Can Green Six Sigma Help and Enhance Sustainability and Climate-Change Initiatives?

This past September, Ron Basu published a book entitled The Green Six Sigma Handbook:  A Complete Guide for Lean Six Sigma Practitioners and Managers, which details how the benefits of a combined Lean and Six Sigma initiative can indeed encompass sustainability and climate-change concerns. 

I spoke with Ron this past week and asked him specifically: "How does Green Six Sigma help and enhance sustainability and climate-change initiatives?" Here is his complete response:

If nothing tangible is done climate change will worsen and its impact on our planet will be catastrophic. We have many climate change initiatives, such as clean energy and retrofitting houses. There are also many global initiatives sponsored by the United Nations, such as several COP (Conference of Parties) conferences going on for several years. We need breakthrough technology and breakthrough change methodology. We have the power of invention to assist these initiatives but that takes time. We have to use all our available tools now. Six Sigma is such a tool for breakthrough change methodology. The tools and approaches of Six Sigma when focused and adapted primarily to climate change demands get Green Six Sigma. The approach is underpinned by three tenets: fitness for the purpose of climate change, fitness for holistic Lean processes, and fitness for environmental sustainability.

The importance of climate change or global warming, if you prefer it, cannot be doubted. All land areas of our planet are experiencing heat waves, frequent storms, flooding, landslides, and wildfires. As a result, there are many international and national climate change initiatives in hand, but the outcomes are not always sustainable. We also need a catalyst and a disciplined process to make it happen. This is where Green Six Sigma comes in.

Green Six Sigma combines and extends the tools, techniques, and processes of both Lean and Six Sigma to customize them for climate change initiatives. As a specific example, the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) cycle has been extended in Green Six Sigma to DMAICS with the inclusion of Sustain. The tools and techniques of Sustain ensure and enhance both the sustainability of the outcomes of climate change initiatives and the sustainability of environmental standards. It is vital we harness all our tools and resources to regenerate the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine conflict and implement climate change initiatives for the survival of the planet.

A number of real-life case examples have been included in The Green Six Sigma Handbook to support how sustainability can be enhanced. This book is a hands-on single-source reference of tools, techniques, and processes integrating both Lean and Six Sigma. I show how to apply the principles of Lean Six Sigma and FIT SIGMA to the practical realities of businesses of all sectors and walk readers through the application of tools and techniques in the environmental context. The uniqueness of the Green Six Sigma approach is that its outcomes lead to the sustainability of both processes and environmental standards of climate change.

What do you think of Ron Basu's perspective? Do you think Lean Six Sigma initiatives can encompass sustainability? Has your Lean Sigma process evolved to include climate-change concerns? 

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