A New Model for Organizational Sustainability


Challenging economic conditions facing the world today have put serious financial stress on organizations. Our research indicates that companies receiving finalist designations in the Shingo Prize competition (the top recognition of operations excellence) were greener than their competitors and achieved better business results; i.e., those businesses overall were more sustainable. We suggest that leaner organizations tend to survive longer, return to prosperity sooner, and to be greener. Organizations become truly sustainable by meeting important needs of society using business processes that do not overly burden local and global environments, while providing an income stream to the organization that can cover both short-term and long-term costs with adequate profit remaining. The organizational sustainability model presented here is called the Zero Waste Operations (ZWO) model. ZWO focuses on four major elements: a sustainable management system, tools for controlling costs via identification of all wastes in the system, techniques for reducing identified wastes, and measurable relevant business results. The ZWO model is explained and validated using both academic literature and research results. The Zero Waste Operations model can provide a major catalyst to organizations seeking to survive hard economic times while it positions them to thrive as the global economy

Author(s): Gary Bergmiller, Zero Waste Operations Research and Consulting, Paul McCright, Zero Waste Operations – Research and Consulting, Gregory Weisenborn, Ft. Hays State University

Learn more at:A New Model for Organizational Sustainability

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