Earth Consultants

Applying Lean Six Sigma to the Environment


Videos about Lean, Green and the Environment, including case studies, overview training, and book reviews.


Intro to Lean and Six Sigma Process Improvement for City Employees and Green Businesses (Jan 2020)

Lean Six Sigma for Good Presentation at Rose-Hulman (Dec 2019)

Engaging Staff and Volunteers Through Lean Principles – Build Reuse Conference 2019 in Pittsburgh

“Lean Startups for Social Change” with Michel Gelobter

“Saving Electricity Using Six Sigma DMAIC Model

Process Improvement for Social Responsibility – IISE Annual Conference (Orlando) (5/22/18)

GoGreen Portland: Lean and Green and The 8 Wastes (Portland) (10/17/17)

Reducing Wasted Food Workshop #2: A Lean and Six Sigma Approach (Portland) (10/18/17)

Reducing Wasted Food Workshop: A Lean and Six Sigma Approach (Portland) (04/28/17)

GPSEN Sustainability Symposium: Lean and Six Sigma and Sustainability (Portland) (01/27/17)

Green Festival 2016 (Portland) – Tips for Encouraging Environmental Behavior Change (12/11/16)

Download slides (PDF)

“Lean and Green: 8 Forms of waste” at Portland State University Systems Sciences Seminar (video recording) with Kjell Van Zoen (10/21/16)

Provender Alliance: Lean and Green Workflow Improvement – The 8 Wastes with Kjell Van Zoen (10/6/16)

Audio recording from IISE Annual Conference presentation in Anaheim, CA on May 22, 2016.

The focus of the presentation was to teach the attendees how to apply the “Go and See” approach to specific applications of water conservation (Water Walk), energy conservation (Energy Walk) and solid waste reduction (Dumpster Dive).

A simple “Go and See” model will be provided, along with templates for:
– planning the event
– conducting the three different events (water, energy, solid waste)
– capturing and grouping opportunities
– prioritizing the improvements
– deciding which ones to implement

Webinar recording of how to integrate environmental impacts (water, air emissions, solid waste, toxins and energy) into your existing Lean Six Sigma or continuous improvement program.

– How the Lean 7 forms of waste have a negative impact on the environment
– How the Lean “gemba walk” approach can be used to reduce electricity usage
– How Six Sigma projects can be used to reduce electricity usage
– How Lean Six Sigma tools can be modified to incorporate the environment
– Why Lean and Six Sigma will not naturally address environmental impacts
– How to involve your Environment, Safety and Health and Facilities personnel into your improvement efforts
– How Lean Six Sigma can help your environmental efforts go beyond “low hanging fruit” ideas

Presentation about implementing Environmental Sustainability into your existing Lean Six Sigma or process improvement initiative

Simple video about sustainability and the Triple Bottom Line

Using Six Sigma to Reduce Energy with Limited Data

A presentation at the IIE Conference on how you can use numerous data gathering and analysis techniques to determine where to reduce energy, even if you have no data below the utility bill information.

Using Employees to Engage in Energy Reduction in their Workplace

A presentation at the IIE Conference on using an Energy Go and See (or Energy Kaizen or Energy Treasure Hunt or Energy Gemba Walk) format to engage employees in reducing energy usage in their area.

Lean and the Environment overview – Iowa Quality Center

Lean and the Environment overview

An overview of sustainability in business today, and how lean can help address environmental issues.

Lean and the Environment Workshop – Introduction – Part 1 of 3

Lean and the Environment Workshop – Green Wind Turbine Manufacturing Simulation – Part 2 of 3

Lean and the Environment Workshop – Dumpster Dive – Part 3 of 3

Presentation on connection between your Lean program and environmental impacts. Other videos provide footage of simulation of Dumpster Dive and Green Manufacturing exercises.


Energy Treasure Hunt for Microbreweries Webinar
Continuous Improvement at EPA – Daily huddles
Lean Approaches for Water Efficiency
Factory Efficiency – How to Become Lean, Green and Save Money
Sustainable Value Stream Mapping for Spirits, Brewing and Wine Making Webinar

Streamlining Tribal GAP Grant Award Process (6/19/19)

Increasing Food Sharing in a School Cafeteria with Six Sigma (9/26/18)

Diane Evans, Professor of Engineering Management at Rose-Hulman Institute Of Technology and Six Sigma Black Belt, explains a project to reduce food waste in elementary schools. The presentation was recorded at the IISE Engineering Lean Six Sigma Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Continuous Improvement Journey with Lean and Sustainability at Worldwide Fruit Limited (3/22/18)

Staff at Worldwide Fruit share their lean journey, and how they incorporate environmental and social metrics into their improvements
Always Lean, Always Green at Toyota Motor Europe with Steve Hope

Steve Hope, General Manager for Environmental Affairs and Corporate Citizenship at Toyota Motor Europe, explained how his company is working for a more sustainable future society. In this inspiring presentation, you will learn the history of environmental stewardship starting in 1963 (environmental committee, green month, earth charter, and origins of the Prius and Mirai), and how they manage their product life cycle and are working on the Environmental Challenge 2050.

Portland company goes from Kickstarter campaign to $750K in sales, runs on renewable energy and Lean (10/3/17)

2016 Boeing “Dumpster Dive” Video – Reducing landfill through engagement event

US Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge SWAP – See how the Whole Foods Market and Hilton Worldwide energy teams work together to unveil energy savings opportunities in each other’s buildings in San Francisco. Video above is from Part 3, The Unveil
Part 1: Whole Foods | Part 2: Hilton | Part 3: The Unveil

LeanOhio shows a high-speed kaizen mapping event conducted to streamline and standardize the solid waste registration and licensing process


Case Study: Shanghai Yanfeng Johnson Controls Sustainability Project

Reduced volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions from green foam, improved company and supplier skills, developed 2 patents, and saved  money.


Case Study: Sime Darby Sustainability Project

Malaysian company Sime Darby saved $64,000 using DMAIC framework to reduce methanol by 12% and reduced carbon dioxide emissions and acheived other side benefits using Gage R&R (MSA), fishbone diagrams, FMEA and SPC.

Lean Burrito – Paul Akers applies lean to every day activities. Here he shows the food waste in ordering a burrito, and quantifies the impact to the business (3 min).

How Toyota uses Gentani to optimize performance and drive out waste

Toyota reduced its energy usage per vehicle by over 70%, reduced water use per vehicle by over 75%, and waste produced per vehicle by nearly 70% applying lean concepts. Presentation given at 2degreesnetwork webinar (45 mins).

Energy Cost Reduction Using Kaizen Energy Treasure Hunts

This on-demand webinar is hosted by Onset and presented by Kevin Vidmar, an energy management expert from Loureiro Engineering Associates. Using the Kaizen Energy Treasure Hunt process, teams are identifying and quantifying actionable energy reduction items, many no/low cost, within just three to four days. This session will present the typical Kaizen Energy Treasure Hunt process. It will cover preparation steps, the event itself, data gathering and analysis, quantification methods, typical opportunity prioritization methods, and some of the lessons learned from assisting with numerous events.

Green training and certification video from Purdue Green Enterprise Development

A five minute video of the Green Generalist 101 training offered by Purdue University Technical Assistant Program’s Green Enterprise Development. Offering onsite, online, public workshops, and train the trainer methods of training the workforce in green concepts.

Lean and Green Government Video

Connecticut DEP talks about how they worked with Leanovations consulting group to streamline their processes and change their mindset to improve the environment and improve satisfaction of the general public.

Alex Laskey: How behavioral science can lower your energy bill

Great TED Talk about how energy savings can be achieved through behavior changes and peer pressure.

GE Treasure Hunt Reveals How to Cut Energy Spend in Half at Citrus Bowl
The city of Orlando, Florida recently joined the ecomagination Treasure Hunt program, in which GE, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, finds and measures sources of energy waste and then recommends solutions. The famed Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium was the site of Orlando’s second energy hunt, and the results were impressive: it uncovered ways to reduce the stadium’s energy spending by 50 percent annually.

BMGi: Go Green!

This webinar from Lean Six Sigma consulting group BMGi gives you problem-solving approaches and process improvement techniques that will help you solve environmental problems and make your processes greener.

Sustainability as a Driver for Manufacturing Innovation – 10/28/13 – Ann Arbor, Michigan


UC-Berkeley professor David Dornfeld discusses variation in energy usage across countries and states, how manufacturing engineering can help optimize processes to reduce the total energy usage and social impacts across a product’s life cycle.

Driving Sustainability in the Electric Utility Supply Chain: General Cable

General Cable, manufacturer of power cables for electric utilities has cut GHG emissions, re-cycled and re-used material, and contained energy costs by deploying the Environment, Energy, and Economy (E-3) productivity (waste reduction) techniques in its Du Quoin facility.

Lean and Green Conference, March 2011, London (Videos)

Lean and Green Conference: From Lean to Lean and Green, by Dr Keivan Zokaei – He covers some of the topics in S A Partners new book, Creating a Lean and Green Business System

Denise Coogan – Subaru’s Path To Zero Waste – Denise presents at the Women in Green Forum on Subaru’s path to zero landfill facility, and the benefits they have received to date.

Biomimicry in Action (TED Talk 2009) – Janine Benyus discusses Biomimicry and the effect it could have on our planet. One of the main points in this video is, if a problem arises that needs to be fixed nature has probably found a solution. Not only has nature found a solution to our problem, but that solution is environmentally friendly.

The Wisconsin Profitable Sustainability Initiative video, an innovative, customizable and highly-effective program of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), demonstrates the range of economic, social and environmental benefits that can be realized by the state’s small and midsize manufacturers through the implementation of sustainable business practices.

Lean and Green Conference 2011 – Hunter Lovins, Part 1 – Hunter talks about how businesses are embracing lean, and how green concepts need to be incorporated into those efforts, or we are headed for dire consequences (Part 2 is here, but she doesn’t talk much about Lean)

University of Iowa – Waste Audit

Waste sort from residence halls at the University of Iowa, conducted in 2011 by student volunteers.

AccraFab – Lean & Green Manufacturing

Impact Washington and the Washington State Department of Ecology worked with AccraFab, a Washington manufacturing company that specializes in custom sheet metal fabrication, to reduce waste water generated in their plating process. This success story demonstrates that what was good for the environment was also very good for the bottom line.

Reduce waste, saving the bottom line-SunOpta manufacturing

SunOpta, healthy fruit snacks in Omak, Washington teamed with Impact Washington, Washington State Department of Ecology, and Washington State University Energy Program to discover better ways to recycle, reduce waste water and energy. The solutions that came as a result of the coordination of these groups saved the company money as well as saved the environment.

Pamela Gordon talks about her book, Lean and Green: Profit for Your Workplace and the Environment

Mike Latuga – Lean and Green – Mike briefly describes an Energy Kaizen event to identify if electricity and natural gas are being used in an efficient way.

Jones Metal Products Gets Lean and Green
Jones Metal Products of Mankato, Minn. describes how the company has reduced waste and improved efficiency by getting lean and green.

Central Container Lean and Green
Brooklyn Park, Minn. based Central Container Corp is finding success by going lean and green.

Why Green Manufacturing? (Part 1 of 6)
Dr. David Dornfeld runs the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability and is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. David addresses questions about the history of manufacturing, and how business leaders can take advantage of this sea change towards sustainable production. Watch the other 5 parts to hear the entire presentation.

Principles of Green Manufacturing (Part 1 of 5)
William Levison of Levinson Productivity Systems, discusses green manufacturing principles, how to tie them to the company bottom line, who invented green manufacturing, and the 4 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle).

TOYOTA – Biomimicry (Green Designs series) Short video about Biomimicry, which is the study of nature to solve real-world problems.

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