Earth Day 2021. 51 years of global celebration and advocacy for bettering our world, from taking a look at waste to habitat conservation and everything else in between. Over the years I’ve noticed a common theme that emerges; consumers being held accountable for the waste they produce instead of focusing on accountability for the industries that are producing this excess waste in the first place. In fact, over 50% of the waste produced globally is from industry, not consumers, but what can be done?

The Eight Types of Waste

There are eight types of waste defined in Lean Manufacturing, which aims to remove wastes from work processes. The original seven wastes (Muda) were developed by Taiichi Ohno, the Chief Engineer at Toyota, as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS). As outlined in the article, “The 8 Wastes of Lean,” these wastes are classified as:

  1. Transportation: wasted time, resources and costs when unnecessarily moving products and materials
  2. Inventory: products and materials that aren’t processed
  3. Motion: wasted time and effort related to unnecessary movements by people
  4. Waiting: time spent waiting for the next process step to occur
  5. Overproduction: making more product than customers demand
  6. Overprocessing: wastes related to more work or higher quality than is required
  7. Defects: a product or service failure to meet customer expectations
  8. Skill: underutilization of people’s talents, skills, and knowledge

Waste is an all-too-common problem that the majority of manufacturing businesses experience. As mentioned in the above article, the first step to reducing waste is recognizing that is exists and have an effective process for identifying it. + Flow Operations (FlowOps) is committed to creating a world without waste by addressing a majority of these eight core areas of waste and changing the way manufacturers operate by reducing their overall negative impact on the environment. We’re able to accomplish this through the use of Flow Operations (FlowOps). FlowOps is a new category of enterprise software powered by advanced machine intelligence to help users eliminate waste in factories and supply chains as they restore the frictionless flow of goods from raw materials to consumer.

Our FlowOps suite consists of five applications built on a common open platform. The current scope of these applications span from factory floor to distribution center. Our suite is proven in production to dramatically reduce excess inventory, product defects, unplanned downtime and unfilled orders. We’re talking about results in weeks, not months.

Noodle Goes Green

While we’re helping manufacturers think about the way they operate and contribute to excessive waste, globally, we’ve worked to practice what we preach and think of our own impact through our Noodle Goes Green project.

In 2019 we partnered with Pachama, a global reforestation company, and managed to offset 7,309 tons of CO2 through our projects in Brazil and California:

  • Brazil: Manoa Farm preserves 74,038 hectares of forestland in the heart of Northern Brazil’s Amazon River Basin. The region has been subject to natural resource exploitation and has been under threat of degradation due to illegal logging.
  • California: The McCloud River project generates emissions reductions through sustainable practices of commercial timberlands about 20 miles southeast of Mount Shasta in Northern California.

What could a world without waste look like?

I would imagine it would be a utopia of sorts:

  • No more landfills because scientists developed plastics eating bacteria
  • Mandated use of reusable and biodegradable materials, banning all plastics
  • Trash filtration systems in all bodies of water, globally
  • Sustainably sourced paper products
  • The possibilities are endless!

The point I’m trying to make here is this… we already have access to this technology and these resources. They just haven’t been widely adopted. What would it take to make these efforts possible on a larger scale? Rethinking the way we think about waste and holding manufacturers accountable for their impact on the environment is a great start.

Be a part of the change. Your company can now achieve an entirely new level of sustainable performance with’s FlowOps applications. Request a demo!