• A lean and cleaner production benchmarking method for sustainability assessment: A study of manufacturing companies in Brazil.

      Ramos, Aline Ribeiro; Ferreira, João Carlos Espíndola; Kumar, Vikas; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Cherrafi, Anass; Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina; University of the West of England; University of Derby; Cadi Ayyad University (Elsevier, 2017-12-28)
      A constant evolution in the efficiency of production systems and government policies has enabled the control of the environmental impact of production activities and encouraged companies to develop strategies to achieve more sustainable operations. Despite this, more needs to be done to reduce the risks of globalised production activities. In this context, evidence suggests that Lean Manufacturing (LM) and Cleaner Production (CP) make a positive contribution to the environmental performance of organizations. However, very little has been reported in the scholarly literature regarding the convergence and divergence of these two approaches. This work therefore attempts to take advantage of the synergies of LM and CP by proposing a Lean Cleaner Production Benchmarking (LCPB) method to assess the practices and culture regarding the application of CP in companies. The method considers the management aspects of people, information, products, suppliers and customers, management and processes, as well as the LM practices that contribute to a more eco-efficient production. LCPB uses a methodology based on benchmarking that was applied to 16 Brazilian manufacturing companies in order to assess their practices and performances regarding CP. The method seeks to provide a diagnosis to verify whether CP is effectively carried out by the companies, and what their performances are regarding actions beneficial to the environment. The application of LM practices that contribute to CP was also evaluated through the proposed LCPB method. The paper contributes to the theory by proving further evidence of the compatibility and synergies of LM and CP. In addition, it proposes a novel method that enables the analysis of companies' practices and performances related to CP, assesses their actions associated with sustainability, and contributes to identifying points where there is a lack and difficulty regarding CP. The proposed method helps to relate LM and CP activities, indicating that companies that seek to apply LM concepts are those that present high CP practices and performance.