Becoming more sustainable is about challenging wastes, and recognising where applying Lean Thinking can positively affect our organisations. Where we ignore wastes, we create impacts – negative impacts to both our bottom line, and on our environment.
We’ve come a long way since electronic consumables needed a CD driver to enable them to work. Plug and play has made our lives so much easier. Unfortunately in this case the manufacturer could use some help with Lean Mindset to develop the symbiotic link to reducing both cost and environmental impact when changes to product design occur!
The webcam I bought yesterday was much smaller than I was expecting. The box was 3 times bigger than the device – it was still sized to accommodate the non existent CD, with spacer cardboard packaging taking up the emptiness inside. A great example of a change taking place in one area of the web-cam manufacturer, and not being reflected in another. The excess packaging isn’t just a cost to the producer, it’s a cost to the consumer who pays for waste management but also to our environment, especially as the webcam had been imported from China. Transporting the 66% additional empty space required to accommodate the non existent CD plus the additional weight of the cardboard spacer packaging all add up to unnecessary carbon emissions. What a waste of resources!
Considering where wastes occur in our businesses is critical to ensuring we remain competitive whilst reducing our environmental footprint and engaging with our customers. It’s about embracing and planning for changes, and being agile enough to react proactively.

Hidden Waste

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