Lean energy: Turning sustainable development into organizational renewal
Journal article, 2018
The potential for integrating principles of lean management and sustainability initiatives has been recognized in earlier research. The present study argues for the need to focus on how this should be implemented and to acknowledge the criticality of developing individuals' competencies to support such integration. The purpose of this paper is to explore the integration of lean and energy efficiency practices and provide practical examples of such integration. This study is explorative in nature and based on a qualitative research approach. Primary evidence was collected through an interview study of 19 participants in a lean energy course, and through a participant observation at a company workshop following up the program results. Secondary evidence was collected on the development and evaluation of this course. By operationalizing sustainability through energy efficiency and combining with lean principles, organizations can exploit continuous improvement efforts for sustainable development. This paper focuses on professional education as a component for integrating improvement initiatives and sustainable development. Whilst professional education enables individual learning, organization-wide efforts are needed to follow up on the educational program and support a scaling-up of lean energy. The scaling-up means that the organization itself encourages the use of principles and tools to identify and remove energy waste and support a move from local practices to shared experience.
Energy efficiency improvement