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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lean is Green: Lean and Sustainability

"Leading companies are now finding that a green supply chain doesn’t just improve the public’s perception of their company and brand; it saves money by using resources more efficiently and reducing waste."

Lean principles focus on the reduction or elimination of waste in processes. As such, Lean thinking is green thinking, and is in many ways naturally symbiotic.
Therefore, Lean organizations already have a foothold on going green. Lean paragons showcase this fact:

Toyota, the model for Lean production systems at companies worldwide, is also a leader in energy and environmental performance:
  • Since 2000, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America has reduced the average facility energy consumption per vehicle produced by 30%, resulting in a corresponding reduction in the CO2 emissions of its facilities
  • In fiscal year 2006, Toyota’s North American facilities reduced energy use per vehicle by 7% while increasing production by 4% Toyota used methods such as energy treasure hunts and kaizen events to achieve these results
The Boeing Company
  • Boeing Everett realized resource productivity improvements of 30-70 percent from Lean initiatives
  • Eliminated the use of 350 cubic feet of cardboard and bubble wrap packing material per 747 wing panel set
  • Reduced chemical usage per airplane by 11.6 percent Boeing Auburn Defects have been reduced from 1,200/10,000 in 1996 to fewer than 300/10,000 presently
  • Reduced floor space by 200,000 square feet
Trends in Sustainability

1. Climate change and growing energy needs
2. Future generations
3. Improve profits
4. Political pressures and becoming mainstream
5. Clean technology

How has Lean helped your organization become more green?
What can you do to perpetuate the crescendo towards a more Lean and more green organization?

This is the first in our Lean is Green series. We hope you enjoy it. You can leave your comments below or on our LinkedIn page.

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