Many enterprises are investing in green improvements, or planning to, to improve their sustainability. With the imminent introduction of carbon trading and the social pressure to improve corporate citizenship by reducing the impact on the environment and climate change, all businesses will have to take stock of their environmental impact and carbon footprint.
Effective green activities can range from inexpensive behaviour improvements, such as reducing energy use by turning off lights that are not needed, through to technological research and development to achieve better efficiency. Lean is a structured system for identifying waste and improving efficiency – so it provides a tailor-made set of concepts and tools for going green.
You can use the Lean tools ‘5S’ and ‘Kaizen blitz’ in short, sharp projects to get rid of unused items and reduce consumption of energy/materials. But you can also ensure you get sustained improvements across productivity KPIs, Operational Equipment Efficiency, product improvements and efficient work systems using tools such as Value Stream Mapping, Kaizen, Theory of Constraints and process re-engineering.
Value stream mapping (also called value chain mapping) is a powerful tool to allow you to identify all the steps in your process and determine how much value, and how much waste (muda) it is adding to your product.
Looking at the ‘seven deadly wastes’ improves your capacity to deliver what your customer values and is prepared to pay for with less investment in things which the customer does not value. This allows you to trim price, increase margins or both!
The LeanSkills intensive will give you the skills to identify what really goes on and how much it is really costing.