Leaning Toward Green

Abstract:Lean practitioners have for many years called attention to the conventional seven deadly wastes in actions taken to transform raw material into a finished product. However, if they would use a broader perspective to include material and energy sources used to create the product, more waste and cost savings could be realized. The Environmental Protection Agency has recently developed toolkits that enable lean practitioners to identify environmental and energy wastes in addition to other improvement opportunities uncovered by value stream mapping analysis. Tecmotiv Inc., a remanufacturer of vehicle components for the U.S. Army, used this approach to reduce energy use and its environmental footprint while increasing profitability and …

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The general issue is even broader, more comprehensive and well covered by the term "uncovering opportunities." This is, in my mind, the next frontier in continuous improvements of all the metrics the producer selects. Some are improved through engineering process changes (typical of lean and 6S), and some, as in the example given, by changing operating parameters--namely, supervisory control. There is analytical technology for the latter.
--Carlos W. Moreno, 04-27-2010

Very nice article, gives an insight into how the organizations can still improve their process and benefit just by eradicating wastes.
--Nadia, 03-16-2010

Great article! It makes you appreciate that once you worked at a company that was committed, used these tools, and they worked!
--Larry Hillyer, 03-15-2010

Nicely done with Muda, Mura, and Muri.
--Craig Harshman, 03-15-2010

Gives a detailed perspective on how lean can be used from an environmental perspective - interesting read.
--Rajesh P C, 03-08-2010

Very interesting article and valuable as well.
--Osagie Alli, 03-08-2010

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