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When you think about the goals of lean manufacturing and sustainability, the two are very synergistic. Continuous improvement efforts in lean are focused on the elimination of non-value-added waste to produce exactly what the customer wants, when they want it, in the quantity they specify--and to use the minimum amount of time, material, space and labor to accomplish this at the lowest possible cost. Sustainability is all about minimizing the use of natural resources like materials, energy and even replenishable biomass resources like trees, while reducing solid waste and hazardous materials from our production processes and minimizing our carbon footprint.
Source: Industry Week, http://industryweek.com
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