Moving from lean to sustainability

resources key 300x225 Moving from lean to sustainabilityby Karin DeLaitsch

Most businesses have grasped what it means to eliminate waste in the organization and incorporate lean thinking to reduce operating costs. However, businesses are all over the map when it comes to taking lean to the next level and committing to sustainability. Many companies simply comply with the regulations imposed upon them, while a few go beyond what is expected, and even fewer are leaders in the sustainability movement.

Fortunately, we are on a road toward sustainability that can be travelled by any size organization. Even the smallest players can be leaders in sustainability.

Just like the lean movement, the sustainability movement begins with educating the workforce.  Lean reduces the use of resources however it does not address the fact that resources are finite. There is new recognition among producers and consumers that we are entering an era of limits; the cycle of mass production and mindless consumption that defined the industrial age is no longer acceptable. As we move from the industrial age to the sustainable age, we’ll need to change our mindset from satisfying our current needs to asking ourselves, “How will today’s decision affect future generations?”

Before you know it, the entire workforce will want to know “What percent of energy used comes from renewable resources?” and “How much of the raw materials consumed comes from reused or recycled sources?”

The journey toward sustainability is a three-way win for people, planet and profits.

We’ll show companies how they can take what they already know about lean and apply it to whole-system thinking to point out the long-term consequences of decisions.

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One Response to Moving from lean to sustainability

  1. says:

    Lean promotes many things not just the elimination of waste product and resources. Design for manufacturing within lean could very easily be used to create products with modular components that could be stripped out of obsolete products and reused within new generation products.

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