Exploration of the Impact of Business Improvement approach Lean Six Sigma on the Environment

By James Marsh.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Lean 6 Sigma is widely used in industry to reduce the amount of Non Value Added waste to increase efficiency, quality and reduce costs. These wastes defined by Shingo include excess inventory, transportation, defects, over production, waiting time, processing times, and motion of employees. Lean 6 Sigma (LSS) can also inherently be environmentally friendly, but not always, as it is currently widely implemented without considering the environment and the negative impact it can have. However with issues such as climate change becoming more in the public eye with CO2 levels at their highest in 650,000 years, businesses and the general public face increasing taxes and legislation in this area. This could provide the catalyst for implementing LSS whilst considering the environment; however no structured approach on “how to do this” appears to exist. An integrated approach to reducing business waste and “saving the planet” could be very sought after by many types of industry sector. This approach could applied to Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SME’s) to large Global organisations and within many functions (finance, production, quality, planning, marketing, R&D, Service etc) of an organisation

Keywords: Lean, Six Sigma, Climate Change, Environment, Legislation, Assessment, Waste, Global, SME, Sustainability, CO2

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.357-366. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.444MB).

James Marsh

Managment Consultant, Training and Consultancy, Sheffield Hallam University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

I have worked as a consultant in many industry sectors including Aeropsace, Food and Textiles implementing Lean 6 Sigma as an approach and have case study savings in excess of $72 Million. Using the approach I found it could not only save time, improve quality and reduce defects but it also usually gave environmental benefits. The climate change bill is now coming into effect in the UK however there is no approach to help companies meet these government targets. Noticing a need to drive this forward I'm now conducting PhD in this subject area with the view to developing an environmental Lean 6 Sigma framework to help companies reduce their impact on the environment. Other previous experience includes working as a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University for 4 Years and I have published academic papers for conferences and journals. My interests include statistics, architecture and environmental developments in the automotive industry.


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