Are environmental concerns a part of Lean Thinking? Well, companies such as GE and 3M have implemented Green ideas along with Six Sigma tactics and have profited from them!
For GE, reduction in the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission below 2004 levels, was a challenge they took up. Pebbles, Ohio is facility of GE’s which focuses on applying Lean Thinking while saving cost in decreasing GHG.
Jet engine tests involved engine balancing which earlier meant turning the engine on, thrice. Lean thinking helped improve the process. Need to turn the engine on just once meant drop in both fuel consumption and GHG emanations. The troubleshooting techniques were also improvised, and now they could be executed with the engine turned off. These schemes helped GE save 10,000 gallons of fuel, and over a million dollars through these practices, and thereby generating a green effect by alleviating the GHG emissions.
As for 3M, Lean Six Sigma has been a part of the corporate culture since 2001. The company has trained over 55,000 employees in this very methodology and has successfully completed over 45,000 Lean Six Sigma projects. Environmental, Health and Safety Operations (EHS) organization is a part of 3M which has been committed to training employees and executing Lean practices while being directed on sustainable practices.
Like GE and 3M, there is a multitude of organizations across the world, on track to implement ‘green’ characteristics, along with traditional Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. This is majorly because, the pioneers have made them believe that thinking about the environment does bring about fiscal benefits in the long run.
See full story here