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Environmental Performance in Lean Organizations Essay

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Updated: Jan 20th, 2022

Lean thinking is an organizational approach aimed at optimizing resources and outcomes in a holistic view, which includes the satisfaction of both customers and workers, and reduction of unnecessary wastes, and of negative impacts on the environment. In recent years, many companies have looked at the principles of Lean thinking to reorganize their structures to improve performance, efficiency, and flexibility (Fullerton, Kennedy, & Widener, 2014). The research on sustainable products and related manufacturing processes has highlighted the need to measure environmental performance (Caldera, Desha, & Dawes, 2017). This paper aims at setting some guidelines in understanding the concept of environmental performance within a lean organization.

In modern society, social and economic concerns have increasingly become related to environmental issues, which are considered critical to attaining sustainable development for future generations. Lean productions have proved to have favorable impacts on the environment, reducing energy and water consumption, and emission of polluting substances into the atmosphere, soil, and water. However, the idea of environmental performance is relatively new, and the relationships between lean tools and their impacts on the environment need to be explored and carefully evaluated. A technique that has been proved to be suitable to assess and improve environmental performance is Value Stream Mapping (VSM) (Faulkner & Badurdeen, 2014). Developed initially to coordinate production processes through the mapping of materials and information flows among the subjects involved, VSM has been successfully implemented to unify and manage both production and environmental goals.

Environmental issues in modern society have highlighted the need for implementing tools developed in lean organizations. Particularly, lean companies should include the assessment of how lean tools impact the environment. Currently, the concept of environmental performance is the subject of empirical and theoretical research, aimed at creating coherent literature with the goal of sustainable future development.

References

Faulkner, W., & Badurdeen, F. (2014). Journal of Cleaner Production, 85, 8-18. Web.

Caldera, H. T. S., Desha, C., & Dawes, L. (2017). Journal of Cleaner Production, 167, 1546-1565. Web.

Fullerton R. R., Kennedy, F. A., & Widener, S. K. (2014). Journal of Operations Management, 32(7-8), 414-428. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Environmental Performance in Lean Organizations." January 20, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/environmental-performance-in-lean-organizations/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Environmental Performance in Lean Organizations." January 20, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/environmental-performance-in-lean-organizations/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Environmental Performance in Lean Organizations'. 20 January.

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