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Journal of Industrial Engineering and ManagementJIEM, 2014 – 7(5): 1124-1144 – Online ISSN: 2013-0953 – Print ISSN: 2013-8423http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.907Lean Environmental Management Integration System forSustainability of ISO 14001:2004 standard implementationPerumal Puvanasvaran, Robert Kerk Swee Tian, Suresh A/L VasuUniversiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (Malaysia)punesh@utem.edu.my, robert kerk@yahoo.co.uk, prasanth14 3@yahoo.comReceived: July 2013Accepted: July 2014Abstract:Purpose: The purpose of this study is to present a model for integrating Lean Principles withISO 14001 Environmental Management System.Design/methodology: To achieve the objective of the study, the methodology used in thisstudy is based on preliminary literature review of ISO 14001 standards and Lean Principles aswell as certain case reports from various proponents and authors of ISO 14001 and Lean asnoted in various articles and journals and some books.Findings: The findings of this study are a new model called Lean Environmental ManagementIntegration System (LEMIS) has been developed and leads to the creation of thesemeasurement standards for evaluating the organization, making its environmental efforts morerealistic, focused and attainable.Research limitations/implications: Future research should be conducted case studies in thisdirection are required to be conducted for examining the feasibility of amalgamation andimplementing ISO 14001:2004 standards with the philosophy of Lean Principles to enable theachievement of world class standards.Practical implications: This model helps to eliminate any wasteful processes in theorganization’s implementation of the ISO 14001 standard thus leading to higher environmentalperformance. Integrating the standard with Lean principles through LEMIS model helps to-1124-

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management – http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.907specify these performance measures making the standard achieve sustainability and continualimprovement.Originality/value: This study presents a unique approach of integrating the two main models,namely Lean Principles and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, as a singleframework benefiting contemporary organizations.Keywords: Lean Principles, EMS, ISO 14001, Integration, Continual improvement, Sustainability1. IntroductionISO 14001 spells out the criteria for developing an environmental management system (EMS).It is crucial as it states how the EMS should be managed and how an organization should bestructured to become more environmentally sensitive. ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard;therefore, organizations are not required by law to implement the standard. The standard hasno specific measures of performance, but it deals mainly with the managerial process insteadof specifying environmental outcomes and consequences. This is one of the main criticismstowards the standard. Various research studies have cast doubt on the benefits andsustainability of ISO 14001 certification. Some of the studies accuse the standard of notfocusing on the environmental performance of an organization or company (Krut & Gleckman,2002). Rondinelli and Vastag (2000) claim that the standard assumes that firms which havebeen certified have a management system in place for measuring their environmental resultsand effects. The main factor making the standard unsustainable is the fact that it does notspecify environmental performance measures for organizations.Environmental measurement systems are developing more rapidly than ever, but most currentmeasurement systems still fail to provide important information . For example, most of theexisting environmental data sources were originally designed to monitor regulatorycompliance, not measure environmental performance. Measuring environmental performanceallows management to identify program successes and failures, and assess the level ofenvironmental goals being met.Efficiency is a crucial dimension in manufacturing. Lean manufacturing focuses on eliminatingwaste from organizational processes with a view to deliver more value to a customer. Thus,integrating Lean with the ISO 14001 standard will make the standard more sustainablebecause it will be customer-oriented, which is consistent with the objectives of manyorganizations (Simpson & Power, 2005; Shah & Ward, 2007). The research done byPuvanasvaran, Kerk, Suresh and Muhamad (2012) lean principles have positive and highlysignificant relationship with ISO 14001 requirements. The integration of lean principles in ISO-1125-

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management – http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.90714001 will serve practical methods for ISO14001 EMS to achieve the continual improvement(Puvanasvaran et al., 2012).Implementing Lean principles requires an organization to identify all the processes that areinvolved in the conversion of raw materials into a finished product for the customers. Thisprocess is known as mapping the value stream. Integrating Lean with ISO 14001 standardensures that the environmental impact of all processes leading to the delivery of products tocustomers are identified and dealt with effectively (Sroufe, 2003; Montabon, Sroufe &Narasimhan, 2007). This will lead to higher environmental performance of organizations.Puvanasvaran, Kerk and Muhamad (2011) effectiveness of integrating Lean and EMS can berealized by adopting processes and procedures designed to eliminate waste and create aneconomically sustainable work environment.2. Literature reviewThis section will focus on an introduction to ISO 14001 and Lean system and subsequentlyprovides an in-depth literature review of ISO 14001 and Lean system related papers publishedin journals, book and reports.The hallmark of the ISO 14001 standard that differentiates it from other environmentalstandards is the integration of managerial decision-making with environmental protectionefforts (Raines, 2002). This is a more effective approach that divorces environmentalprotection efforts from other management activities. Despite its merits, several criticisms havebeen leveled against the ISO 14001 standard. To start with, it has been argued that thestandard does not focus on environmental outcomes but instead it describes managerialprocesses that lead to such outcomes (Sharma, 2003). This nature of the standard makes itdifficult to evaluate organizations’ environmental performance based on a standard benchmark(Corbett & Kirsch, 2001). Secondly, compliance with the standard is voluntary which meanssome organizations may not comply with it. This aspect reduces the effectiveness of thestandard in reducing emissions to the environment (Smith, 2001). Some studies have alsoquestioned the cost-benefit value of the standard claiming that the costs of implementing itexceed the benefits for some firms.Today application of lean principles is not confined to manufacturing operations only but hasextended to all forms of businesses including insurance, health institutions, governmentdepartments, airlines, etc. In every firm that has adopted these principles the main goal is toimprove the organization’s performance by eliminating unnecessary activities (Eng, 2011). Thekey challenge in adopting a Lean philosophy for non-manufacturing organizations isdetermined which principles apply and how to apply them. This is where the principles ofcontinuous learning and improvement gain even more significance.-1126-

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management – http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.907Lean principles are essentially about reducing wastage in organizational processes. Thus,establishing an organizational culture with a waste elimination mind-set is the first steptowards implementing the Lean philosophy (Visser, 2010). It is also necessary to change theorganizational structure to make it more flexible. Flexibility allows the redeployment oforganizational resources according to customer’s needs. To avoid employees’ resistance tochange it is crucial to involve all employees in the adoption of the principles from the start(Cowley, 2007). In addition, there should be a comprehensive and efficient information systemlinking downstream and upstream partners of the organization to enhance demand and supplyvisibility.Lean thinking exists in conceptual form which means that it is not a particular methodology tobe applied to organizational processes (Pun, Fung & Wong, 2006). However, the philosophyprovides a unified focus for organizational operations, which is eliminating wasteful activitieswhich do not deliver value to customers (Sarkar, 2008).Picchi (2001) the term "techniques" (or tools) is generally used for routines, standardized fortraining and communication, such as Kanban, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), 5S, Pokayoke. We can say that techniques are more related to operational aspects, system integrationaspects, and philosophy to conceptual aspects (Table 1). In truth, the separation oftechnique/system/philosophy is not simple. Every technique (Kanban, for example), whentaught, is integrating to the system (e.g. The JIT production system) and several conceptualaspects, or philosophy, are emphasized (pulled production, total quality, etc.) (Picchi, 2001).The most important element in lean thinking is a philosophy rather than the system andtechniques. Besides a conceptual basis provided by philosophy, a company needs practicalapplication templates, in the operational level, to design its systems and select techniques. Thedirect application of techniques developed in an industry to a different sector is limited, due tospecific characteristics of each industry (as stated by Koskela and Vrijhoef (2000)). In thiscase, more adaptation is demanded in the operational extreme (techniques) and lies in theconceptual extreme erationalHow to put thephilosophy inpracticeAspectsAdaptation demandedLess FocusPermanent goalsHow techniquesare integrated,coherently withphilosophy MoreAspectsConceptual Operational Conceptual LevelPhilosophyTable 1. Lean Thinking: Philosophy, system, and techniques (Picchi, 2001)-1127-

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management – http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.907To understand the concept of lean systems, it is essential to understand its principles. Womackand Jones (1996) organize the fundaments of Lean Thinking in five principles: Value Definition Identifying the Value Stream Making Value-Creating Steps Flow The Pull Principle PerfectionThe 5 lean principles give us a better understanding of the lean philosophy and its coreconcepts. To apply these concepts in different environments (as other industries) it isinteresting to deploy these ideas or principles in detailed concepts, but not reaching theoperational field. Table 2 presents a proposal of this deployment in core elements. Theconceptual part of this Table is presented as a tree, expanding from objectives and Womackand Jone's five values to more detailed concepts, named "core elements", presented in twolevels of detailing (columns three and four).ObjectivesPrinciplesVALUEVALUE STREAMDense, regular,accurate and reliableflowFLOWPermanentlyimprove company'scompetitiveness by: eliminatingwaste consistentlyattendingclient'srequirementsin variety,quality,quantity,time, priceEnhanced product /service packagevalueTime basedcompetitionHigh value adding inthe extendedenterpriseStandard workJIT production anddeliveryPULLFlexible resourcesLearningPERFECTIONCommon focusCore elementsSolution that enhances value for the clientProduct varietyProduction lead time (order to delivery)Product development lead timeValue stream redesign eliminating wasteSuppliers involvement in production and productdevelopment systemsDense flow , with hight adding value time, clearpathways and communicationRegular flow - paced by client / next processdemandAccurate and reliable flowWork standardizationTransparencyLow level decisionPull versus push systemNo overproduction, WIP (Work In Process)reductionDemand smoothing : harmonizing marketvariations and production flexibilityReflecting product variation in short periods ofproductionInformation flexibilityEquipment flexibilityWorkers flexibilityFast problem detectionFast problem solving in lower level and solutionretentionEvolutionary learningLeadership and strategyStructureClient and production focus diffusionHuman respectTotal employee involvementTotal system diffusionTable 2. Lean Principles core elements (Picchi, 2001)-1128-

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management – http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.9073. Research methodologyThe research design is one of the key factors in determining the effectiveness of the researchstudy. If the method applied does not meet the needs of the objectives, the findings andanalysis of data collected are wasted. Therefore, this study was intended to develop Lean–EMSintegration model to help organization to sustain the Environmental management systemthough effective continuous improvement method. Integration of Lean and ISO 14001standard requires the application of Lean principles into the implementation of the standard.Figure 1 shows the framework development steps. The framework was broken into 6 phasesand the details as per below: Phase 1: In phase 1, data collections in Environmental management system wereidentified by review of papers, journals, books, magazines, report and dissertations.This step was part of the Literature Review effort. Phase 2: In Phase 2, information’s from phase 1 were used as a base. We elaboration ofthe ISO 14001:2004 clauses from 18 main clauses to 42 sub clauses which will give abetter understanding of the clauses and ensures that all the clauses are well consideredfor the standards sustainability. Use who, how, when and why as an input, where andwhat as an output to identify the essential of each sub clauses and help to understandbetter on the ISO14001:2004 standards. The outcome of WH Question was reviewedand

The hallmark of the ISO 14001 standard that differentiates it from other environmental standards is the integration of managerial decision-making with environmental protection efforts (Raines, 2002). This is a more effective approach that divorces environmental protection efforts from other management activities. Despite its merits, several criticisms have been leveled against the ISO 14001 .

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