products-in-use projects, achieving a 3.4 million metric ton annual run rate of CO2 reduction toward the company’s goal of a 3.5 million metric ton run rate by 2020.

Projects have targeted machine integration, systems optimization and helping customers analyze their operations to reduce things like engine idling.


Cummins are driving CO2 emissions cut by nearly 16 million metric tons, which would lead to saving customers up to $6.3 billion through greater fuel efficiency by the end of 2020. Cummins expects to work with about 20 percent of its customer base, touching nearly 2 million engines as it tailors engine specifications to customer applications.

Here’s a quick look at Cummins’ performance on other environmental goals:


Since the goal’s baseline year of 2010, water use adjusted for hours worked is down by 44 percent. The company’s goal is a 50 percent reduction by 2020.

Cummins’ water neutrality work is also progressing. Eight sites have now been validated as water neutral toward the company’s 2020 goal of 15. They are off-setting their water use with community improvements that either conserve water or make new sources available.


Cummins has so far achieved about a 25 percent reduction in energy intensity (energy use adjusted by hours worked) toward its 2020 goal of a 32 percent reduction at its facilities.


Cummins in 2017 recycled 90 percent of the total waste the company generated, a slight increase over 2016. The company’s goal is to recycle 95 percent of its waste by 2020.

Ten sites have been certified as zero disposal sites – seven in Europe and one each in North America, the Asia-Pacific region and China – toward the company’s global goal of 30 by 2020.

Eighteen additional sites are approaching zero disposal, but face challenges such as regulatory barriers in India and China, and the absence of vendors to help with hard-to-recycle wastes.


In 2017, Cummins changed its transportation management system provider. By the end of 2019, 80 percent of the Cummins network will be using an optimized transportation solution.

The change is expected to result in more accurate data, and the company will be unable to report its progress until the baseline data is stable, which is expected in 2018.

You can learn more about Cummins’ performance on its environmental goals by going to the Environmental section of the 2017 Sustainability Progress Report starting on page 14.


Blair Claflin (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.

5 thoughts on “Progress on Environmental Stewardship: Cummins Inc”

    1. Thanks Tochi for reading the post…

      For us in the sustainability field, data guides all we do especially with regards to reporting and decision making.

      With respect to CO2 reduction, the primary source of CO2 emissions are energy usage (generation, consumption as the case may be).

      So, let’s assume that 1kw of energy produces 1ton of CO2 equivalent (tCo2e), therefore 1kw of energy saved translates to 1ton of CO2 reduced.

      There are energy coefficients (which we would discuss in subsequent posts).

      There could also be other direct and indirect sources of CO2 in operations and there are numerous methodologies to uncover that… but basically, every kW of energy produced or consumed has its CO2 coefficient.

      Note that this coefficient varies from fuel used to provide the energy. For example, solar may have a lower CO2 coefficient than that of diesel.

      Looking to hear from you again Tochi.

  1. Nice work done here by Cummins. It’s encouraging when the bigger companies play a front line role in environmental management. An advantage is that the culture is passed to contractors and customers, thereby leading to a better environment.

    1. Thanks Ukeme… you have said it all.. bigger companies have bigger footprints and have bigger opportunities to go green☘️.

      They also have a robust supply chain to influence, hence provides huge opportunity to impact on a larger scale..

      Thanks for Staying on with us Ukeme.

    2. Certainly Ukeme… it’s best when the smaller players see lessons to learn and implement from the big players.

      Implementation is usually expensive and experimental, hence the big fish taking the risk is always the case.

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