Lean and Green

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Sir Richard Branson: Making the Skies Green – Enterprise Management – MSNBC.com

Thanks to blog reader Marc for sending this my way. He points out the parallel between waste elimination (a typical lean concept) and the environmental push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sir Richard writes:

” and we have now established that aviation could cut fuel use 25 percent by changing simple procedures. For example, at JFK airport in New York, the average long-haul plane takes 60 minutes to get from the gate to takeoff, and burns seven tons of fuel in the process. By towing planes out to the takeoff point instead, we would save 10 percent of that fuel. By changing procedures for landing, so that planes wait on the ground for an available gate rather than circling in the air, we would save even more fuel. Together with 33 other airlines and airport operators, we are attempting to bring about these changes industrywide.”

Toyota has long talked about the need for environmental stewardship and has thrown out some long-term goals of zero emissions and pollution free vehicles. Back in May of 2005, I blogged about Toyota's lean and green strategy for waste reduction.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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