An innovative approach to net zero at a Darlington engineering giant has been praised by the Shadow Chancellor.

Rt Hon Rachel Reeves MP, visited Cummins to learn more about the company’s investment in sustainable technology and said: "It is crucial that we grow the economy with innovation and productivity, and Cummins is a great example of how an international business can flourish in the UK with these focuses at the forefront of their strategy.”

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer was joined by Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Darlington, Lola McEvoy and Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary and Steve Bush, Automotive National Officer, both of Unite the Union.

During a tour of the Cummins Darlington site, there were discussions with engineers involved in developing Cummins’ hydrogen internal combustion engine and the processes and practicalities of the technology.


Jonathan Atkinson, Executive Director, Product Strategy, briefed the Shadow Chancellor on Cummins’ investment into staff and wider zero-carbon and net-zero technologies.

He said: “The development of net-zero and low-carbon technologies is crucial, as it will pave the way for a sustainable future for all. The growth of our staff is also hugely important to our business and achieving our Destination Zero strategy. We are committed to providing staff with ample opportunities for development, as we recognise how nurturing talent leads to innovation in the industry.”

Both Rachel Reeves and Lola McEvoy also spoke with apprentices to find out how training roles play an important part in developing innovative products.

The Northern Echo: Cummins in DarlingtonCummins in Darlington (Image: Newsquest)

Rachel said: “It’s fantastic to have a state-of-the-art engine plant facility like this in Darlington, providing highly skilled manufacturing jobs to the local area. I was delighted to see Cummins’ commitment to advancing innovative zero carbon and net-zero technologies and see how Darlington expertise is benefitting markets around the world.

Lola McEvoy added: “Rachel Reeves has a plan to tackle the issues facing businesses in our town and together we will help employers like Cummins, who invest in our town and their workforce, to thrive. We must stabilise our economy and supporting businesses who share our vision for growth is key to that.”

Steve Bush, Automotive National Officer, Unite the Union, said: “Unite is pleased to see Cummins investing in innovative technologies like hydrogen internal combustion engines. Manufacturing businesses must be supported with this technology to help create skilled jobs for the future.”

The Cummins Darlington campus includes an engine and exhaust after-treatment plant, technical operations, and hosts a range of support staff. In total, there are around 1,750 Cummins employees on site, servicing over 180 customers across more than 50 countries.

Through its Destination Zero strategy, Cummins is continuing to advance the internal combustion engine technology it’s renowned for, with further advancements in efficiency, as well as compatibility with cleaner fuels like hydrogen, bio-diesel and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

The company continues to develop innovations in zero-emissions solutions like hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology to drive advancements in capability, lower costs and boost development of supporting infrastructure.