Home > Forums
Topic Title: Can Lean help Manufacturers be more Environmentally and Socially Sustainable
Topic Summary: Lean, Sustainability and Manufacturing
Created On: 09/13/2009 12:05 PM
Linear : Threading
Send to a Friend Send to a Friend
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
09/14/2009 11:18 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
KathrynCooper
Kathryn Cooper



Lean seems like a great tool for the implementation of a company's environmental and social sustainability strategy in a manufacturing plant.

However, I look at many of your postings about implementing Lean and wonder whether I am being to much of an idealist in believing that you can get authentic employee engagement and a "whole-system" approach with this system.

What do you think? Can a manufacturer use Lean to advance its environmental and social sustainability strategy?
09/14/2009 03:45 PM
Print this message

Author Icon
MarkRosenthal
Mark Rosenthal



There is a rather significant "Green Lean" movement out there already.
09/15/2009 09:16 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
PhilCoy
Phil Coy



Lean is a recommended method to implement an environmental initiative by the US EPA. Their "Lean and Energy" and "Lean and Environment"' toolkits include extending value stream mapping to include "green" considerations and using kaizens with a focus on environmental impact as a way to engage with workers to make changes at the source. You can download these from the EPA web site at www.epa.gov/lean

The concept of the "triple bottom line" where businesses need to consider impact on people and on planet as well as on profit can tie a company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) statements to real numbers. For an example of how to extend lean to green, you can view a webinar on "Lean to Green: Quantifying Triple Bottom Line Thinking" or download a white paper at Future State Solutions www.futurestatesolutions.com.

There's a great synergy between lean philosophy to identify and remove waste involving the people working in the process and environmental initiatives that require employee participation.

Phil Coy
Future State Solutions
09/15/2009 09:16 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
3744
Ronald Turkett



Absolutely. When you understand that the Toyota Production System is not just a collection of tools for manufacturing but an entire company business system you can learn from one of the global leaders in these areas. Toyota has spent enormous sums in environmental and support activities for the communities in which it does business. The return on investment has paid off.

However, it takes top leadership committment and participation. Slogans are very popular but sustained committment and actions are not.

Ron Turkett
09/15/2009 09:42 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
KathrynCooper
Kathryn Cooper



Thank you Phil - I look forward to checking this out. Very helpful.
09/18/2009 03:40 PM
Print this message

Author Icon
Robert_Simonis
Robert Simonis



Yes, and usually make money doing it too.

Do you think Toyota made the Prius to be green? Answer: NO. They made the Prius because they saw that they could capture market share and make money doing it.

Using more resources than necessary (electricity, landfill, water, etc.) are just forms of waste. Lean is the tool to eliminate waste.

Start by making "green" objectives part of the Hoshin Kanri (policy deployment).

I also recommend that you invvestigate the "Lean to Green" initiatives already in progress with Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).
09/06/2019 09:35 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
Stephr
St├ęphanie Ribaud



I think that this is pretty obvious Lean is a way to capture market. We can't deny it, and you gave a good example with the Prius case. As this post is now 10 years old, i thought it would be funny to see how much topics such as sustainability or Lean has evolved. In fact nowadays it's much more than that. You should check this article about the New era of Manufacturing : https://ifwe.3ds.com/our-vision-of-manufacturing/workforce-of-the-future
Pretty much accurate though ;)
Note: These forums are moderated by the Lean Enterprise Institute. All posts are reviewed within 24-48 hours prior to appearing on the site. Views expressed in these forums do not necessarily represent the views of the Lean Enterprise Institute.