Lean and green how both philosophies can interact on strategic, tactical and operational levels of a company

Caroline P. Valente1, Carlos Alexandre M. A. Mourão2 & José de Paula B. Neto3

1Civil Engineer, Lean & Green Coordinator, Construtora C. Rolim Engenharia, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, [email protected]
2Civil Engineer, Technical Director, Construtora C. Rolim Engenharia, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, [email protected]
3Professor, Dr., Dean of Technological Center of UFC (Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, [email protected]


The Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) industry has a large impact on society, from environmental, economic, and social perspectives. Thus, concerns about sustainability are urgent. This term is evolving, and it is observed that its future on industry is correlated with other production philosophies. Some authors point to lean thinking as the first step towards a sustainable future. This paper aims to indicate, through a case study, how Lean and Green can complement and help each other in strategic, tactical and operational objectives of a company. The methodology for developing this paper includes: literature review about Lean and Green philosophies and their interaction in this industrial sector; characterization of the company (which has a nationally and internationally environmental pre-certified building), through semi-structured interviews with top managers and project managers, in order to understand strategic, tactical and operational levels; and, finally, the identification of interaction or points of complementarity of the two philosophies in these spheres. The main result of this work is the understanding that, within the strategic area, which has consistent lean management philosophy, sustainable construction is considered a way of adding value to customer. This enables lean and green philosophies to permeate tactical and operational levels as well. Moreover, it is also identified some practical approaches on how Lean and Green interact at construction sites, which some authors consider more difficult due to conceptual differences between these two philosophies.


Lean construction, green building, sustainability, environment, LEED.



Valente, C. P. , Mourão, C. A. M. A. & Neto, J. P. B. 2013. Lean and green how both philosophies can interact on strategic, tactical and operational levels of a company, 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 925-934. doi.org/

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