Original Date: 03/17/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Dr. Edwin Land founded the Polaroid Corporation in 1937. Although best known as the inventor of the instant photography process and the Polaroid Land camera, Dr. Land was a strong social advocate. For example, he started a family practice health clinic for his employees and their families; established a safety program in the 1950s; and initiated environmental efforts in preparation for the first Earth Day in 1970. Originally, Polaroid produced light polarizing filters. Today, the company designs, manufactures, and markets instant imaging products worldwide, such as instant photographic cameras and films; electronic imaging recording devices; and light polarizing filters and lenses. With its corporate headquarters located in Waltham, Massachusetts, Polaroid maintains three U.S. sites, employs 1,500 personnel worldwide, and achieved $1 billion in revenues for 20.
The BMP survey focused on Polaroid’s Waltham (Main Street), Massachusetts site, which employs 350 personnel, and encompasses 150 acres. Featuring Polaroid’s Chemical Operations Division, this site synthesizes chemical components used in Polaroid film; manufactures chemical reagents; assembles technical and industrial film products; and performs wastewater treatment. Polaroid promotes proactive approaches; open communication; environmental and safety commitments; and community involvement. Among the best examples were Polaroid’s cooling tower make-up water metering; ultraviolet light treatment; watershed protection; and pressure nutsche.
Although Polaroid’s cooling towers consume large amounts of water for operation, only about 10% of the water returns to the sewer system while the remaining 90% evaporates from the towers. Through its cooling tower make- up water metering efforts, Polaroid negotiated with the City of Waltham’s Water Department for an annual rebate of sewer charges for the water that evaporates from its cooling towers.
Approximately eight years ago, Polaroid began installing ultraviolet light water jackets for the humidifiers located in its air handling systems. These air handling systems service the comfort and health needs of the employee as well as the stringent production requirements for making instant print films. The ultraviolet light treatment drastically reduced the typical inlet conditions caused by bacterial growth and decreased humidifier maintenance.
Polaroid and the Waltham community became aware of site spill risks and the potential for liability in the 1980s. Since the facility sits on a steep hill, runoff water flows directly into a drainage area adjacent to a major commuting highway, and then into the community reservoir. Polaroid developed a watershed protection plan to minimize the site spill risks to the community. The plan led to various outgrowths such as road improvements, roof runoff collection and usage, and Waltham Earth Day festivals.
Since 1988, Polaroid has been implementing a program to replace its traditional centrifuges and dryers with pressure nutsche technology. Pressure nutsches work as self-contained vessels to mix, dry, and separate chemical mixtures while removing vapors and emissions. Through pressure nutsche technology, Polaroid has improved safety for its employees, reduced air emissions by 80%, and increased operational performance.
The future success of Polaroid depends on traditional business achievements intertwined with continued improvement of environmental and safety performance. Polaroid was one of the first companies to integrate health, safety, and environmental functions, and continues to support its commitment to environmental stewardship. In addition, Polaroid maintains a strong belief in accountability through environmental compliance and employee training. The BMP survey team considers the following practices to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS:
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|ACGIH|| ||American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygienists|
|ADD|| ||Actual Delivered Density|
|AMC|| ||Asbestos Management Council|
|ASHRAE|| ||American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers|
|BIT|| ||Business Improvement Team|
|CERES|| ||Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies|
|CTD|| ||Cumulative Trauma Disorder|
|DfE|| ||Design for the Environment|
|DoT|| ||Department of Transportation|
|EARS|| ||Environmental Accounting and Reporting System|
|ESFR|| ||Early Suppression Fast Response|
|HAZCOM|| ||Hazard Communication|
|HAZMAT|| ||Hazard Materials|
|HRS|| ||High Risk Situation|
|HSE|| ||Health, Safety, and Environment(al)|
|HVAC || ||Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning|
|IAQ|| ||Indoor Air Quality|
|ISO|| ||International Standards Organization|
|LEPC|| ||Local Emergency Planning Committee|
|MATURA|| ||Massachusetts Toxic Use Reduction Act|
|MSDS|| ||Material Safety Data Sheet|
|MWRA|| ||Massachusetts Water Resource Authority|
|NIOSH|| ||National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health|
|ODS|| ||Ozone-Depleting Substance|
|OSHA|| ||Occupational Safety and Health Administration|
|PCB|| ||Polychlorinated Biphenyl|
|PDC|| ||Professional Development Committee|
|PDP|| ||Product Delivery Process|
|PEG|| ||Polaroid Exposure Guideline|
|PEL|| ||Permissible Exposure Limit|
|PHA|| ||Process Hazard Analysis|
|PPOP|| ||Power Plant Optimization Program|
|RACT|| ||Reasonably Available Control Technology|
|RCRA|| ||Resource Conservation and Recovery Act|
|RDD|| ||Required Delivered Density|
|REECO|| ||Regenerative Environmental Equipment Company|
|RET|| ||Recommended Exposure Limit|
|RSI|| ||Repetitive Strain Injury|
|RSVP|| ||Reinforcing Safety Values at Polaroid|
|TSDF|| ||Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility|
|TUWR|| ||Toxic Use and Waste Reduction|
|VAV|| ||Variable Air Volume|
|VOC|| ||Volatile Organic Compound|
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.