We have had a very interesting day at the Pfizer plant in Strängnäs today. Politicians from Jönköping County Council visited the plant to listen and discuss our experiences from LEAN manufacturing and from our environmental and sustainability programs. Combined discussions of LEAN and environmental management make a lot of sense to me.
Regardless from which perspectives you look upon LEAN - e.g. right first time, total quality management, 5S, reduction of waste, and continuous improvement - the connections to good environmnetal management is obvious. A perfect match is found between the LEAN tools commonly known as 3M (the Japanese words Muda, Muri, and Mura - or in English Waste, Overburden, and Unevenness) and health, safety and environmentral management.
The Pfizer Strängnäs plant has worked with LEAN for several years, and as you probably know already, their environmental management programs also have been in place for very long time. They received their first external "certification" already back in mid 90-ies (EMAS, Eco-Management and Audit Scheme), and are today certified to ISO 14001, ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001. Today's agenda hence was a combination of LEAN-experiences, a site tour to visualize the work processes, Pfizer's and the pharma industry's general programs around sustainability, and our local environmental, health and safety management programs.
Sharing experiences and thoughts makes us all better! Thanks for a valuable day of discussions!