Traditionally Lean and Green have operated independently within the business ecosystem. Organisations have looked to achieve economic gains through the implementation of continuous improvement techniques separately to achieving environmentally sustainable business changes.
Lean as an approach originated out of cultural and improvement techniques used at Toyota, which they call Toyota Production Systems (TPS). By practising a monozukuri manta, an all-encompassing approach to manufacturing, Toyota have become industry leaders within the continuous improvement sector and aim to create a more dynamic and sustainable automotive industry.
Toyota’s unique manufacturing ethos has inspired other organisations globally to adopt continuous improvement transformation programs and build cultures of continuous improvement using philosophies such as Lean, to achieve improvements for their customers and in turn, greater economic gains for the organisation.
On the other hand, Green is a separate initiative, which the industry has traditionally perceived only to provide social benefits and negatively impact an organisations economic performance. Making environmental improvements have historically been viewed as a charitable initiative, that an organisation is influenced to do out of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The challenge with this perception is that any impact on an organisations economic position can easily override environmental efforts. The survival of the business and financial position of board and shareholder reports can lead to a reduction in energy and funds applied to environmental initiatives.
By working with leading global organisations such as Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Adnams, SA Partners have proven this dichotomy view to economic and environmental gains to be false and unwarranted. SA Partners have helped achieve a combined Lean and Green excellence journey for these organisations, where these two approaches work simultaneously to achieve dramatic improvement both economically and environmentally.
In Australia, organisations such as Signet and Perfect Potion are achieving the same results by combining their Lean and Environmental efforts. Signet, an Australian Packaging Manufacturer and Distributor, are working with customers using Lean techniques to reduce, recycle and switch to alternate environmentally friendly packaging options to help them on their journey to the circular economy. Signet has an extensive range of sustainable packaging options from Ranpak, 100% recyclable and paper packing solution for in-the-box protection to 100% recyclable cartons and paper tapes.
Perfect Potion has always run their organisation with social and environmental needs at the forefront. Their journey into continuous improvement and Lean is enabling Perfect Potion to achieve both economic and environmental gains simultaneously.
Signet and Perfect Potion are at the start of their journey and continue to develop a culture of continuous improvement towards perfection that focuses on going Green to achieve Lean.
Lean and Green techniques will be explored in more depth by Brad Jeavons at the National Clean Technologies Conference and Exhibition at the Sunshine Coast from May 29 – 31 2019.
Brad Jeavons is the Principal Consultant for SA Partners. He has worked with many organisations ranging from government, retail, packaging, supply chain, manufacturers, medical and social. As an Organisation Improvement Leader, his purpose is helping people reach their potential and socially and environmentally focused organisations achieve excellence and ultimately help their customers, society and the environment.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Romolo Tavani