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Integration Of Environmental Management Systems And Lean Concepts

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posted on 22.05.2021, 15:00 by Brian A. Lam
Organizations around the world have been implementing environmental management systems (EMSs) as an effective means to manage environmental performance. However, successful deployment of EMSs requires the effective integration of EMS considerations into existing core business functions. This has typically been challenging for many firms, as many business functions are typically not well aligned with EMS objectives. Process improvement, namely Lean concepts, is an example. The objectives of Lean concepts are very different from the objectives of EMSs, and certain differences in both systems create the potential for conflict. This report further explores the potential to integrate EMSs with Lean concepts. This report summarizes EMSs and Lean concepts across several comparable aspects including objectives, drivers, benefits, and implementation. The standards for each system, ISO 14001 and the Shingo Prize Model respectively, are also presented. After careful analysis and comparison of Lean concepts and EMSs, eight strategies are proposed to effectively integrate the approaches and succeed against individual system weaknesses. An integrated toolset of Lean concepts and methods with EMS considerations are also provided. The integration strategies are lastly discussed with respect to ISO 14001 and Shingo Prize Model requirements.





Master of Engineering


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Liping Fang,