Cummins Inc. announced its next environmental sustainability strategy—PLANET 2050—which includes science-based goals that meet or exceed the goals in the United Nations Paris agreement on climate change. By 2050, Cummins is targeting net-zero carbon emissions.
PLANET 2050 focuses on three priority areas: addressing climate change and air emissions; using natural resources in the most sustainable way; and improving communities. It includes eight specific goals, timed to 2030, as well as aspirational targets for 2050. It is the most comprehensive and ambitious environmental sustainability strategy ever pursued by the company.
Specific 2030 goals related to parts, products, and company-managed facilities and operations are:
Reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions from facilities and operations by 50% (science-based target).
Reduce absolute lifetime greenhouse gas emissions from newly sold products by 25% (science-based target).
Partner with customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from products in the field by 55 million metric tons.
Reduce volatile organic compounds emissions from paint and coating operations by 50%.
Create a circular lifecycle plan for every part to use less, use better, use again.
Generate 25% less waste in facilities and operations as a percent of revenue.
Reuse or responsibly recycle 100% of packaging plastics and eliminate single-use plastics in dining facilities, employee amenities and events.
Reduce absolute water consumption in facilities and operations by 30%.
Cummins will invest to achieve the goals, which will require new technology and capabilities. The company has a history of developing challenging goals and then finding ways to achieve them. Cummins reports results transparently even when falling short of goals. As Cummins has done with past environmental goals, the progress on 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.
In 2020, Cummins will launch a strategic community environmental program to align its efforts and affirm its commitment to the environment as one of the company’s three community priority areas. Also, as part of its focus on communities and natural resources, Cummins joined the CEO Water Mandate, which is focused on addressing global water challenges through corporate water stewardship, in partnership with the United Nations, governments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.
Cummins will continue to work in partnership with others to advocate for tough, clear and enforceable regulations across the globe to address air emissions and for science-based climate policies. Earlier this year, Cummins’ executives testified before two US Congressional committees, advocating that legislation should include national-level emissions targets for product-specific applications, regulatory certainty and realistic implementation schedules. They also supported robust federal investment in research and development, grant programs for adoption of new technologies, and tax incentives.
We recognize that achieving our strategy requires Cummins to invest in new technologies along with the development, implementation and enforcement by governments of clear regulations that drive down economy-wide air and greenhouse gas emissions. We will continue to work with trade associations, our customers, suppliers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to advocate for policies in line with our 2050 targets.—Brian Mormino, Executive Director Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance
A team of experts created Cummins’ plan after consulting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, analyzing best practices globally, considering the unique needs of the company’s stakeholders, and undertaking significant internal review.
In 2017, Cummins formally committed to developing science-based targets under the Science Based Target Initiative, which provides a framework for the calculation of greenhouse gas goals for products and facilities that are in line with recommendations by climate scientists.
In 2019, Cummins was named to the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for a 14th consecutive year. In 2006, the company set its first facility energy and greenhouse gas goal and joined US EPA Climate Leaders program, firmly stating its commitment to addressing climate change. In 2014, the company released a global environmental sustainability plan with facility goals in water, waste, and energy. Progress against the goals is publicly reported annually in Cummins’ Sustainability Progress Report.
From our perspective, it is hard to overstate the significance of the leadership Cummins is demonstrating with PLANET 2050. Two things in particular stand out: 1) a commitment to carbon neutral products and operations as one of the world’s leading power companies and, no less importantly, 2) a call to action and commitment to positive public advocacy supporting the policies that will be essential to enabling a prosperous low-carbon economy.—Eric Olson, Senior Vice President at BSR
BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.