Science Journal of Environmental Research, Volume 2013, December 2013
ISSN: 2276-7495

Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


Total Sustainability Assessments for Manufacturing Operations Using the Lean Six Sigma Approach

Elliot Boldt and Matthew Franchetti*

University of Toledo. College of Engineering Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering Department,
2801 West Bancroft Street Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA

doi: 10.7237/sjeer/131

Accepted 23 November, 2013; Available Online 31 December, 2013


This paper discusses research and education activities related to the application of lean six sigma principles in sustainability assessments for single facilities using a novel concept called Total Sustainability Assessments (TSA). Lean Six Sigma has not been used in the solid waste reduction or environmental protection fields to the extent that it has been applied in manufacturing and in other sectors. The goal of this research was to investigate the application and benefits of conducting TSAs versus standalone assessments for waste reduction, energy reduction, and productivity improvements. The hypothesis for this research involved investigating the financial, environmental, and time benefits of conducting TSAs over separate assessments. Traditionally, productivity aspects are not a high consideration when performing environmental assessments; this research is novel that it incorporates these issues into a single assessment framework. The results of the study indicated that the TSA methodology can be completed 23.4% fewer work hours versus standalone assessments and identified over $120,000 in annual cost savings for the organization. The application of this case study and the TSA methods are discussed in this paper.

Keywords:solid waste audits; energy audits; productivity audits.