Promoting best practices for industrial excellence integrated with sustainable development issues: the Lean and Green strategy

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Kyoto (2014)


Competitiveness, Green, KPIs, Lean, Manufacturing Process, SMEs, Sustainable Development, Wastes


Manufacturing companies must adopt evolving strategies to become and remain competitive. The “Lean” methodology is one such strategy used in several major industrial firms, based on identification and elimination of wastes in production process. The originality of our work consists in a “Green” oriented approach based on the triple bottom line used in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which adds environmental and social dimensions to the consideration of economic earnings received through Lean actions.

Our study is led in the context of the Green LEM project (Green Lean Engineering and Manufacturing). Sponsored by the “Pôle Véhicule du Futur” cluster (Solutions for Future Vehicles and Mobility) and built around stakeholders from different fields including several major industrial partners, one of the main line of research is the spread of best practices for industrial excellence to the local pool of enterprises.

Knowing our research takes place in real industrial context, we adopted a case study research methodology based on measurement, evaluation, rating and improvement. An extensive literature review has been conducted, and we also propose a framework based on a lean and green audit methodology developed with French Alsatian companies, which includes:

- Lean and green key performance indicators organised regarding the size, the culture and the maturity of the company
- Deployment of green best practices compared with the deployment of Lean practices

Our research results will enable firms to gain competitiveness while:
- Answering new challenges in environmental issues
- Capitalising best practices in Lean and Green
- Providing the pool of stakeholders (mainly composed of SMEs in our example) with a forward-looking vision of technological and manufacturing trends
- Strengthening Green value chain jointly with Lean Value chain in various stages of the supply chain
- Encouraging the emergence of innovative joint-venture projects
- Promoting Lean and Sustainable development through local companies including suppliers from automotive industry

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