Manufacturing: Understanding Lean and Green

Open Access
McClurken, Matthew Steven
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Felisa Del Carmen Preciado, Thesis Supervisor
  • John C Spychalski, Honors Advisor
  • Lean
  • Manufacturing
  • Sustainability
  • Triple Bottom Line
  • Product Design
  • Life-Cycle Assessment
  • Energy Management
  • Design for Environment
The efficiency of manufacturing practices has been continuously improving over the past century. Just-in-time allowed for reductions in inventory which reduced overall costs to companies. Lean initiatives were put in place in the 1990’s in order to reduce overall waste from the manufacturing processes. Although waste reduction has environmental benefits, manufacturers do not always attempt to pursue sustainability and the triple bottom line, but rather the bottom line. Lean initiatives can be altered to create sustainability which would reduce wastes and improve the triple bottom line. Along with the addition of sustainable practices to lean, there are multiple tools that companies can implement which will have positive sustainable benefits: sustainable product design, reverse logistics, energy management, and life-cycle costing. A review of cross-industry best practices and sustainability successes will be presented.