Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Guest Post: Lean is Green

I recently had the opportunity to repost a popular post on The Green Economy Post.  Below is an excerpt from this post.

It can be said that lean is green. The obvious benefits of green and lean are energy savings, productivity savings, and savings from improved utilization of materials. They can also lead to innovations that involve creation of new products out of waste materials.

Along with Ohno's originial seven wastes the acrynom WASTE is helpful in finding environmental wastes:
  • Water: leaks, waste streams from processes
  • Air: evaporation of chemicals, dust, particulate
  • Solid Waste: filters, excess material scrap
  • Toxic/Hazardous Waste: solvents, process residuals
  • Energy: machinery on when not in use, heat loss, oversized motors
The tools in the toolkit for Green and Lean improvements are one in the same. They include techniques like value stream mapping, workplace organization and standardization with 6S, spaghetti chart, waste walk or treasure hunt, kaizen activities, and standardized checklists. As in Lean these tools are used to visualize and identify the wastes in our processes so we can eliminate or reduce them.

You can get started today with a number of simple efforts in conjunction with your improvement activities. Click here for 10 things you can start doing today.

To read the post in it's entirety continue to The Green Economy Post.

Note: This post previously called Green is Lean was published on Mark Graban's Lean Blog last summer.

UPDATE: This article was pulished at Reuters.  Click here to read Lean is Green.

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