Lean Manufacturing and the Environment
Lean Manufacturing and Environment
Lean manufacturing is a business model and collection of tactical methods that emphasize eliminating non-value added activities (waste) while delivering quality products on time at least cost with greater efficiency. In the U.S., lean implementation is rapidly expanding throughout diverse manufacturing and service sectors such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, furniture production, and health care as a core business strategy to create a competitive advantage.
While the focus of lean manufacturing is on driving rapid, continual improvement in cost, quality, service, and delivery, significant environmental benefits typically "ride the coattails" or occur incidentally as a result of these production-focused efforts. Lean production techniques often create a culture of continuous improvement, employee empowerment, and waste minimization, which is very compatible with organizational characteristics encouraged under environmental management systems (EMS) and pollution prevention (P2). Other related business strategies such as "Six Sigma" can have the same effect.
This website provides case studies, fact sheets and tools containing techniques for integrating environmental considerations into Lean initiatives and methods.