After earning this certification, the company wanted to give back to the community by donating $1,000 each to those organizations committed to those same standards. KTH made those presentations during a recent ceremony at the Leesburg plant. These organizations receiving the $1,000 checks included the Northeast Alabama Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Weiss Lake Improvement Association and Crappie Unlimited. "We are not only in the business of making frames, but we also want to do it in an environmentally safe manner," said Gene Cleveland, administrative manager, KTH Leesburg Products. "It is just one of the many aspects of contributing to the community. We have been in the process for a number of months trying to obtain ISO14001 certification."
Dale Hyatt, the Environmental, Health & Safety trainer at KTH, shared further details about ISO14001 certification, which he feels is a major accomplishment for the company. "The ISO program is a worldwide environmental management system," said Hyatt. "One of the main things we first focused on was developing an environmental policy and that would state what KTH as a company would be committed to as far as environmental improvements here at our facility. And this policy calls for continual improvement. We are not just going to say, Yes, we have obtained this recognition, this certification, but we are committed to getting even better and we are confident in different programs that will help us do that."
Compliance with the ISO standards, Hyatt explained, included some 16 elements, which produced 294 controlled documents of compliance issues, not only for company standards but also federal, state and local regulations as well.
John Boyer, vice president/plant manager, KTH, said some of these issues include saving electricity and reducing usage of natural resources. "We have very detailed audits we go through twice a year to make sure we are reaching our target, reducing energy consumption, reducing the natural gas usage," said Boyer.
"Part of what I feel is one of KTH's responsibilities is to be a good neighbor, to live within the community with other businesses," said Boyer. "I live in Cherokee County and I'm a part of Cherokee County. KTH wanted to give back to the community, not only through the ISO14001, but with the donations to all your efforts for what you do in the community in saving the environment. This is a great place for our company to be. It is a beautiful community. We're just happy to be here and want to be a part of the community."
"We are very excited to be in Leesburg," said Toshio "Tim" Inoue, president, KTH Leesburg Products. "We feel it is very important to have a good relationship with our community."
"We have the lake, the mountains," said Yorimitsu "Yori" Iida, senior vice president, KTH Leesburg Products. "This area is very beautiful. We were happy to come here."
Leesburg Mayor Ed Mackey extended his appreciation to KTH for its continued support of the local community. "I think a lot of industries want to come to the south, take advantage of our generosity and not put anything back into the community," said Mackey. "That is why we appreciate you (KTH) so much for all you do.