Cummins’ 'Gateway' to Shrinking its Environmental Footprint

The winning team from BBC Pump and Equipment Co. Inc. is joined on stage by Cummins' Denis Ford (far left) and Jim Gruwell (second from left) at the first Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway.
The winning team from BBC Pump and Equipment Co. Inc. is joined on stage by Cummins' Denis Ford (far left) and Jim Gruwell (second from left) at the first Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway.

Reid Crandall knew he had just five minutes to make his case and five minutes for questions to explain to a panel of 10 judges why Cummins needs a system that enhances industrial cooling towers by reducing water and energy usage.

It was just enough time, however, for Crandall and the BBC Pump and Equipment Co. Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana, to take home top-honors at the first Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway in Columbus, Indiana, earlier this week.

“I’ve never been a part of something quite like this,” said Crandall, Commercial/Industrial Sales Engineer at BBC. “I’ve worked with a lot of companies, but not many are trying to solve problems they don’t even know they have yet.”

EVERYONE’S A WINNER

There was no time for day-dreaming at the fast paced competition, which is something like those reality television shows where entrepreneurs pitch their best ideas in just a few minutes to a panel of business luminaries, hoping one will invest in them.

Only in this case, businesses and entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to help Cummins meet its environmental goals around water, waste, and energy. It’s also different in that all nine finalists in the Gateway competition could possibly end up working with Cummins to test their ideas.

“Everyone’s a winner in their own right,” said Denis Ford, International Sourcing Leader, who served as the master of ceremonies for the event. “There are no ‘last places.’”

The judges at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway.
The judges included five leaders from Cummins and five sustainability experts from outside the company.

Ford played a key role in the successful development and implementation of the Gateway concept in the United Kingdom, which sourcing leaders now hope to take to other Cummins’ locations around the world. Columbus was the first stop on that journey.

In the weeks leading up to the competition, Cummins received 66 proposals from companies large and small to reduce the water and energy it uses and the waste it produces. Those were narrowed down to the nine finalists who got a chance to make their 10-minute pitch in person April 8 at the Gateway’s Finalist Day.

SOME OF THE IDEAS

The ideas that made it all the way to the finals included re-purposing carbon-containing waste into sustainable energy and chemicals, employing reverse osmosis to reuse the most challenging industrial waste water, and applying advanced analytics to connect building and manufacturing systems to business results.

The latter idea was submitted by a company called Building Clarity and SAS, which won runner-up honors in the competition.

The judges included five Cummins leaders, as well as sustainability experts from Purdue University, Indiana University and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council.

A presentation at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway
The presentation by Building Clarity and SAS took runner up honors at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway.

Marcela Navarro, CEO of Project X Global, an international effort to shift industries to more sustainable sourcing, also served as a judge. She worked with Ford’s team to develop the Gateway concept and said after the competition she believes similar events would work at Cummins locations around the world.

“We are committed to action,” she said.

Brian Mormino, Cummins’ Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance, said the event produces the kind of innovative ideas and partnerships the company needs to fulfill its mission of “Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.”

“Prosperity," he said, "requires a healthy planet.”

 

THE FINALISTS

Here's a brief look at  the nine finalists at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway:

Automotive Insight: Proposed using a nano -fluid called Tool-X as a super lubricant for industrial uses, extending the life of cutting devices. 

BBC Pump and Equipment Co., Inc.: Proposed enhancing cooling tower operations to reduce water and energy usage.

Building Clarity and SAS: Proposed applying advanced analytics to connect building and manufacturing systems to business results.

CrossTek: Proposed using a robust reverse osmosis solution for reusing the most challenging industrial waste water.

enVerde LLC: Proposed re-purposing waste containing carbon into clean, sustainable energy and chemicals.

EPS – Engineered Packaging Systems: Proposed using recycled pulp to reduce packaging material. 

Immersion4:  Proposed using a specialized fluid for computer cooling that can be done without water or greenhouse gas emissions.

RPG Energy Group: Proposed the installation of floating solar arrays to take advantage of under-utilized space to create power.

TORO Sustainable HVAC: Proposed a new business model where cooling is sold as a service, eliminating the first cost of purchase for heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

 

THE JUDGES

Here are the judges at the Cummins U.S. Innovation Gateway:

Morgan Andreae, Executive Director of the Cummins Growth Office

Mark Dhennin, Cummins’ Director – Energy & Environment

Jim Gruwell, Executive Director – Strategic Purchasing at Cummins

Helena Hutton, Cummins’ Director – Global Diversity Procurement

Laura Jones, GIS Facilities Functional Excellence Manager at Cummins

Eli Levine, Advanced Manufacturing Office Leader – U.S. Department of Energy 

Carolyn Mosby – President and CEO of the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council

Marcela Navarro, CEO and Co-Founder of Project X Global

Dr. John W. Sutherland, Professional and Fehsenfeld Family Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University

Jason Whitney, Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation Manager of Strategic Partnerships
 

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. blair.claflin@cummins.com

 

Consuming Twice As Much Electricity: Can We Do It Sustainably?

Consuming Twice as Much Electricity - Can We Do It Sustainably?

Increasing population, improved access to electricity and growing electricity demand in buildings will continue to increase the world’s electricity consumption. 

Did You Know: The world will consume twice as much electricity by 2050 1.

No, you didn’t misread the previous sentence. This eye-opening stat, however, is nothing new to those who monitor trends in electricity consumption. The world’s electricity production has already doubled between 1990 and 2015. What should matter most to you, your kids and grandkids is not “when” or “if” we’ll double our electricity production by 2050, but “how” we can double it in a sustainable manner.

As the Population Increases, So Will Electricity Consumption

Increased diversity in sources of electricity generation and adoption of distributed generation are components of a sustainable solution. But before we take a closer look at distributed generation and electricity diversity any closer, let’s examine “why” the world is forecasted to consume twice as much electricity by 2050. 

Access to electricity is essential in fostering more prosperous lives. It impacts a broad range of topics and industries ranging from healthcare, education and poverty reduction 2. Several countries have recognized the need for access to electricity and made progress over the last few decades.  

Electricity Access  by 2050Despite this progress, there are still more than one billion people around the world that do not have access to electricity 3. This is roughly 13% of world’s population, which sits at approximately 8 billion people. Combine a portion of this population gaining access to electricity with the forecasted increase in world’s population by two billion people over the next three decades, and two to three billion more people will have access to electricity by 2050. That’s two to three billion people who will have more prosperous lives. 

Meanwhile, for the more than six billion of us that already have access to electricity today, our electricity consumption per capita will change in the years ahead. Increased electrification in buildings and industry, combined with road transportation will continue to expand the demand for electricity. For example, buildings will need more electricity for space cooling and appliances as the living standards continue to improve around the world 4. On the other hand, technological advancements focused on efficiencies will reduce some of our consumption per capita. For example, use of LED light bulbs in recent years have successfully reduced our electricity consumption. 

Enter Distributed Generation and Electricity Diversity

As the demand for electricity continues to go up, producing electricity in a sustainable manner becomes even more critical. 

There are several advances taking place to sustainably fulfill this increasing demand. Diversity in the sources of electricity and distributed generation are two of these advancements. 

Electricity DiversityAn increase in the number of renewables being used for electricity generation is the first aspect of increased diversity in sources of electricity. In 1990, 99% of world’s electricity was generated using just five fuels: Coal, Oil, Gas, Nuclear and Hydro. Today, you can add wind, solar and biofuels to that mix. 

Renewables offer a near zero carbon and NOx footprint, and they reduce the carbon footprint of the overall electricity generation mix. Most experts agree that renewable sources are the final and preferred destination of choice for a healthier planet, but before we can get there, we need a solution that will bridge the gap between today’s electricity generation mix and the electricity sources of the future. 

This is where natural gas is gaining more ground. Natural gas surpassed oil and nuclear in becoming the second most commonly used fuel in electricity generation. Similarly, in the United States, the Energy Information Administration expects new U.S. power plants to be mostly natural gas combined-cycle and solar PV 5. Natural gas also offers decreased carbon footprint and emits 40-50% less carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to coal when burned per unit of energy output or heat content 6. Moreover, in selected cases, gas fueled power generators could produce both electricity and heat, increasing the overall efficiency of fuel usage beyond electricity generation. 

The second advancement is the move from centralized generation to distributed generation. 

Historically, electricity has been generated through large centralized power plants, with the need for centralization being a direct result of the fuel type used in the generation of the electricity. Through these power plants, energy in coal is converted into electrical energy, and nuclear power is converted into electricity. That electricity is then delivered to customers through transformers, transmission lines and distribution lines. 

“In contrast to centralized generation, distributed generation introduces an interconnected ecosystem of smaller power generation systems at or close to the point of consumption,” said Satish Jayaram, General Manager of Distributed Generation, Cummins Inc. 

“This proximity to consumption allows distributed generation systems to reduce the cost, complexity and inefficiency associated with transmission and distribution. In terms of sustainability, distributed generation offers the benefit of reduced emissions through integration of renewable sources with existing energy assets.”

In our journey to produce enough electricity by 2050, both increased diversity in sources of electricity and adoption of distributed generation are components of a sustainable solution. The complete solution will also feature new technologies, policies and other changes, which we’ll cover here in a future article. 

To learn more about trends in electricity generation and energy follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about how Cummins is powering a world that’s “Always On,” visit our web page.

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.

References: 

  1. Global Energy Perspective 2019: Reference Case [PDF document]. (2019, January). Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com
  2. Access to Energy is at the Heart of Development [Web story]. (2018, April 18). Retrieved from https://www.worldbank.org
  3. Access to electricity (% of population) [Data chart]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org
  4. Global Energy Perspective 2019 [Web post]. (2019, January). Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com
  5. Sukunta M. (2019, March 8). New U.S. power plants expected to be mostly natural gas combined-cycle and solar PV [Web post]. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov
  6. How much carbon dioxide is produced when different fuels are burned? [Web post]. (2018, June 8). Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov
  7. The World Bank, Access to electricity (% of population) [Data set]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org
  8. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100. [Web post]. (2017, June 21). Retrieved from https://www.un.org
  9. International Energy Agency, Global Energy & CO2 Status Report [Data table]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iea.org
Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins honored for approach to sustainability and diversity

Cummins employees work in the company’s new Electrified Power business, part of the company’s effort to develop a diverse offering of products so customers can choose what works best for them.
Cummins employees work in the company’s new Electrified Power business, part of Cummins' effort to develop a diverse offering of products so customers can choose what works best for them.

Cummins recently received a trio of honors and awards for the company’s approach to sustainability, supplier diversity and diversity and inclusion.

Barron’s announced this month that Cummins had again made its 100 Most Sustainable Companies list, moving from No. 60 in its inaugural ranking in 2018 to No. 14 in its 2019 list.

The ranking, prepared by Calvert Research and Management for the magazine, analyzes the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., reviewing more than 230 key performance indicators. The indicator topics ranged from greenhouse gas emissions to workplace safety and diversity.

Sustainability across a broad area at the company has been a key goal for Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger.

“Growing the economy while using fewer of the world’s resources is the challenge of our time,” Linebarger says. “I believe companies who become the best at using less will be the most successful.”

Best Buy, Cisco Systems and Agilent Technologies were the top three finishers in Barron’s list, released Feb. 8.

SUPPLIER DIVERSITY

Cummins has also been named one of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The designation recognizes 60 companies having world-class supplier diversity programs in 2018 that reduced barriers and drove growth for women-owned businesses. The list, released Jan. 31, does not include a ranking.

“WBENC’s top corporations set the standard for choosing to integrate policies and programs across their organization that enable the growth and development of women-owned businesses,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation’s leader in women’s business development. “These top corporations are valued partners in our commitment to women’s business development.”

The top corporations on the list collectively spent $39.5 billion with women-owned business enterprises in 2017, up from $39.3 billion in 2016.

“Awards are nice, but the real reason we as a company work so hard at diversity is that it’s good for our business,” said Helena Hutton, Director of Global Diversity Procurement at Cummins. “Practicing diversity and inclusion in everything we do means we achieve better ideas for our customers and we receive better products and services from our suppliers.”

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Finally, Forbes and Statista notified Cummins Jan. 15 that the company was once again recognized as one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity for 2019.

Cummins in 2018 received the Forbes and Statista designation, which recognizes companies that have established cultures that welcome and support all workers.
 

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. blair.claflin@cummins.com

 

Help Wanted: Cummins Looking for Great Ideas to Reduce its Carbon Footprint

Entrepreneur Samuel Walker with a company called Interface makes his pitch at the Innovation Gateway competition in the U.K. in 2017.
Entrepreneur Samuel Walker with a company called Interface makes his pitch at the Innovation Gateway competition in the U.K. in 2017.

A popular Cummins program in the U.K. that asks entrepreneurs to pitch their best ideas for reducing the company’s carbon footprint is coming to North America.

The Innovation Gateway is looking for new ideas that will help Cummins meet its goals around water, waste, energy and recycling.  Those judged to have the best proposals will advance to the gateway finals, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 8 at the Columbus Commons, 300 Washington St., Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).

“This is our chance to listen to ideas we might not have considered to help us meet our goals,” said Jim Gruwell, Executive Director of Strategic Purchasing at Cummins and a judge at the finals. “This initiative worked really well in the U.K. and I can’t wait to see how it works here.”

Innovation Gateway: Register Now and Submit Your Idea

Loosely inspired by reality TV shows where entrepreneurs and inventors pitch their ideas to potential investors, the gateway competition resulted in several initiatives that Cummins leaders in the U.K. have put into practice to help meet their environmental targets.

Judges confer in the Innovation Gateway
Antonio Leitao (center), Vice President of Cummins Europe Area Business Organization, listens to a presentation at the gateway initiative in the U.K. in 2017.

The winning ideas included capturing low gas waste heat from the engine testing process and converting it into energy that could be used on site, equipment to reduce water flow, implementation of a furniture refurbishment service and energy efficient hand dryers.

“We were really pleased with the ideas the gateway generated,” said James Johnson, Cummins' Innovation Gateway Project Leader, who oversaw the initiative in the U.K. and is now leading the North American version. “It’s really about powering environmental innovation through diversity in thought and partnership.”

Cummins has established a special website where people can create an account and present their ideas in writing. Finalists will be notified by the company and the winners could end up becoming suppliers to Cummins, or pick up additional business if they already have a relationship with the company. People must sign up by March 15 to be eligible for the finals.

The company is asking for ideas with a connection to one or more of the following areas:
 
•    Materials management: Identifying solutions for moving waste streams up the hierarchy. 
•    Capture/recovery: Searching for ready- or near-ready to implement technologies that recover and capture energy and water to reuse. 
•    Controls:  Identify controls and systems that will help to reduce energy consumption. 
•    Manufacturing process efficiency: Identifying solutions and alternatives to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes. 
•    Packaging: Seeking cost neutral, environmentally friendly packaging solutions that are alternatives to plastic and foam and also easily reusable and recyclable. Solutions with corrosion inhibitor capabilities are a bonus. 
•    Other Innovations

Judges for the North American gateway in addition to Gruwell include Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance; Laura Jones, Functional Excellence Manager – Cummins facilities; Morgan Andreae, Executive Director of the Company’s Growth Office and Helena Hutton, Diversity Procurement Director at Cummins.

In addition, Dr. John W. Sutherland, the leader of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University, and Eli Levine, leader of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative at the U.S. Department of Energy, will also serve on the panel.

Not sure what the Innovation Gateway is all about? Check out this video on the project in the United Kingdom.

 

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. blair.claflin@cummins.com

 

5 Ways Cummins is Addressing Global Climate Concerns

Cummins employees research ways to improve the company's engines at the  Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).
Cummins employees research ways to improve the company's engines at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).

There’s been a lot in the news lately about climate concerns now that the United Nations’ annual conference on the topic is underway in Katowice, Poland. Here’s five ways Cummins is working to address these concerns:

1)    Improving diesel technology.

Cummins engineers constantly work to improve diesel engine technology. The X15 Efficiency Series engine, for example, gets up to a 20 percent increase in

X15 engine
X15 engine

fuel economy in large commercial trucks compared to the company’s 2012 engines. That translates into a direct savings in greenhouse gas emissions, which are key to climate concerns. It also produces far fewer harmful pollutants when paired with the latest in the company’s exhaust after-treatment systems. Cummins wants to offer a broad portfolio of clean products that also provide customers with economic advantages. That’s why the company is also investing in electrification, natural gas and other technology.

2)    Promoting tough, clear and enforceable regulations.

The company is making the case around the world that tough, clear and enforceable regulations can improve the environment and promote economic growth. Meeting higher standards can encourage the development of new technologies that in turn can drive prosperity. Cummins has consistently supported higher standards in countries such as India and China as well as Europe and the United States, sharing its expertise and experience with government regulators.

3)    Developing new power platforms.

Cummins is working quickly to develop new power platforms, establishing the company’s new Electrified Power business and exploring energy sources such as hydrogen. The company was already a leader in ultra-low emission natural gas engines as well as hybrid engines.

Purolator test truck
Cummins has been working with the Canadian package delivery company Purolator to test an electrified powertrain in one of its trucks.

The Electrified Power business, established in 2017, has pledged to have an all-electric powertrain on the market for urban buses sometime in 2019.

4)    Working with customers on products in use.

The company is working with its customers to help them operate Cummins’ products as

efficiently and with the least environmental impact possible. Cummins’ fuel economy teams throughout the world, for example, have implemented more than 250 products in-use improvement projects since 2014, achieving an annualized rate reduction of 3.4 million metric tons of CO2 toward the company’s goal of a 3.5 million annual rate reduction by 2020. The project is not only reducing the use of fossil fuel but helping customers save money.

5)    Encouraging low-carbon forms of energy.

Cummins’ support is helping a northwest Indiana windfarm expand.
Cummins’ support is helping a northwest Indiana windfarm expand.

As part of its energy goal, Cummins has pledged to promote the development of low-carbon forms of energy. The company announced in 2018 an agreement enabling a northwest Indiana windfarm to expand. The power generated by Cummins’ support will go to the grid – not Cummins. But the amount of electricity annually will be just over what Cummins uses at its facilities across Indiana.

These five examples don’t include Cummins' efforts to save energy and material through the remanufacturing of engines and parts, or the company’s initiatives to reduce energy use and boost recycling at Cummins’ facilities. The company believes environmental sustainability is critical to maintaining and enhancing prosperity around the world. That’s why it’s a key part of Cummins' mission to make people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.


 

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. blair.claflin@cummins.com

 

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