Kyle Hurst


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between environmental strategy, business strategy, and manufacturing strategy. Specifically, this paper evaluates the potential link between a manufacturing strategy known as focused manufacturing (focused factories) and improved environmental performance. The thesis explores the current literature on focused factories and various environmental tools and strategies. Barriers to sustainable and environmental improvements are discussed, as well as the integration of environmental strategy into the overall business strategy of a company. To examine the relationship between focused factories and environmental improvement, statistical analysis is performed on data generated from a web-based survey sent to various manufacturing companies in the western NY area. The survey consisted of 39 questions, designed to measure 1) the level of focus for each respondent, and 2) environmental performance pertaining to three specific hypotheses created for this experiment. The creation, validation, and analysis of the survey and corresponding hypotheses are discussed in detail. The analysis showed positive correlation between focused manufacturing and increased cost savings and earning potential due to environmental efforts, the inclusion of environmental goals and priorities into the overall business strategy, and bringing environmental considerations into the early stages of product development. Focus was also positively correlated to greater employee involvement and awareness of environmental issues. The thesis is an initial exploration into the relationships between environmental strategy, business strategy, and manufacturing strategy. Recommendations for future projects of this nature are made.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Manufacturing industries--Environmental aspects; Manufacturing processes; Industrial management

Publication Date

Winter 2005

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


Brian K. Thorn

Advisor/Committee Member

Andres L. Carrano


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TD194 .H87 2006


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