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ASHTABULA, OHIO — Compounder Plasticolors Inc. of Ashtabula, Ohio, won the McDonald & Co. Management Medal from Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead Excellence in Management Program.

Its ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certifications demonstrate Plasticolors' commitment to its community, products, customers and employees, award officials noted. Plasticolors is based in Ashtabula.

The firm got ISO 14001 certification last October after a five-month process that took about 1,000 hours of staff time, estimated Don Herndon, Plasticolors' total quality manager. It has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994.

Herndon said in a telephone interview that the most difficult part of the ISO 14001 process was identifying what his company would include in its environmental standards. Staff needed to look at issues as small as how much carbon dioxide workers exhaled in the plant, then prioritize the issues and set targets. Herndon said his company included health and safety issues in its ISO 14001 standards, which made the process more difficult. Health and safety are not normally covered in ISO 14001 guidelines.

SGS International Certification Services Inc. of Rutherford, N.J., was registrar for Plasticolors' certification. Plasticolors claimed to be one of the first North American chemical-related firms to get ISO 14001. It supplies colorants, additives, concentrates and custom compounds.