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Lean and Green

  • By faber
  • September 15, 2015

“Continuous improvement is not about the things you do well — that’s work. Continuous improvement is about removing the things that get in the way of your work. The headaches, the things that slow you down, that’s what continuous improvement is all about” – Bruce Hamilton

To sustain in this competitive market, organizations are facing today – levels of unprecedented global competition. In which the organization have to design and offer better products and services and improve their manufacturing operations. ‘Lean’ manufacturing has been used to improve operational performance of an organization leading to excellence. Operational Excellence is concerned with continuously improving the quality of goods and services, reducing the costs, increasing speed and enhancing flexibility to achieve competitive superiority and to maximize the profit of an organization.

Lean is excellent at marshaling different groups and individuals into a high performing team focused on rooting out waste. That relentless focus on eradicating waste makes lean a necessary partner for green. Green manufacturing is a method of manufacturing that minimizes Environmental waste and pollution.

Environmental waste is any unnecessary use of resources or a substance released into the air, water, or land that could harm human health or the environment.  Environmental wastes and pollution are often a sign of inefficient production, and they frequently indicate opportunities for saving cost and time. Lean manufacturing is the system which aims in elimination of the waste from the system with systematic and continuous approach.

The obvious benefits of green and lean are energy savings, productivity savings, and savings from improved utilization of materials. They can also lead to innovations that involve creation of new products out of waste materials.

Many Lean implementation efforts often overlook opportunities to prevent or reduce environmental wastes.  Following are the 5 environmental wastes with the acronym WASTE to the traditional wastes helpful:

– Water: leaks, waste streams from processes
– Air: evaporation of chemicals, dust, particulate
– Solid Waste: filters, excess material scrap
– Toxic/Hazardous Waste: solvents, process residuals
– Energy: machinery on when not in use, heat loss, oversized motor
As in Lean, tools are used to visualize and identify the wastes in our processes so we can eliminate or reduce them. There are eight steps which can guide any organization towards Lean and Green, which are as follows:

1. Know what Lean and Green really means. It is a process where you use more eco-friendly processes and products that help reduce or eliminate the 7 wastes in manufacturing processes plus the 8 wastes of Environmental.

2. Identify, assess and manage risks to employees, customers, suppliers, contractors, visitors and the environment.

3. Conduct operations in compliance with all relevant legislation & other requirements as a minimum condition.

4. Consult and communicate regularly with employees about Lean Environmental Health & Safety (LEH&S) issues, improvements and about individual responsibilities.

5. Develop improvement strategies and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on a continual basis, with appropriate targets, which aim to eliminate unsafe conditions, reduce non-value wastes and prevent environmental pollution.

6. Prepare and provide the necessary resources in time to meet the targets.

7. Continually conduct a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) review on performance and reassess the goals.

8. Develop procedures, work instructions, and training material to assist the workforce to develop.

While the pursuit of Lean & Green is not a destination, but a continuous journey. Any organization that stretches themselves, to build a culture around the values of Sustainability, Excellence, and Equity will ultimately have a big advantage those who do not.

Complied By:- Faber Raveena Rathi & Faber Mayuri Pandya