Environmental science is a field of study which began in the 1960s and has increased in prominence ever since. Today, it is an issue of utmost significance in just about everything we do as we constantly seek greater and greater protection of the human environment—the air we breathe, the water we drink and the ground we live on. This pursuit has spawned a multitude of new technologies and new legislation requiring new expertise to reduce the effects of past neglect and to present progress among the industrialised nations.
A critical aspect of this science, however, is the measurement of pollutant levels in water, soil and air, and being able to assess the impact these pollutants are having on the environment. Without these skills, it is impossible to make any progress or improvements. Recognizing the opportunity this presented, Dr. George Duncan, Ph.D., a consulting chemist, and Mr. H. Robert Jones, P. Eng., a consulting engineer, joined together to found A&A Environmental Consultants Inc. in 1992. The combination of strong chemistry knowledge and civil engineering skills seemed a valuable combination to meet the needs of this growing market.
With the newly-formed company, Dr. Duncan and Mr. Jones reached out to meet the needs of their local market in Northern Ontario, serving the natural resource industries (mining and forestry), local municipalities, banks, realtors, etc., with landfill studies, ground and surface water studies, air quality studies and environmental site investigations and cleanups. During these initial years, working in the various smaller northern communities, A&A learned the value of client relationships, and in particular the value of personal attention to the client’s needs in each job. Taking the time to understand a client’s needs and demystifying the complex environmental legislation for the client became central to A&A’s success as customers not only got a better solution, but they understood why it was necessary. This increased client satisfaction and made justifying the cost of the solution easier for them. These lessons have not been forgotten in the years since and our approach to each job remains the same—understand the problem and explain the solution.
A&A’s growth continued and soon an office opened in North Bay, Ontario. In recent years more offices have opened in Southern Ontario, and in 2007, the company moved its headquarters to Woodstock, Ontario reflecting management’s desire to grow the company into the Southern Ontario market place. Woodstock is a rapidly developing industrial city and did not have a recognized environmental consulting service local to the city. As well, its still-prominent rural roots reflected A&A’s own heritage, and so it seemed a good fit.
Today, the company has offices in Woodstock, Toronto, London, North Bay and Kirkland Lake and continues to grow its customer base and the disciplines it can offer.