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How do I create a sustainable business?

What is the Problem?

For many years we debated whether we wanted low price or high quality. Then Toyota taught us you could have both. Now, many are debating whether we want high productivity or good environmental management. We have recently shown that you can have both . So creating a sustainable business is still about making business both now and in the future but doing it in such a way that enhances, rather than destroys our environment. As Marcia Marsh of WWF puts it “when something is good for the planet and good for your business, the only question is how soon you can get started” .

What is our Approach?

We believe that businesses should create a sustainable approach. This is both in terms of the stickability of implementation and in terms of addressing the twin topics of Lean & Green. We see this as the next evolution of Lean Thinking and similar to the ‘Quality is Free’ movement inspired by Toyota and articulated by Phil Crosby in the late 1970s. We believe that ‘Environment is Free’ but it is not a gift. It takes senior management commitment, a new mindset, holistic thinking and a roadmap to achieve this. For a full explanation we suggest you look at our ‘Creating a Lean & Green Business System’ book.

 

So how do you go about creating a Lean & Green business? We suggest you start by building a Lean and Green Business System as shown. If you do this the results can be not only huge but also fast. In one recent project we achieved savings of around £1m in 2 weeks, in another a £15m profit improvement to a single supply chain .

References

Creating a Lean and Green Business System, Keivan Zokaei, Hunter Lovins, Andy Wood & Peter Hines, CRC Press (Taylor & Francis), Boca Raton, 2013

The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reduction, WWF, 2013

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