Cummins Works to be Water Wise

Mar 22, 2022 9:05 AM ET
Blog

To celebrate World Water Day this week, global power leader Cummins Inc. is presenting five ways it is working to be a good steward of this increasingly important resource. Here’s a quick look:

First, the company has established the 2030 goal of reducing water consumption in Cummins’ plants and facilities by 30%. The goal is part of the company’s PLANET 2050 environmental strategy to address climate change and other environmental challenges. Unlike its 2020 water reduction goal, the 2030 goal is an absolute goal, meaning no matter how Cummins grows over the next decade, 30% is still the goal. Company leaders say such a goal will likely require implementing changes such as alternatives to water use.

Cummins also has established a new global community program called Cummins Water Works to address the global water crisis by partnering with leading water experts and investing and engaging in sustainable, large-scale, high-impact water projects around the world. The program is supported initially by more than $10 million in Cummins grants focusing on five of the most water-stressed countries: Mexico, Brazil, India, South Africa and the United States. By 2030, Cummins Water Works’ goal is to bring more than 1 billion gallons of fresh water to more than 2 million people who would not otherwise have access to it.

The company is conserving millions of gallons of water through three relatively new on-site treatment systems at the Kothrud Engine Plant in Pune, India; the Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York, and the Rocky Mount Engine Plant in Rocky Mount, North Carolina – three of the company’s largest plants. The multi-faceted systems are designed to treat the wastewater used at those locations and return a significant amount to the plants for non-potable re-use.

Meanwhile, Cummins is moving away from water-intensive landscaping, and instead using native plants, grasses and other techniques as well as designs that keep water on site rather than simply channeling it off site. The company’s campus in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, started the movement several years ago by using native plants requiring much less water in its landscaping. More recently, meadow plantings have been used at the company’s Corporate Office Building and the Cummins Machine Integration Center in Columbus, Indiana, as well as the Cummins Distribution Headquarters in nearby Indianapolis.

Finally, a surprisingly large amount of water can be used during the testing of sprinkler systems designed to put out a fire in a plant or facility. Cummins is moving away from single-use systems where after the pressure is tested water is simply discharged. A growing number of Cummins facilities are investing in systems that treat the water either for re-use in the sprinkler system or some other non-potable use on site.