From the CEO: Unlocking two doors with lean sustainability

AME | April 23, 2021


“To achieve true production efficiency,” AME volunteer Glenn Marshall wrote in a 2020 Target article, “a company must cut down on environmental waste including raw material consumption, energy and water use and pollution.”

As we conclude National Volunteer Week and on the heels of Earth Day, I can’t think of a better place to start than an AME Management Team member’s insights on a sustainability topic!

It is true that sustainability and lean initiatives go hand-in-hand. As we think about cutting waste out of processes, excess materials and resources are a good place to trim. This makes sense from an economic and environmental perspective.

However, you may not realize that sustainability may also be a key to attracting new talent into the manufacturing pipeline. As Marshall points out in his Target article, Millennials — the largest generation in the workforce — “value working for sustainable organizations and those embracing lean and green manufacturing. In fact, Fast Company reported in February 2019 that 75% of Millennial workers surveyed would be willing to accept a smaller salary to work for a company that’s environmentally responsible.”

Of course, training programs, apprenticeships, and skill development courses are vital to create workforce-ready people who will ensure the long-term success of manufacturing and industry. However, we also need to meet future generations where they are. Lean manufacturing certainly provides an opportunity for the AME community to showcase how our work aligns with Millennial values — and likely the values of those who will follow them into the workforce.

When looking for ways to champion sustainability and inspire the next generation of workers and leaders, lean initiatives may hold an important key that unlocks two doors at once.

As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.


P.S. The AME Operational Excellence Summit starts next week and you’re running out of time to register! You’ll hear directly from six past AME Excellence Award recipient companies about their programs and efforts. Plus, you’ll access two virtual tours and listen in on roundtable discussions, and more. Register now!