Photo: Pavel Trebukov (Flickr)
Columbus based engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. has announced plans to increase its energy efficiency as part of a national collaboration to reduce the amount of energy companies use, and Indiana plants are making changes to comply with the new standards.
Cummins has taken on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge to reduce its total energy use and the three plants in Indiana could have a big impact on reaching the goal. Cummins Director of Corporate Environmental Management Allan Resnik says Indiana plants tend to produce more greenhouse gases because much of their energy comes from coal.
“That provides an opportunity from an environmental perspective to implement projects in Indiana,” he says.
For example, Cummins has developed a technology at its Seymour plant that will capture and recycle the heat that is emitted during its production of a new engine. Resnik says this benefits both the environment and Cummins’ business model.
“It’s good for business, it’s good for our business, and it’s truly the right thing to do for the company and for our communities,” he says.
The overall goal is to increase energy efficiency 25 percent by 2015. That does not directly correlate to reduction of greenhouse gases. Because Cummins is rapidly expanding, its energy efficiency rating is adjusted for its growth rate. So if Cummins grows too much, it could actually be using more energy than it did before and still reach its goal.
Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council Jesse Kharbanda says he’s glad Cummins is trying to increase its efficiency, but it could do more.
“Our hope is that over time, Cummins will commit to an even more aggressive strategy of cutting energy usage and seeing themselves as a national leader in clean energy technologies will do that,” he says.
Cummins met a similar goal in 2010 when it achieved a 28 percent energy reduction.