ENVIRON was founded in 1982 in Washington, DC, as a privately held consulting firm providing a broad range of services to clients concerned with the problems of human exposure to potentially hazardous substances in the environment; in food ingredients and packaging; in drugs, medical devices and consumer products; and in the workplace. The strong demand for chemical risk assessment and environmental risk management services that drove the firm's growth in the early years was fueled by the public's insistence that effective steps be taken to manage exposure and health risks related to the products and by-products of industry and technology.
At the outset, the firm chose to pursue a course of planned, measured growth to meet the challenge of geographical expansion without diluting leadership or weakening the company's ability to perform sophisticated multidisciplinary engagements. The first ten years saw expansion to six domestic offices on both US coasts. Subsequent domestic expansion positioned ENVIRON strategically throughout the US.
After establishing a solid foundation and enviable reputation in the US as a sophisticated, forward-thinking consultancy that pioneered the application of human health and environmental risk assessment to a wide variety of issues facing business decision makers, the firm began a measured international expansion, beginning with the acquisition of a well-reputed UK consultancy (the former EAG) in 1996. The years 1999-2002 saw the opening of ENVIRON offices in Italy, France, Germany and Finland. Subsequent European expansion positioned the firm in Benelux, Poland, Spain and Russia. The year 2001 saw the opening of the first Asia-Pacific offices in Australia, China, Malaysia and Singapore, further enhancing the firm's ability to meet the worldwide needs of an increasingly transnational client base. The 2009 acquisition of successful Brazilian consultancy ARQUIPÉLAGO Engenharia Ambiental Ltda. (Arquipélago) extended ENVIRON's geographic reach into Latin America, where significant environmental challenges represent opportunities for value-added consulting. January 2012 saw the establishment of the firm's first office in Africa, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, after years of providing increasing support to clients on the African continent.
Mergers and Acquisitions
After an almost 10-year period in the 1990s as a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded parent companies, ENVIRON reprivatized with a management buyout in 1999. The privatization of the firm, at a time when many competitors were consolidating and becoming part of larger publicly held corporations, enhanced ENVIRON's ability to attract and retain the best and brightest practitioners that our industry has to offer—those seeking an environment that fosters collaboration, creativity and sophisticated thinking. Our privatization has enhanced the entrepreneurial spirit that was at the heart of ENVIRON from the outset, returning control of the firm to those who provide client services and who hold the successful provision of these services as their highest objective.
The 2003 merger with Applied Epidemiology, Inc. (AEI), brought to ENVIRON a full range of epidemiological consulting services in occupational health, environmental health and injury and disability research. The application of epidemiological concepts and methods provides powerful, data-fueled solutions to a wide array of health risk challenges.
In the spring of 2005, ENVIRON merged with The ADVENT Group, Inc., a premier consulting and engineering organization that specializes in Integrated Industrial Wastewater Management and related areas for predominately industrial clients. This merger created a firm uniquely qualified to provide a full range of engineering and technical services to help clients meet their business goals related to water management.
In August 2007, ENVIRON acquired Boelter Associates, Inc.—the largest single acquisition in the firm's history. The addition of Boelter's seasoned professionals positioned us to offer clients expanded consulting capabilities, particularly in the areas of industrial hygiene and building forensics. The subsequent 2008 acquisition of Chicago-based Gustitus Group, Inc., brought to ENVIRON a well-established core practice in forensic architectural services and additional Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified practitioners. These two acquisitions positioned us to offer comprehensive building-related environmental, health, safety and energy-related services to our existing global network of property/real estate sector clients.
We shall continue to add strategically located offices, offer new services and pursue mergers or alliances that will position us to keep pace with the evolving needs of our global client base. The founders' original vision of bringing together the interrelated backgrounds and disciplines necessary to address the complex issues and inherent uncertainty encountered by business decision makers remains at the heart of ENVIRON.