Green, sustainable, and lean… the concepts often go hand in hand. Coincidentally one of the concepts behind the Lean and Green Summit to be held in Boulder, Colorado this July. There’s a company in the Seattle area that understands, and leverages this concept. A company called Cascade Designs.
I came across the company in a roundabout way, via the response an enthusiastic employee gave to an article on what some local outdoor equipment companies are doing to limit their environmental impact.
Your article in today’s paper is great – thank you for covering what the outdoor industry is doing to help the environment. We’re a little disappointed that we didn’t get to talk to you, as we’re proud to be a local company, still manufacturing the majority of our products at our headquarters in Seattle.
That’s the first tip that they’re on to something… they’re manufacturing locally.
“Lean manufacturing” techniques are used in the manufacturing process to limit waste in the form of materials, space and ultimately energy. Examples of this include re-use of shipping boxes, energy efficient lighting and keeping heat low when space in not occupied. The high quality, durable products made here are built to last a lifetime and are warranted for repair in an effort to keep them out of landfills. Our marketing materials are also designed to be recycled by using recycled content paper and soy based ink.
Limiting waste is lean, recognizing the value of manufacturing locally is lean. And apparently motivating employees to the point where they enthusiastically communicate is due to the second, oft-forgotten, pillar of lean: respect for people.
Nice job, Cascade.