You may have noticed the flags, signs, and banners with a big “ISO” on them at manufacturing plants, industrial sites, and office buildings. ISO has to do with international specifications for products, services, and systems administered by the International Organization for Standardization based in Switzerland. ISO comes from the Greek isos, meaning equal, and the standards are meant to ensure quality, safety, and efficiency.
Flying those flags is a major pride point because companies invest a lot to become ISO-certified, which is good for growing their business and required by many major manufacturers.
DTE Energy has focused for decades on adhering to environmental regulations and in October, DTE drove that commitment deeper by achieving companywide ISO 14001 certification, providing independent confirmation that DTE’s environmental sustainability practices are meeting or exceeding government regulations and industry best practices.
With more than 75 of its facilities including power plants and natural gas facilities now ISO-certified, DTE is one of only a few energy companies in the nation to be entirely ISO 14001 third-party certified. The Ann Arbor-based NSF International conducted independent ISO audits as part of DTE’s certifications.
“For our customers, DTE’s operating with environmentally sustainable, ISO-certified practices ultimately means cost savings resulting from our commitment to pollution prevention, enhanced environmental compliance, and increased environmental awareness and engagement,” said Don Januszek, who leads DTE’s ISO efforts.
For DTE Energy, ISO certification affirms the company’s longstanding emphasis on prioritizing environmentally sustainable operations. DTE renewed its commitment to ISO 14001 certification in 2015 when the international standards were revised and the companywide environmental management system was centralized.
“Our 14 electric service centers are now all ISO-certified along with our electric production and gas operating facilities having achieved updated ISO certification,” said Januszek. The ISO flags and banners at our facilities prove we have a centralized, organization-wide environmental management system in place, administered by conscientious employees who are committed stewards of sustainability.”
DTE’s service centers are where the company’s electric service trucks and gear are maintained and dispatched for repairs, upgrades and other work throughout southeast Michigan.
While DTE’s electric power plants and natural gas facilities were already ISO-certified, they utilized individual, site-specific policies to manage everything from ozone-depleting substances like air conditioning systems to handling bulk chemicals and controlling air emissions from power plants. The environmental consequences of every electric and gas operation are now cataloged in terms of environmental risk and managed using one set of standard, companywide ISO-certified environmental policies and procedures in conjunction with site-specific policies.
DTE additionally uses ISO mechanisms to maintain Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) conservation program certifications at 36 plants and facilities statewide. The ISO program tracks WHC certifications as well as Neighborhood Environmental Partners (NEP) programs, compliance, energy efficiency, and other environmental goals.