Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Lean is Green..." Can changing management style help fight climate change?

A key element of Lean philosophy is to reduce waste. Or in other words to achieve more while using same or lesser resources. We have seen Lean more from management lens till now and have acknowledged its benefits in productivity, quality, response time, cost and other measures.

But when one looks in detail, one can also see that Lean based improvements also result in lesser usage of electricity(results in energy efficiency) , land area (more land available for forestation and plantation), transportation (saving fuel), processing (lesser discharge of chemicals and lesser usage of power), defects (lesser waste discharged in environment) etc.. Looking back and analysing my experiences in lean management with a fresh mind, I can now clearly see as how the improvements always resulted in lesser wastage of resources either directly or indirectly. Even a Kaizen on 'workplace safety' also contributes toward a green and clean earth.

Thinking broadly, one can say that what mankind produces is derived from nature and if we produce at a faster rate than nature can replenish or recycle, then we have got a sustainability problem. Reducing wastage in our operations can reduce our off-take from nature and give nature some more time to recover.

I think this perspective is important as it looks into the present day climate and energy problems from demand side. This allows everyone to engage in protecting and saving earth irrespective of the field in which they work.

No comments:

Post a Comment