Table of Contents
Journal of Industrial Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 298103, 17 pages
Research Article

Environmentally Lean Production: The Development and Incorporation of an Environmental Impact Index into Value Stream Mapping

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand

Received 7 December 2012; Accepted 16 February 2013

Academic Editor: Gabor Szederkenyi

Copyright © 2013 T. J. Roosen and D. J. Pons. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is a need to include environmental waste alongside other lean wastes. Current concepts of environmental waste focus on the total production of waste from a plant. However waste is generated by individual processes within the production. Therefore focused management of waste requires engineers to know what and where waste is being generated. This is often simply not known with any accuracy. This work offer a solution by developing a method to integrate environmental waste into the lean method of Value Stream Mapping (VSM). Specifically it integrate corporate environmental standards with the VSM process, thereby permitting established lean improvement process to be focused at specific environmental improvement actions. Application of the method is demonstrated in a manufacturing setting, representing a variety of environmental impacts. The deployment is capable of being generalised to any number of environmental factors. It is able to represent a customised waste index for a particular industry. Several ways to represent the multidimensional environmental wastes were explored via industry focus group. The resulting method can be used by production staff to quantify environmental impacts at the level of the individual process and aggregated to report wastes for the whole value stream.