Cummins U.K. Finds New Ways to Shrink Carbon Footprint

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Caption: Antonio Leitao (right), Vice President – Cummins Europe, and Denis Ford, Cummins’ International Sourcing Leader for Europe and Asia (left), participate in a panel deciding on the best ideas from entrepreneurs to reduce Cummins’ carbon footprint in the U.K.

The event featured a group of ambitious entrepreneurs, each ready to make their pitch to a panel of business leaders with a lot on the line. But this wasn’t a television show. It was the Cummins Environmental Gateway project.

Cummins leaders in the U.K. invited suppliers in to pitch new ideas that could help the company reach its goals for reducing water and energy use and producing less waste. The result was more than 100 submissions, 28 finalists and 12 winning ideas that will now be tested at Cummins’ sites around the country.

“We are excited to move to the next phase of the Cummins Environmental Gateway,” said James Johnson, Cummins’ Environmental Project Lead for the U.K. initiative. “We are inspired with the potential savings and environmental benefits we could achieve with this program.”

The initiative was launched about a year ago to help connect the company’s supply chain in the United Kingdom to Cummins’ efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Organizers asked for innovative submissions from suppliers whose goods and services could help the company reach its environmental goals (to learn more about the company’s goals, go to http://social.cummins.com/cummins-achieves-key-environmental-goals/).

Project organizers worked to make the initiative diverse and inclusive with a focus on ideas that were innovative but not cost prohibitive. They held a Finalist Day March 2 at Cummins Generator Technologies in Peterborough where suppliers pitched their ideas to a panel of seven leaders including Antonio Leitao, Vice President – Cummins Europe.

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 that would support the efficiency of cooling towers and chillers, a wood chipper to reduce the movement of waste and increase recycling, and waterless urinals.

If the company were to implement all of the ideas presented by the finalists, organizers estimate Cummins could save £640,000 ($802,065), reduce energy consumption by 2,080,183 kwh; cut water use by 19.7 million litres (5.2 million gallons); save 17,818 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and recycle an additional 1,000 tonnes of waste.

“The impact of scaled innovations is potentially even more significant,” said Denis Ford, Cummins’ International Sourcing Leader for Europe and Asia and a member of the panel hearing the pitches. “It’s been an inspiring journey.”

“I have had many great experiences working for Cummins, but to be part of this process has been a real honor,” said Richard Keane, a member of the leadership panel and Functional Excellence Director of Cummins’ Global Integrated Services Facilities. “It was a great day to see the passion people have for the environment and the clever people we have in the U.K. working to make it better.”

WINNING IDEAS

The 12 winning innovators and their ideas:

  • Arborea – Algae tiles that capture carbon from a site using photosynthesis.
  • Augean – A wood chipper that would reduce the movement of waste and increase recycling. Beetech – Bees and wildflowers that would capture carbon from the atmosphere.
  • Energenie – Energy efficient plugs.
  • Epicam –Technology for cryogenic energy storage as liquid air and power regeneration
  • Envirowater – Waterless urinals.
  • Exergyn – Capturing low gas waste heat from the engine testing process and using it to shape memory alloys.
  • Raise Energy Solutions – Equipment that supports the efficiency of cooling towers and chillers.
  • Rype Office – A furniture refurbishment service.
  • Savortex – Energy efficient hand dryers.
  • Tidy Planet – A food composting service
  • Waterblade – Plastic nozzles for taps to reduce water flow.

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