It's clear that being a green manufacturer will be the entrance fee for suppliers in the years to come
Dearborn, Mich. (Vocus) September 3, 2009
Going green has gone from the feel-good movement of the moment to something that is becoming largely demanded within industry.
According to a recent IndustryWeek article, larger OEMs and retail giants like Wal-Mart are requiring that their suppliers and their supply chains get greener.
And a recent survey of manufacturers by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers reveals that nearly 20 percent have been asked to provide "environmental footprint" information to their OEM.
"It's clear that being a green manufacturer will be the entrance fee for suppliers in the years to come," said Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director and general manager of SME.
The alarming discovery of the SME survey of 1,046 manufacturing professionals, however, is that 16 percent are not even sure what the term "environmental footprint" means.
"Obviously, a lot of suppliers need to be brought up-to-speed on sustainability issues before their OEMs require it," Tomlinson said. "And they need to understand that implementing lean to green practices can also help with the bottom line by eliminating waste."
To help manufacturers get prepared and bridge the gap between "good green intentions" and "green-in-action", SME offers affordable solutions such as conferences, certifications, certificate programs, books and videos and a lean registry that can help them become more sustainable and ultimately more efficient on the shop floor down through the supply chain.
The Lean to Green Manufacturing Conference scheduled for September 28-30, 2009 in Austin, TX, is designed to assist manufacturers in developing strategies and options for the future growth of their company. Over the course of three days, the event will feature a number of keynote speakers and workshop sessions such as "The Sustainable Enterprise - Integrating Technical, Human Social, and Management Systems" and "Develop a Green Lifecycle and Make Money at It".
The Conference will also feature a number of keynote speakers including Ron Allen, environmental engineer at Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Inc., who will speak about his company's environmental plan.
SME, in conjunction with Purdue University, is also launching the Green Manufacturing Specialist Certificate. The program offers multiple levels of training including becoming a green generalist, which Kris Nasiatka, manager, certification, books and videos, calls "Green 101."
More in-depth training comes from the green specialist levels which require the completion of three to six training modules leading up to the green specialist certificate granted by SME. In the works are the green champion certificate and the SME Champion Certification both designed for the most comprehensive of training.
For those looking for a self-paced approach to learning about going green, there is the SME DVD, "Green Lean: Achieving Outstanding Environmental Performance with Lean." "Green Lean" showcases the sustainability success of Subaru Indiana Automotive, which has turned its waste into greater cost savings and even profits.
There's also the SME book, " The Squeeze: A Novel Approach to Business Sustainability." Using an engaging novel format, "The Squeeze," complete with dialogue and characters, chronicles the struggle for survival of a small, family-owned manufacturer in the Midwest.
Beyond videos and books, SME delves into lean certifications via a multi-level program recognizing tactical, integrative and strategic application of standard lean principles. In particular there are bronze, silver and gold levels.
Nasiatka explains that "the Bronze Certification demonstrates a solid understanding of basic lean principles and tools, while the Silver Certification recognizes experience as a lean project leader on value stream changes." The Gold Certification shows a solid understanding of all aspects of lean transformation across an organization.
To connect lean users, SME also established its lean registry. "It's like eHarmony® for lean practitioners," says Tomlinson.
Tomlinson says of these SME programs overall, "More and more, 21st century manufacturing requires a good understanding of both lean and green principles. SME's goal is to provide them in the most user-friendly options to individuals and corporations."
For more information about SME's green and lean offerings, visit http://www.sme.org.
To register for the Lean to Green Manufacturing Conference, visit http://www.sme.org/l2g.
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The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motorsports, and oil and gas. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
Lori Ann Dick, APR
Senior PR Representative