Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Sustainability, Six sigma (Quality control standard), Sustainable development reporting


Industrial Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


The emphasis on the concept of sustainability in businesses and operations is growing either due to increasing public interest, regulatory pressures, or corporate social responsibility. However, where and how to integrate sustainability needs further development for broadening its applications. Using Lean and Six Sigma (LSS) principles in sustainability studies is becoming popular in research and practice. The common approach in these studies is to identify a sustainability project followed by current state sustainability performance assessment, and then work towards improving sustainability performance using LSS tools. The goal of this study was to develop a model framework to fully embed sustainability into any LSS project building on current practices. The wide coverage of LSS, its effectiveness record, and its overlap with sustainability goals establish the foundation for expanding LSS methodology to include sustainability concepts. The proposed framework is not specific to an industry, but is intended to be applicable to the wide spectrum of projects where LSS can be applied. Examples were provided from manufacturing and construction industries in the study. The existing methodologies are framed to target only sustainability initiatives while the presented framework aims to integrate sustainability into any type of improvement initiative. Furthermore, existing methodologies focus almost solely on environmental and economic sustainability, whereas the presented study includes social dimension too. Both academicians and professionals will benefit from the presented framework as it provides a different perspective than what is found in literature enabling broader applications, together with concrete steps and examples demonstrating its implementation, use, and potential benefits.


This is the authors' accepted version of the article published in Journal of Cleaner Production.

Full-text available for the University of New Haven Community.


Publisher Citation

Nadiye O. Erdil, Can B. Aktas, Omid M. Arani, Embedding sustainability in lean six sigma efforts, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 198, 2018, Pages 520-529, ISSN 0959-6526,