LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire/ — Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) achieved a record year in 2014 with 48.4 percent of its contracting budget going to woman, minority, and service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises. Over the years, SoCalGas has steadily increased its procurement with diverse suppliers and is seen as a national industry leader.
“We have long known that our supplier diversity activities bring economic benefits to not only our suppliers, but also to the regional economies where they do business,” said Dennis Arriola, president and CEO of SoCalGas. “At SoCalGas, supplier diversity isn’t just a program or a department. It is an integral part of our strategy, our commitment to diversity in action and a smart and effective way to run our business.”
As a result of SoCalGas’ efforts, spending last year reached a total of $571.4 million with diverse firms or 48.4 percent of the company’s total procurement. Diverse suppliers provide SoCalGas with everything from meters to pipes to information technology to advertising solutions to financial investment advice.
One example of a diverse supplier is Loop Capital Markets, an African American-owned, full-service investment bank, brokerage and advisory firm. It was one of four companies selected to work on the utility’s $250 million, 30-year bond deal. Working with SoCalGas, Loop Capital Markets has seen firsthand the company’s commitment to supplier diversity.
“We’ve heard their executives talk about supplier diversity and how it’s part of their DNA. That’s been really clear from the interactions we’ve had,” said Sidney Dillard, partner, Corporate Investment Banking at Loop Capital Markets.
SoCalGas was recognized last year for its efforts with supplier diversity and won numerous awards from a variety of organizations including: Asian Business Association of Los Angeles, Elite Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business of Los Angeles, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, National Latina Women Business Association, Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council, and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
SoCalGas’ commitment to diversity extends beyond its diverse suppliers to its workforce and the communities it serves as well. Last year, SoCalGas donated more than $4.8 million and thousands of volunteer hours to the more than 500 communities it serves, benefitting underserved community groups in African American, Hispanic, Pacific Asian, Asian Indian and Native American communities. And SoCalGas’ commitment doesn’t stop there. Its diverse workforce of more than 8,300 employees includes 65 percent minorities.