Sustainability principle #2: Improve quality
Waste is essentially a defect, an outcome of deficient processes and/or products. Thinking of waste as a defect applies equally well to sustainability performance and conventional views of quality performance. Deficiencies associated with the design, fabrication, and operation of processes and products are frequently responsible for wastefulness. The automotive industry was the first sector to focus on improving quality and productivity through the prevention of waste and defects. Sustainability principles need to be considered early and often during efforts to improve existing processes and products as well as during the development of new versions. Process improvements can improve sustainability performance through increases in efficiency and productivity, and prevention of all types of waste, emission, defect, hazard and accident. Safety and quality are microcosms of the wide spectrum of aspects, opportunities, and decisions that organizations focus on to improve overall sustainability performance. All responsible leaders are committed to ensuring the safety of their people and their organizations' assets.