EHS Practice Overview

It could be said (and has been said) that the Environmental Health and Safety Practice at ADL started with Dr. Little in the early 1900s. During the opening of MIT’s applied chemistry laboratory in 1909, Dr. Little said “Every waste that is prevented, or turned to profit, every problem solved, and every more effective process which is developed makes for better living in the material sense and for cleaner and more wholesome living in the higher sense”. Dr. Little’s 1910 “The Paper-Maker’s Trouble Book” is an amusing tome that provided a practical view of his words. Among other issues, his Trouble Book touched on efficient burns of coal-“ He let no dividends go up the chimney.” and wastewater effluents-“There are charges of nuisance from the wastewaters of the mill. You know yourself that these waste waters carry away fiber, filler and color which cost good money and which ought to be in the sheet.”!

Yes, Arthur D. Little conceived of and practiced waste minimization long before it was popularized and finally written into law in the 1980s and 90s. From the early 1900s to the new millennium, an environmental business was a consistent theme at ADL.

In the next newsletter, two of our colleagues from the 1990s share their experiences at ADL with environmental auditing, due diligence, and remediation. Our company was an early entrant into Environmental Remediation, we worked on the Hooker Chemical sites prior to the Superfund Law in 1979. And we were instrumental in the beginnings of applying auditing skills to environmental issues;  Ladd Greeno, Gib Hedstrom and Maryanne DiBerto documented the principals and practices of environmental auditing in the early 1980s.