Lean and Green

As some of you know, I’ve been answering questions on lean in partnership with Bosch Rexroth both on their newsletter and through the recently launched podcasts. Here was one question that was simply put:

How is lean green?

This is a great question. The green movement has picked up steam, some based on moral grounds and some practical. But in lean, green efforts have found economic return as well. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a report on lean to help companies better connect lean and green. From a lean perspective, the focus on green is waste elimination. Where are the waste streams, from an environmental perspective? Examine your garbage removal? Is it filled with cardboard and plastic packaging? How can you remove that? What about your water use? Energy use? Do you have excessive but small leaks throughout your air pressure system? All of these waste flows are not only bad for the environment, they cost you real dollars. Find the waste and eliminate it, the same way you would go after other wastes. The only trick is, these waste flows are just a little harder to find. You have to look in some unusual places.

 

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Jamie Flinchbaugh is a lean advisor, speaker, and author. In addition to co-founding the Lean Learning Center, he has helped build nearly 20 companies as either a co-founder, board member, advisor, or angel investor. These companies range from high-performance motorcycles to SaaS tools for continuous improvement. He has advised over 300 companies around the world in lean transformation, including Intel, Harley-Davidson, Crayola, BMW, and Amazon. Jamie co-authored the popular book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, and continues to share his experiences as a Contributing Editor forIndustryWeek and as a blogger at JamieFlinchbaugh.com. He holds degrees from Lehigh University, University of Michigan, and MIT, and continues to teach and mentor on campus. Jamie is best known for helping to transform how we think about lean from a tools-centric model to one based on principles and behaviors. His passion for lean transformation comes from seeking to unlock the great potential that people possess to build inspiring organizations.

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