The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long been considered the agency with the big hammer if a company creates environmental contamination, whether by intent or by accident. Over the past several years the agency has become active in spreading information about Lean Manufactuirng concepts every chance it gets. They know that the “elimination of waste” that is a focus of Lean is good for the environment as well as good for business. Why not help spread the word?
The EPA has been an exhibitor at the last several AME annual conferences, and distributes “lean” articles and interviews with increasing frequency. They are proactively helping companies understand opportunities to reduce waste, especially those that involve energy, water. hazardous, or landfill materials. They can stimulate industry through these efforts.
We tell children that the police are here to help us, yet most adults consider police as consumed with catching someone doing something wrong as with helping children or ittle old ladies. The EPA has been similarly considered “big brother” trying to catch us doing something wrong, with no offsetting kind message for kids. But this is changing.
I’d love to see all government agencies discover ways to help business succeed while serving their mission. That “government for the people” is a great idea!