SME presents Lean to Green Manufacturing Conference.

Press Release Summary:

Set for Oct 27-29, Lean to Green Manufacturing Conference will help manufacturers transform lean principles into successful green results. Three-day event will feature topics and concepts such as business case for green, case for lean, and integration of water, air, and carbon footprinting. Keynote speakers will include Robert Pojasek, PhD, senior associate, First Environment and Denise Coogan, manager corporate affairs-Safety and Environmental Compliance from Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.

Original Press Release:

Learn How to Transform Lean Principles into Green Results

New SME Event to Showcase Innovations, Best Practices from Subaru, Bausch & Lomb, Others

DEARBORN, Mich., August 20, 2008 - Manufacturers have invested time, energy and resources to perfecting shop-floor lean principles to find that there is even more room to slash waste or costs. Companies like Subaru, Bausch & Lomb, the Washington State Department of Ecology and Freelin-Wade have added green to their lean equation with successful results.

While going lean to green may be perceived as an expensive marketing-trend-of-the-moment, simply put: It makes good business sense.

Take, for example, Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. (SIA). Each day, SIA rolls out 800 cars with zero landfill, and therefore, generates fewer costs. To the company and the environment this translates into producing less trash in one year than an individual throws away in one week. (Source: Indiana Living Green, Jan.-Feb. 2008) This and other green initiatives have saved SIA millions of dollars as well as created an ideal atmosphere for a wildlife sanctuary that surrounds the plant.

To help manufacturers transform lean principles into successful green results, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers presents its first-ever Lean to Green Manufacturing Conference. Set for October 27-29, 2008, this three-day, comprehensive conference will take place at the Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center in Portland - one of America's most-environmentally-friendly cities. It will feature such diverse topics and concepts as the business case for green, the case for lean, and the integration of water, air, and carbon footprinting.

This content was shaped by the SME Lean to Green Tech Group and local partners including the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Oregon Business Council, the Northwest High Performance Enterprise Consortium and the Oregon Institute of Technology.

SME General Manager and Executive Director Mark C. Tomlinson says, "This conference will help participants learn how lean knowledge and environmental practices can be interwoven, how to eliminate waste and save money, and how to apply green best practices. We're bringing experts from leading companies with proven strategies to help you connect two principles - lean and green - in one event."

Participants can look forward to pre-conference workshops such as Lean 101, which will provide a detailed overview of topics to come. The official conference will feature keynote speakers Robert Pojasek, PhD, senior associate, First Environment and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc's Denise Coogan, manager corporate affairs-Safety and Environmental Compliance. Both are expected to discuss their organization's lean to green projects, innovations and successful practices.

Coogan has this advice for any manufacturer leery of perceived high costs of going lean to green. "There is always an opportunity to say that environmental programs are too expensive to put in, but not when you consider the cost of your entire program. If you don't have to pay to bring anything in, you don't have to pay to have someone handle it, and you don't have to pay to have it disposed of. That's where you'll find your big savings."

And Coogan should know. With support of her vision for a greener company and encouragement from the executive level, SIA has saved upwards of $1.3 million through such green initiatives as remanufacturing paint sludge into usable materials and reusing packing materials.

"She's become a national go-to person for other companies wanting to make transformations from lean to green. It's a pleasure to have her be a key part of the Lean To Green for Manufacturing Conference," says Tomlinson of Coogan.

Coogan also plays a significant role in SME's just released Green Lean DVD. During this 29-minute program, viewers will learn how Subaru Indiana Automotive used its lean improvement system to achieve breakthrough environmental performance.

"The lessons learned at the conference and in the DVD can help any manufacturing company become a better environmental steward," Tomlinson adds.

Meet Denise Coogan along with other top environmental keynote and guest speakers at the Lean To Green Manufacturing Conference, October 27-29, 2008 in Portland. For the most up-to-date information, or to register, please visit To purchase the Green Lean DVD, please visit

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About SME:

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The Society has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide.


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