Several years ago I wrote about being Lean and Green. I asked the question – “Is it hard to be 'green' or is it really just more the discipline of looking at how to run your business in a more efficient way?” One that improves your bottom line as well as reduces your impact on the environment; not regulated by government, but regulated by common sense to use the least amount of resources (lower costs) to produce your product.

So with the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day I felt it was timely to go back and think about this topic once again. Now let me just say I am not talking about “green” to the level like my state of California is mandating with AB32 or the Green Chemistry Initiatives.

BWC Infographic Lean Green
Bishop-Wisecarver Green Infographic

I am talking about common sense, how do I run my company to the best of its ability and make my product for a profit and impact the environment as little as possible? I understand that there are some companies that won’t make changes unless mandated, but let me just live in a world, for a few minutes, where people are responsible for their actions and feel a responsibility to run their companies for the good of the bottom line, as well as the environment.

At Bishop-Wisecarver, we realize the best way to appreciate our planet is by doing something to help every day and we have implemented “lean manufacturing” practices throughout the company that reduce waste of all kinds. Whether it’s time, material or talent, lean manufacturing aims to maximize efficiency in numerous ways such as smartly allocating resources, maximizing space, recycling old material and applying employees to job’s best suited to their skills.

This sounds admirable, but what does it mean in reality for our customers and planet? For one customer, it meant better utilizing their current space and not having to purchase, or build, an additional site. Our engineers provided product solutions that saved them space and kept them fully productive in their current location.

For another customer, it meant implementing our DualVee® wheels and racked track into their machinery. It saved at least 10 hours per week that had been spent shutting down production to wipe down rails and belts. And you know those employees who had to wipe down the rails are happy to be doing something else with their time! Bishop-Wisecarver also provided special parts machining for a customer so they didn’t have to purchase equipment or space to manufacture it themselves. It also allowed the customer to order only as needed, thus reducing extra inventory storage costs or concerns.

Lean manufacturing is a solid, cost effective business philosophy, but we want it to be more than that – we use it to innovate and design smarter solutions for our customers. And, in doing so, we are helping conserve, and best utilize, our planet’s resources. We think that’s the best way to truly celebrate Earth Day – everyday. What do you think?