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Does LeanTech enable CleanTech

Is the SKY Falling?

In the fable the Sky is Falling, Chicken Little having got hit on the head with what he claimed was a piece of the sky shaped like a stop sign, got excited, rang the fire bell and warned his town of the impending disaster called climate change and told everyone to run for there lives. 

His father Buck Cluck could not see this chunk of sky and assumed it was just an acorn that had fallen out of the tree, hit him on the head. This made Chicken Little the laughing stock of town, until the next year when the aliens showed up.


In our story the aliens showing up are the extreme storms and abnormal weather patterns that are wrecking havoc causing billions of dollars of damage and creating uncertainty about our future. This should motivate our government and business leaders to jump on board, listen to what our Chicken Little Scientists and Economists have to say, but is it enough?

Could LeanTech be the answer?

We know that companies that adopt lean practices like Toyota that wrote the book on lean production are significantly more profitable. In one comparison, 2.5 times more profitable than there next closest competitor. They also are a leader in fuel efficient hybrid hydrogen and electric vehicles.

Tesla is also demonstrating that the implementation lean practices is helping to get Cleantech done. It has help Tesla to develop leadership in the electric car market and an annual return on investment to shareholders of greater than 100%. As a leader in lean and green, Tesla is disrupting the automotive industry.

Can we adopt this same approach for the building industry?

The adoption of Lean Construction has been slow in catching on and building continue to spew 40% of the CO2 that is contributing to climate change problem. This is unfortunate as

early adopters of Lean Construction have demonstrated that we can deliver NetZero project like the Okanagan College and Mosaic Center projects at the same cost as a traditional build.

But very few people understand the huge potential

of LeanTech to CleanTech solutions.

We need for more companies like Toyota and Tesla to recognize that lean creates a “Sustainable Advantage.” In fact Bob Willard in his book the Sustainability Advantage discovered that companies that work towards a higher purpose like helping to solve the climate change problem are considerably more profitable. In his study he found that companies like Interface carpets that are committed to sustainable business practices are 38% more profitable.

Just imagine the jump in performance, productivity and profit that could be achieved when we combine the power of working for a higher purpose with the productivity achieved with lean. If we approach the building industry with the promise of both types of Green, we will ramp up the adoption of Lean Project Delivery as a means to create an economically viable NetZero building industry.

By adopting a LeanTech strategy we will convert waste due to poor productivity of $100 Billion per year into a truly sustainable NetZero Building industry.

Let the LeanTech revolution begin!

Murray Guy

April 10, 2020

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