April 19th, 2010
From Annette Russo, Manager, Communications and Training, WWEHS, Johnson & Johnson
Like twenty million other Americans, I was part of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. I heeded the call for a day of protest and education, and did a small thing to improve the environment. Looking back, I think my Earth Day experiences parallel the history of the day itself. As I eventually became a consultant and groundwater geologist, I understood the reasons for the growing number of environmental regulations. I became part of a growing cadre of environmental professionals trained to address environmental compliance and remediation. We learned to use environmental management systems as a tool for better environmental management.
And today, people take a holistic view of the environment – looking at the products companies make as well as the places where they make them while considering social and economic impacts alongside environmental ones. Many call this “sustainability”, and it has changed the way business gets done.
It’s Earth Day 1970…I’m standing waist deep in a cold, spring-fed creek in my hometown pushing a wire box filled with heavy rock down into the mud of the creek bed. We’re trying to save the creek. The city moved it a few months earlier to build a new road, leaving a bed that was wide and shallow.