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As businesses and manufacturers strive to increase their competitiveness on the global stage and develop more efficient programs and policies, there is one strategy headlining workplace conversations and industry events – “Lean and Green.” As a leader at the recent Environmental Business Symposium (EBS) and a leader in the industry, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) actively supports the efforts by organizations to become more environmentally friendly.
The first-ever EBS, held in Norfolk, Va., became a medium for nearly 150 local environmental experts and representatives to discuss green initiatives and learn how these efforts can help rebuild the economy, sustain our environment and create more high-paying jobs. Kicking off the EBS’ “Lean and Green” session track, Green Jobs Alliance co-founder Randy Gilliland introduced leaders from AME and Virginia’s Philpott Manufacturing Extension Partnership (VPMEP) who presented their insights on helping businesses focus on the environment, in particular implementing “Lean and Green” strategies.
“The Environmental Business Symposium was designed to provide a learning forum for all those impacted by environmental and energy issues in business,” said Gilliland. “Between all of these knowledgeable resources, we can support efforts and successfully raise awareness about green workforce training and green job creation, especially those jobs manufacturing energy-efficient products.”
Three presenters addressed the issues surrounding the focus by businesses on becoming more environmentally friendly. Bill Baker, VP of Alliances for AME, compared and contrasted “Lean and Green” ideologies, including how reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency can lead to bigger profits. Jeff Kohler, executive director of VPMEP, and Tom Zbell, VPMEP project manager, discussed the four stages of sustainable maturity and the “Lean and Clean” practice, respectively. Both segments provided specific examples and case studies of how companies can successfully implement green strategies to develop strong efficiency programs.
Northrop Grumman (NG) is one company initiating green changes. According to Bill Haslett, manager of enterprise sourcing and logistics, NG is reducing energy demands, changing lightbulbs and enhancing internal printing capabilities to meet a five-year goal of reducing their carbon footprint by 25 percent.
“Everyone needs to ‘go green’ – it’s not an option,” said Haslett. “At some point, we’re going to use up all of our resources if we don’t start taking responsibility for our actions toward the environment. We’re damaging our world and cannot hand it off to future generations this way.”
Hosted by Inside Business, the business journal serving the Hampton Roads, Va. area, the goal of the EBS is to facilitate learning and networking to make the most of opportunities involving energy efficiency, environmentally friendly products and regulations arising from environmental compliance efforts. For more information on the EBS and presentations given, visit the Inside Business Web site.
About the Association for Manufacturing Excellence
The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to the journey of continuous improvement and enterprise excellence. AME’s membership is composed of a trusted network of individuals who are committed to leveraging the practitioner-to-practitioner and company-to-company shared-learning experience. Through engaging workshops, seminars, plant tours and industry-leading conferences, AME members are continually discovering and implementing new continuous improvement strategies and best practices. AME offers its members a multitude of valuable resources to help them stay abreast of current industry developments, and improve the skills, competitiveness, and overall success of their organizations. For more information, visit www.ame.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.