EPA is Promoting Lean


    Lean and the Environment | EPA

    Has anyone heard about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pushing Lean for environmental/conservation purposes? Interesting idea.

    The EPA website has a lot of basic info about Lean, their summary of Lean is:

    “Lean manufacturing is a business model and collection of methods that help eliminate waste while delivering quality products on time and at least cost. EPA is interested in finding ways to maximize the environmental benefits of lean.”

    There's a “Case Studies” page, which spells out some environmental impact from Lean implementations:

    Many organizations have found that implementing lean concepts and tools results in improvements in environmental performance, even when lean activities were not initiated for environmental reasons. Since environmental savings are often not part of the “business case” for lean improvement activities, however, organizations implementing lean do not necessarily quantify the environmental performance gains associated with their lean initiatives.

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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.


    1. Mark,

      Great helpful post. Thanks for all your hard work.

      The Lean and Enviornment Toolkit actually look like a helpful guide for adding EHS Waste into value stream maps.

      Hadn’t thought of it previously, but it is a great way of adding the “currency of green” to the value stream mapping process. For example warehousing causes extra plastic wrap, pallets, etc not to mention the energy used.

      This reminds me of the Fast Company Toyota Georgetown article where the paint shop got the idea for containerized paint because of the waste they were dumping each color change.

      Thanks again Mark…you do a great job!

    2. Bit off the subject, but This past summer ,my family and I were in DC in front of EPA building. There was a tree dying there (probably from urban pollution) and I pointed it out (I am a forester) Next thing I knew this tourist group was taking photos of the dying tree in front of EPA! Quite funny actually.

      Land For Sale


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