We are starting to hear the term “lean and green” more often now. Any program that eliminates waste should also be more environmentally friendly. Consider some of the benefits of a lean manufacturing program:
- Reduces material scrap
- Reuses packaging materials
- Reduces inventory
- Reduces distance traveled
- Improves output per labor hour
- Reduces floor space needed
All these benefits can also help “green” initiatives:
Reducing scrap and reusing materials means that less material was consumed to create the product and ship it to the customer. Regardless of the materials, using less of it is better for the earth.
Reducing inventory, improving output per manufacturing hour and reducing floor space means that less utility cost was needed per unit of product. Facility costs are proportional to the space used and the number of hours in operation.
Reducing distance travel will reduce energy costs by saving on forklift or other material handling device power.
In addition to green as a “side benefit” of becoming more efficient in manufacturing, lean principles can be directly applied to facilities to reduce power consumption as per this article.
Packnet routinely creates packaging and creating solutions that not only reduce manufacturing costs, but help the environment.