Case | HBS Case Collection | October 1992 (Revised August 1994)

Allied-Signal: Managing the Hazardous Waste Liability Risk

by Richard H.K. Vietor and Edward Prewitt

Abstract

Allied-Signal, Inc., one of the world's oldest chemical companies and today a diversified conglomerate, is liable for clean-up costs of old hazardous waste sites. These costs are substantial: reserves grew to nearly $500 million in 1991. Attempting to avoid further set-asides, and anticipating U.S.-style liability laws in Europe, environmental managers undertake a review of the company's three-part environmental control policy. With extensive programs for disposal-site inspection, auditing for compliance, and hazardous waste reduction, the managers try to optimize costs and liabilities by balancing waste disposal and reduction. The case recounts the formation of the control policy in response to legislation such as RCTA, Superfund, and the Toxics Release Inventory. Examines in detail the implementation of the three hazardous waste programs, analyzing the experiences of two plants. Exhibits include internal control documentation.

Keywords: Wastes and Waste Processing; Environmental Sustainability; Programs; Cost Management; Policy; Government Legislation; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Governance Compliance; Legal Liability; Chemical Industry; United States; Europe;

Citation:

Vietor, Richard H.K., and Edward Prewitt. "Allied-Signal: Managing the Hazardous Waste Liability Risk." Harvard Business School Case 793-044, October 1992. (Revised August 1994.)