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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