Helping Emerging Markets Find Clean, Economical Power
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks at the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) conference in San Francisco, California, Nov. 3-5, 2015. (Photo courtesy of BSR)
Countries in emerging markets don’t have to choose between clean air and building economic wealth, Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger told a major conference on corporate social responsibility in November 2015.
By working with joint-venture partners in emerging countries to address realistic and enforceable emissions standards, Cummins can help those countries significantly reduce air pollution using technologies the company can produce at a much lower cost today than when they were first introduced, Linebarger told the BSR (formerly Business for Social Responsibility) conference in San Francisco, California (U.S.A.).
“One of the things that’s definitely happening is that in emerging markets, where many countries are trying to build wealth for the first time, they are seeing concentrations of air pollutants in their cities that are just staggering,” Linebarger told the conference.
But he said those countries don’t have to choose between creating wealth and clean air.
“It’s all about trying to get them to toughen their emission standards and the way that we do that is we try to walk in and say, “Look, we have technology that we put in the U.S. in 1998 or 1995 and today it is reliable, it is inexpensive and we can partner with local companies in your country,’” Linebarger said.
“…We’ll partner with them. We’ll joint venture with them. They’ll learn this technology,” he added. “So it’s not just that we’re going to come in and take all the revenue as a foreign company.”
A Cummins joint venture is currently producing a truck engine in China, for example, that meets that country’s NS4 emission standards. Those standards are roughly equivalent to the 2002 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
Cummins has found ways to produce the engine package designed to meet China’s regulations for about 35 percent less than it cost 13 years ago to meet the EPA standards then, Linebarger said.
Linebarger’s speech came as delegates started to gather in Paris to discuss ways to address climate change across the globe. One of the key issues raised by developing countries was balancing their industrial growth with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“What we can do now is bring great technology to countries at a much lower cost,” Linebarger said. “Why does that matter? It encourages governments in developing countries to put in tighter emission standards with less impact to their economy.”
But realistic, enforceable regulations are critical, he said. By its nature, clean air is a public benefit that is essentially funded privately.
“Enforceability is critical,” Linebarger said. “If enforceability's inconsistent, basically the only loser is the one who complies. So it's a really critical element to our strategy - drive the technology, drive the emissions regulations to be stringent, and enforceable.”
YOU CAN SEE CUMMINS CHAIRMAN AND CEO TOM LINEBARGER'S WHOLE SPEECH AND QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION IN THE VIDEO BELOW.