Earth Consultants

Applying Lean Six Sigma to the Environment

E063: Using Pareto Charts to Reduce Water and Energy

3 min read

In this podcast, I read an article I wrote many years ago in response to data reported in the local paper on residential water usage. The topic is very pertinent at any time, so I thought it would be good to share with those that haven’t read it yet.

The paper published the names of the people who used the most water in the last 12 months, along with a response and/or details about why they feel they are on the list.

Pareto charts are critical tools to make improvements, as we all have limited time and resources, so we need to stay focused.

These will help us reduce energy, water, items in the landfill, homelessness, and any other problem in our community.


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Are you interested in learning more about Lean and Six Sigma?

Or are you looking to expand your existing skills to apply them to environmental impacts at your work or local community?

Check out our FREE online course called “Lean Six Sigma and the Environment”

We’ll teach you about the lean forms of waste and WASTE walks (which stands for Water, Air Emissions, Solid Waste, Toxins and Energy)

We’ll go over examples of reducing electricity and solid waste, teach you how to involve your facilities and ES&H personnel. We’ll provide guidance on how to green your 5S and lean kaizen events, and many other tools specific to find environmental opportunities

Have you ordered the new book, “Lean Six Sigma for Good: Lessons from the Gemba (Volume 1)?” The book is made up of 8 chapters written about experiences from Lean and Six Sigma practitioners, to give you tips and tricks to help you work with nonprofits in your area. All proceeds donated to charity. We are also close to releasing Volume 2, so check back for the latest news.


In this podcast, I go over an article I wrote on the website. It’s called “Pareto chart approach to reducing water usage in your city,” and I wrote it back in 2013, so it was one of the earlier articles I put together. So I thought I’d read through the article, in case you missed it the first time.

I really wanted to highlight this article, because this principle applies to anything that we’re trying to improve, whether it’s energy reduction, we talked about water, where the most homeless are living in the city, and where the most opportunities are for receiving donations for a nonprofit.

We all have limited time and resources, so I constantly am thinking about “am I working on the most effective, most important things right now?”

For example, in the big impact of carbon emissions, one of the top drivers is food waste, so that’s an area where I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure out how Lean and Six Sigma can reduce food waste.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for listening!

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